Any content marketers unsure about the usefulness of Google+ are probably rethinking their strategies right about now. Brafton reported on the somewhat shocking news that the social networking site has adoption rates comparable to Twitter. Even more surprising is the revelation Google+ posts may be producing twice as much brand engagement as Twitter. As if to pile on the good press, Google recently announced even more useful features for G+’s interface – particularly for social marketing.
Google+ shapes up
Anyone who has logged onto Google+ this week probably noticed an addition to their profiles. Beneath their pictures and descriptions, there’s a field indicating how many times users’ profiles have been viewed. This is excellent information for marketers to have, and it should positively impact how content is shared on Google+.
First and foremost, it helps brands assess how much interest they’re generating on the platform. On Facebook, marketers might have trouble quantifying their social impact, but at least they know the audience is there. Many people simply assumed no one was using the network – and that posting on it was akin to shouting into the void, hoping Google would index posts a little more rapidly and give them an SEO boost.
Data – now featuring context
This new metric also provides an essential piece of information for users: context. It’s well and good to have six +1s, but what does this mean? Brands have to grapple with stirring engagement on G+ while simultaneously determining if their core customers are even on the service at all. It is now possible to gauge interest in the context of overall viewership, rather than in a vacuum.
Google+ is also adding the “Views” feature to individual posts. This platform doesn’t have the same social ecology as Facebook, in which Likes are freely given and part of everyday browsing. By contrast, +1s haven’t become the G+ equivalent, so knowing how many people have actually seen posts becomes incredibly powerful knowledge.
By 2012, Gmail already boasted half a billion users. As that number grows, and as Google+ usership steadily increases, anyone with an existing Google account will have all the more reason to sign up and start +1ing. Companies already using the platform as an integral part of their social marketing campaigns should be pleased they have more information at their fingertips, and businesses on the fence should start looking at the service as a powerful tool.