Changes to Google+ and What They Mean For B2B Social Media Strategy
Is Google+ dead? As far as social media networks go, it’s never been as robust or popular as Facebook or Twitter, so some people have been asking this question for a while. But this time, there might be some truth to the reports that Google+ is on its last legs. Google has made some changes to Google+ over the past year that should affect your B2B social media strategy and change the way you use the social network.
Over the past year, Google has taken many steps to distance itself from the network. The main champion of Google+, Vic Gundotra, resigned in 2014, and his successor, Bradley Horowitz, announced that he was splitting the network into two new services called Photos and Streams. Google no longer requires a Google+ sign-in to comment or post on Youtube. They removed the section “Recent Posts on Google+” in Knowledge Graph search results. And they’ve eliminated the Google+ extension in AdWords, meaning that you can no longer showcase your Google+ follower count in ads about your business. All these actions point in the same direction: Google no longer considers Google+ a priority.
Many marketers have made Google+ a priority, however—it’s a key part of much B2B social media strategy. With Google de-emphasizing its social network, what should B2B marketers do?
Marketers should refrain from deleting their company profiles or leaving Google+ completely. While its utility as a social network is growing limited, Google still uses information posted there to provide accurate results about your company in search. Make sure that your company information stays up-to-date on your Google+ profile. And feel free to continue posting to Google+ like you did before, especially if you had a strong network of connections.
However, if you never experienced much success using Google+, don’t worry about crafting a strategy to gain more followers. You’ll get a better ROI if you spend your time on social media networks that are still supported by their creators. Just as Google has de-prioritized promoting Google+, B2B marketers should de-prioritize using Google+ to cultivate leads, engage with customers, or establish brand identity.
Google+ may not be officially dead, but it’s certainly on its way out. Take this opportunity, especially at the beginning of this new year, to revisit your B2B social media strategy and make sure you’re truly using social networks to your advantage.