Small business online marketing and Google+: how effective?
Almost two years since the launch of Google+, the jury is still out on its usefulness and effectiveness as an effective social media marketing channel for small businesses. For SMBs that have embraced online marketing, where does Google+ fall in the pecking order when it comes to adoption?
It seems that most businesses, especially ones that cater to a business-to-business (B2B) audience seem to gravitate towards LinkedIn and Facebook, a fact re-inforced by a study by eMarketer and reported in this article on MarketingPilgrim.
Despite claims that active presence and use of Google+ could give a boost to organic SEO results, why are small businesses significantly less keen to use it as an integral part of their social media marketing strategy?
We surmise the reasons could be a combination of several factors:
a) Facebook and LinkedIn have an enormous lead in user mindshare when it comes to social media marketing that they become the de facto channels that marketers want to turn to.
b) Greater ease of use / better usability of Facebook and LinkedIn than Google+: whether perceived or real, we have heard quite a few people say that Google+ seems to be designed for techies rather than marketers.
c) Deploying resources to target a social media channel that has a larger user base (particularly true of Facebook) definitely seems much more attractive than committing to something that could still take a significant investment of resource without commensurate results.
d) Lastly, we’d like to stick our neck out and say that it is likely there is an element of fear/ uncertainty with Google+ that could be preventing marketers from exploring this social media as much as the others. For example, their thinking could be clouded by questions such as: Will there be any negative implications of trying to market using Google+? ; What is the line of acceptability and unacceptability?; etc.
Have you tried Google+ as part of your social media marketing efforts? How successful and effective was it? Tell us—insightful comments are most welcome as we believe they will benefit a lot of marketers.