This holiday weekend, I promised myself that I’d lay off the iPad, iPhone and other (smart) screens while enjoying the company of friends and taking in the views of Newfound Lake in New Hampshire. Instead, I found myself sneaking away from manning the grill to view my stream on Google+. I wrote about Google+ when it launched earlier this year, but it’s only now that the pieces are coming together.
Aside from the intuitive interface that allows you to find your friends, assign them to “circles” and then share relevant content with them “in a way that makes clear and obvious sense,” the new social networking platform poses many opportunities for marketers. I’ll admit that I’m enjoying the ad-less experience and if you received the coveted invite, you know what I’m talking about. However, it’s been confirmed that there will be small business profile pages launching that will be “great,” according to Google VP of Local and Commerce Jeff Huber. So, it’s only a matter of time before brands begin hawking their wares on the platform and you should be thinking one step ahead of that.
One interesting blog post that popped up in my stream this weekend was from someone in one of my circles, Chris Brogan, and his 50 ideas and observations of what Google+ might become. His article talked about many integrations that would be useful for users, from WordPress comment integration to Google Calendar for social calendaring. If you’re like me and prefer not to log into too many sites, then you’ll smile when Chris posits that you “don’t need Quora, if you can ask detailed questions in G+ and share them with specific circles.” Google+ seamlessly simplifies what, until now, has required multiple logins for me to accomplish.
Below are 10 of Chris’s ideas and observations to help stimulate the marketing juices:
Your “about” section is rich, robust, allows links, photos, QR codes, and more. Marketers rejoice.
If Google+ starts influencing PageRank (meaning, if a link shared on G+ is weighted more than others), it’s game on for SEO/SEM.
If Google Music integrates into this platform the way YouTube is now, it’s a powerful entertainment media platform instantly.
With G+ seeing our comment streams, their ability to better plot social graphs and integrate AdSense and maybe even Google Affiliate opportunities is huge.
Google+ is perfectly configured to run social customer service, if only they allowed baked in search capabilities akin to search.twitter.com.
If you enable location on your mobile device, G+ creates circles by “nearby,” thus allowing for instant location-centric social networks.
If G+ did something special with QR and empowered more location-focused media delivery, then you’d have a powerful media/marketing opportunity right there.
Google+ would be the ultimate environment for ethical affiliate marketing, if the concept of “objects” or “things” existed. Meaning, if I could say, “I’m enjoying my new !TDK Boombox! today,” and that use of !! became a link that paid me a few bucks if someone bought a TDK boombox after my recommendation, that would be nifty for some.
Small businesses would benefit from an integration of Places, Pages, and Google+. That whole social customer service movement? Pow. Done. Easy.
The notion of “trending topics” would be exponentially more valuable inside of Google+, depending on how the algorithms reflected this.
Have you used Google+? Do you think it has a future as a powerful social network or will it go the way of Buzz and Wave?