Google Plus just turned three years old and has finally come of age in the social networking world; it’s just been declared dead. This is a real achievement for any online phenomenon. You’re pretty much nobody online – at least in the world of social media marketing – until this has occurred at least once.
It’s happened to the best of them; Facebook was pronounced soon-to-be-dead-in-the-water shortly after it’s flotation – but is still swimming along nicely (very nicely indeed). Twitter, too, has prompted many a yawn in the online marketing world (mainly because effective Twitter PR and marketing is seriously hard work) but is still as chirpy as ever.
So how seriously should we take this recent bereavement in the PR world? The short answer is “not very”, for the slightly longer answer read on.
The Rumour Millers
The majority of obituaries are coming from SEO specialists and media marketing junkies – many of whom are blessed with youth and cursed with inexperience. What lies behind these claims is more to do with the latter.
No social media platform can produce instant results in terms of marketing and PR. There’s no magic bullet when it comes to brand building and connecting in meaningful ways with your potential and/or existing customers.
Old Tricks, New Media
Sadly, most social networks have initially been vaunted as that magic bullet by the less experienced marketing and PR crowd. To be fair, they’ve also been seriously hyped as such by their fresh-faced, but business savvy, creators.
Many in the PR industry, however, also jumped on board enthusiastically, recognising the potential reach of social networks. Both PR professionals and journalists took to social media as if it was made for them. In some senses it was and was little more than a very handy extension of the traditional “little black book” that no journalist or public relations professional would be without.
Making Friends and Influencing People (re-booted)
For those in the 21st century re-booted industry of online PR, when immediate results don’t surface, they tend to declare a network dead. Those with a more long-standing grounding in the industry, however, have understood that Google Plus, along with the other social networks, is about building and maintaining links within their own industry and those relevant to their clients.
From a PR perspective, Google Plus offers a perfect environment in which to create links with journalists and to be ready to answer their questions as and when needed. Individual businesses, whether or not they have PR teams working with them, can use the network in much the same way.
Strong SEO Values
So how much value does Google Plus have for business? Or any social network for that matter?
Firstly, social networks are better places to improve your visibility than to sell directly. This means some fairly serious back office hours for your PR team. It’s not a quick results process, but Google plus for business has some serious advantages over its competitors.
While smaller than Facebook, research has suggested that in terms of ”post-click engagement” Google plus is up there at number two (after YouTube and way ahead of Facebook languishing at number five).
What’s more, this engagement is high quality; Google Plus users spend more time visiting links shared by other users. Google, after all, are a company based on creating revenue through search results. Google Plus may be a new kid on the social networking block but it’s designed to be a chip off the old block.
Nurtured by a parent company that knows how to get people clicking, Google Plus continues to have real value for SEO purposes. It’s proven to be a fast-track to indexing new content (seemingly instantaneous) and, even if you’re struggling to get a decent SERP ranking with your site, your Google Plus content can appear high in the results.
Death or Arrival?
In the hands of the right PR team Google Plus will continue to pay dividends for business. While it may not be biggest social network in the world, it’s just one part of a very powerful internet dynasty.
Despite it’s recent demise, all of this still holds true, and as the “death” of both Facebook and Twitter go to show, in the world of social networking, it’s only once you’re dead you know you’ve finally arrived.
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Sydney Social Media and Public Relations Agency, CP Communications blends cutting edge offline and online PR and social media to help you gain a competitive advantage. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.