Social Media Considerations for Advisors: Google+

Social Media: Google+

In this series of articles, we will look into the most popular social media platforms and provide some key considerations as it pertains to Financial and Insurance Advisors.  This article will focus on Google+.

Launched in June 2011, Google+ is a social networking site that is owned and operated by Google Inc. With more than 540 million users, Google+ sees its number of users increase daily. Curiously enough, Google+ seems to be one of the most frequently neglected by Advisors. If you are unfamiliar with Google+ and its background and features, get to know Google+ by checking out this article before reading on.

So, how does Google+ relate to Financial and Insurance Advisors? Let’s look into some key considerations to take into account when you’re deciding whether to embrace Google+ as part of your social media strategy.

Demographics of Google+:

  • 369 million active users
  • 67% males
  • 25-34 are the most active demographic on Google+
  • Tends to be used by professionals
  • Users tend to work in the engineering, software and design industries

The Concept of Circles

Google+ allows you to post videos, links, pictures and text content, however, introduces the new concept of Circles. Google+ connections are placed into circles, which are similar to mailing lists. For Advisors, one of the most significant benefits is the ability to segment audiences into these circles. Google+ allows you to break up your audience into circles so that content can be targeted toward those who would be interested in it. For example, Advisors could create a circle for current clients, and a circle for prospective clients. Circles make content sharing among like-minded people and organizations easy.  This means you can use circles to closely target your messaging.

Communities

Google+ allows you to create, or participate in, focused groups called ”communities”, of both individuals and companies who share a particular interest. Joining these communities could be an excellent way to raise awareness for your business and help to nurture relationships in the industry. You can also create communities to help in knowledge sharing, or based on shared interests.

Search Engine Optimization

It is important to remember that Google+ is Google, the largest search engine in the world. Search Engine Optimization is all about getting your website found by prospects, and Google owns 75% of the market share when it comes to search. Although Google+ is a social networking website, it also integrates with the entire Google network and is said to carry significant weight in terms of Search Engine Optimization and organic search visibility.

As Hubspot points out, Google is eager to provide plenty of incentives for people to actively use Google+, and has tied the platform very closely to all of its Google Search features.  Google rewards its own users in their search engine. Bottom line, Google+ can help to increase your business’ visibility in Google’s organic search results; therefore increasing the likelihood of potential customers finding you.

Google+Local

Google+Local is an important part of Google+ and focuses specifically on businesses and their locations. These pages are similar to Facebook business pages, but include many more features geared to help businesses connect with local prospects on a social level.  Google+Local pages are indexed in Google’s searches. Using this feature will not only improve your business’ SEO, but will increase online visibility by providing prospects with a link to your website, contact information, services offered, travel directions, customer reviews and recent Google+ posts.

Content Sharing

Google+ is ideal for content sharing not only because of the Circles feature, but also in terms of SEO. Google+ posts are crawled and indexed almost immediately. Google Search treats Google+ pages just like regular websites, so they have PageRank and can be just as powerful as other websites in terms of search engine ranking. You should start noticing your content showing up more in Google searches when you share it on Google+. Google+ content can rank in search results in instances where your website may not.

Google+ can be a powerful platform to help enhance your company’s visibility on the web. It has quickly pocketed the title as the second largest social media network and continues to gain momentum.  The belief by many is that Google will continue to place increasing SEO weight on Google+ making it important to consider when developing your social media and content marketing strategy.

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Has your business fully taken on Google+? What Google+ features do you find most beneficial for your business? Share your comments below.

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