Friday, July 13, 2012

Google+ Introduction For Marketers

Up until now, selling directly to fans and followers came in four flavors:

  1. Set up a web catalog and drive traffic to it.
  2. Build and manage an email list with offers.
  3. Set up a Facebook page and post offers to your Facebook stream.
  4. Insert offers into Twitter posts.
As if these weren't enough to worry about, now Google has released new versions of Google+ for the web, Android, iPad and iPhone.  These are now roughly equivalent in functionality, which means you can easily post or broadcast from anywhere, anytime.

Google+ is a different beast for Sellers.  When you create a Facebook "friend", they "accept" you and it's a two-way connection.  Google is more like Twitter in that you can "follow" anyone and they can "follow" you by "adding" you to their "circles".  So, the goal is to be in as many circles as possible.  Then, when you post something it will appear in the stream of the people who are following you.

Here is a very quick tutorial from the Traffic Generation Cafe.  And Forbes ran an article and video of an artist using Google+ exclusively as their marketing vehicle.

The wild-cards that makes Google+ transformative right now are "hangouts".  Think of it as Skype that works on smartphones and PCs.  You can have interactive video chats with up to 9 people that can also be viewed in real-time through YouTube.  Also, Google+ lets you set up "Pages" for events or brands, and these have their own news feed, hangouts and circles.  Finally, the search function makes it possible to find old posts easily and for your posts to be discovered.

We think it's possible to build businesses around Google+.  Of course, Bitmenu links format nicely within Google+ posts!