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GOOGLE+ OVERVIEW AND STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATION AN MWW GROUP WHITE PAPER WINTER 2012


GOOGLE+ OVERVIEW AND STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATION

Google has recently launched a new social product called Google+. Initially touted as a “Facebook killer,” more recent comparisons place it in competition with services including LinkedIn and Twitter. While the jury is still out on its place in the market, we wanted to make sure that we shared the latest news about this new social network along with our thoughts and recommendations. © MWW GROUP, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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GOOGLE+ OVERVIEW AND STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATION

GOOGLE+ CONSISTS OF A HANDFUL OF SOCIAL “PRODUCTS” INCLUDING: STREAM The Newsfeed

SPARKS Recommendation Engine

HANGOUTS Video Chat Service

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GOOGLE+ OVERVIEW AND STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATION

GOOGLE+ CONSISTS OF A HANDFUL OF SOCIAL “PRODUCTS” INCLUDING: MESSENGER Group Texting Service

CIRCLES A friend management service which allows easy management of various personas with different audiences.

PHOTOS

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GOOGLE+ OVERVIEW AND STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATION

WHAT IT IS: Google+ is similar to other social networks in that users and businesses have profiles, are friends with people, share content and follow other people’s content through a newsfeed. One primary differentiator is the ease of being able to sort your contacts into different “circles” such as “family,” “friends,” “work friends,” etc.

© MWW GROUP, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

While the platform’s initial buzz indicated that it was a potential rival to Facebook, the hype and user activity on the platform has since subsided and Facebook still remains vastly ahead in terms of users and usage. (Facebook boasts about 750 million users, while Google+ has approximately 45 million, and even though exact usage statistics aren’t public, every indication is that users spend significantly more time on Facebook.) As the platform continues to develop, it also positions itself as competition to LinkedIn and Twitter in terms of functionality and intent of use.

MWW believes that the initial buzz about the platform was due largely to an early adopter/tech/influencer echo chamber that caused a level of chatter disproportionate to its actual level of general user interest and penetration. This is backed by the fact that the amount of public posts has dropped approximately 41% from July to September.

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GOOGLE+ OVERVIEW AND STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATION

WHAT IT MEANS FOR BUSINESSES: Google has just released Google+ pages for businesses and brands. This gives consumers an opportunity to build relationships with the things they care about, not just the people. We believe Google+’s unique “Circles” functionality will be instrumental in how brands target certain messages to specific audiences. A brand can create one circle for highly engaged fans and another for fans who are less likely to engage. Thus, the tone of each message can be customized to target various Circles, while still remaining

on brand. This is a great way to speak in an appropriate voice to different segments of your customer base. “Hangouts” also have the potential to be instrumental on brand pages. Brands can use the video chat feature to connect with customers on varying topics. Everything from announcing new products to live tutorials to online Q&As with senior executives can be accomplished.

We believe Google+’s unique “Circles” functionality will be instrumental in how brands target certain messages to specific audiences…This is a great way to speak in an appropriate voice to different segments of your customer base.

© MWW GROUP, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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GOOGLE+ OVERVIEW AND STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATION

Early-adopter brands that were quick to use platforms such as Facebook and Twitter were able to gain valuable learnings and build their fan bases. While there are mixed indicators as to how successful Google+ will prove to be in becoming a primary social network, it’s far too early to count Google out. Given the 45 million sign-ups, the unique functionality, and the fact that it’s Google, MWW recommends that brands devote adequate resources to building a presence on Google+. While this requires fresh content and continued community management, it is another opportunity to reach a base of consumers and engage them around your brand. MWW will continue to monitor news and provide counsel as it becomes clearer how brands and consumers engage with one another on the platform. The expectation of consumers is t o find their most beloved brands on social platforms, especially on Google+ in light of the business/ brand page announcement.

© MWW GROUP, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

As Google accounts for more than 80% of all search generated traffic on the internet, Google+ will be extremely important when it comes to search engine optimization. In regards to Google+, there is a significant search algorithm trust factor in what is being shared within the network because of its inherent anti-spam quality. Google’s access to information on users based on their connections, what they share and what they discuss build a level of authenticity and authority that is difficult to measure outside of the Google ecosystem. Google tackles this problem through the development of the +1 share button which ranks the popularity of online

content but also ties it back to a Google+ account. Using both Google+ and the +1 button, Google is expected to rely more on this authentic sharing and voting on content and factor into how websites are ranked for any given key phrase. Ensuring our client web properties are optimized for Google+ sharing through the +1 button should be the immediate next step. A Google+ profile will be essential in allowing consumers to bucket the company into appropriate “Circles” where the brand is most relevant to their lives and help position clients on related search keywords.

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MWW is excited about the changes that are coming and see this as a tremendous opportunity to increase visibility for brands across the platform. Google+’s continued changes will give brands new opportunities to cultivate real and engaging relationships with consumer for many years to come.

We look forward to continuing to work with our clients to navigate the ever-changing world of social media and, as always, we will keep our clients posted on new updates as soon as we receive them.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

David Herrick

Chief Operating Officer 212.704.9727 | dherrick@mww.com

Mitzi Emrich

Chief Social Media Strategist 646.837.9418 | memrich@mww.com

MWW Group

304 Park Avenue South, 8th Floor New York, NY 10010

EAST RUTHERFORD / CHICAGO / DALLAS / LONDON / LOS ANGELES / NEW YORK / SAN FRANCISCO / SEATTLE / TRENTON / WASHINGTON D.C.


Google+ Overview and Strategic Recommendation  

Google recently launched a new social product called Google+. Initially touted as a “Facebook killer,” more recent comparisons place it in c...

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