I’m calling it right now, 2013 will be the year of Google Plus. Sure, you’re probably laughing at me, but I’m sticking by this and this blog post will convince you otherwise.
Social Media: Not a Buzzword
First of all, social media should no longer be a buzzword in your vocabulary. Social media is a communication tool and there are literally hundreds of different social media channels to choose from – all tailored to personal interest. Some examples are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, FourSquare, Dribbble, etc.
During the Don Draper era, Television was the buzzword. Television has long been considered a communication tool and there are literally hundreds of different television channels to choose from – all tailored to personal interest. Some examples are Food Network, Discovery, HGTV, Treehouse, etc.
It’s All Relative
Television is a communication tool, Treehouse TV is the channel, the demographic (for simplicity-sake) is children under five, the message is in a form of a video (known as a “commercial”).
Social Media is a communication tool, YouTube is the channel, the demographic can be segmented into any interest imaginable, the message is a form of a video (known as a “video ad”).
Notice the difference? Television makes it easy to determine who your audience is, whereas social media requires research, understanding, and a strategy. You wouldn’t post a video tailored to young adults on Treehouse TV, would you?
Social Channel: Google Plus
So back to my original argument of Google+ and it emerging victorious in 2013. Everyone (including myself) has made fun of the channel at some point or another. Perhaps you called it useless, maybe you didn’t want to manage another social media channel, or it was pointless because nobody was using it.
DO NOT underestimate Google Plus, because this channel contains a power far greater than that of Facebook or Twitter. They have the power of Google Search. Each channel (whatever it is) is relevant in their own way, and Google Plus has the upper-hand with Search Engine Optimization.
One of the key phrases (pun intended) that I keep hearing from clients is “I want to be number one on Google!”
Sure, there’s a myriad of things you need to do before you even consider driving traffic to your website – the biggest being the quality of your content, but if you believe the user experience is where it needs to be and you want to dabble in social media I recommend Google Plus as your starting page. Learn the in’s and out’s, become active, and get your customers to review your business. Those active on Google Plus are going to be weighted heavier in search rankings than those who don’t.
UPDATE 1 (01/13/13): I wrote this post a couple days ago, in that time, Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz.org tested to see if “sharing on Google Plus gets indexed.” Guess what? It did after 20 minutes. I’m not allowed to share the link he used, however, I can share with you the Google Plus post he used to test this theory, and theGoogle Search results.
UPDATE 2 (01/13/13): Another Google Plus’er, Brandon Hassler, decided to try this out for himself. Here his the Google Plus post he used for his counter-test, and here are theGoogle Search results. At the time of this specific update, it’s been well over an hour with no indexing results. While it is possible that Rand has a higher page rank than Brandon, I’ll be following this test to see the final results.