We are approaching the 2nd anniversary of Google+ (late in June). Two years old already? Phew, time flies and it’s so cute and cuddly.
But there are still plenty of questions. The questions are less about number of people who are there and more to do about interaction and engagement. Well, it least it seems that way but if the information from this eMarketer article that focuses on research done by the Social Media Examiner is any indication it could be about what TYPE of people are there.
The following chart shows how SMB’s (small-medium business) view Google+ in the pecking order of social media platforms. If you are Google this should be a pretty serious red flag.
Of course, this begs the question “Is this how businesses in general see Google+?” I would posit that Google+ is truly valuable to larger businesses. Why? Because they have the resources to take advantage of what Google+ offers a business in terms of its SEO efforts.
Optimizing your Google+ presence can be a boon to organic search results. Most will agree with that. But optimizing your Google+ presence requires the usual resources that most SMB’s struggle with which is people, time and money. SMB’s often don’t do what many see as what is best for them in marketing because they simply don’t have these resources. Sadly though it goes even deeper because most don’t even have the knowledge of what Google+ is and why it can be valuable. Simply knowing what they are missing is the first step.
I wonder what Google has done lately with its special market pushes that were around Google Places? In the past few years markets like Charlotte, NC had community managers put in the city in order to raise awareness amongst the SMB community of these kinds of opportunities to market through Google. There has been little, if any, reporting of the success (or lack thereof) of that program. Since we are not hearing about it I suspect it has gone flat. Would anyone from Google like to fill us in?
In the end, those who market to SMB’s are constantly trying to figure out how to get their attention and let them know what is available to them. Direct marketing to the SMB themselves is not what will work, in my opinion. If Google wants Google+ to get higher adoption and just better recognition amongst SMBs it will have to work with the consultants and agencies that have these businesses’ ears.
Will they? Can they? I am betting on no. There will be talk and great intentions but the resources needed for such a movement (which is what is required, a sea change kind of movement to get traction) won’t be applied. Why? I don’t know. It’s a gut feeling and I reserve the right to be completely worng. In fact, I hope I am.
So do you have an answer to the “How do you truly reach the SMB market?” question? If you do, why not offer it up in the comments to get the ball rolling?