How many of you have written off Google+ as a viable social network? I’ll admit, while I do enjoy a lot about the platform, each time I log in, I think to myself, “Well, this is great if all you want to see are posts about Google+ and SEO from other internet marketing folks.” It just seems like there’s little usage outside of the web marketing world.
Despite that, there’s an increasing thirst for knowledge about Google+ coming from business owners. Many have heard — correctly — that Google takes social signals from its own social network into high consideration when ranking a search engine page. Make your content more share-worthy on Google+ and you have a better chance of gaining organic search benefits from doing so. Maybe it’s because the tipping point for the network to move beyond just the tech circle is beginning to happen. But for whatever reason, I keep hearing more and more questions and curiosity about the nascent network.
This week, the GlobalWebIndex’s quarterly report of social network usage shed some light on another reason we all may have more reason to spend time on Google+. It turns out that while Google+ is still lagging behind Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even Pinterest in terms of active usage in North America, it is holding its own with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in the Middle East and Africa, Latin America and the Asia Pacific regions.
Source: GlobalWebIndexQ2 2013, Question:Which of the following services have you used or contributed to in the past month?; Base% of global internet users
Google+ is making a stab at marketshare internationally.
Certainly, for small businesses, this is rather irrelevant. But for medium and large, particularly those with audiences overseas, it brings to the forefront a legitimate reason to pay closer attention to Google+ and what its use can do for your marketing efforts.
Further, GlobalWebIndex reports that social networkers in developing nations are more likely to be on Google+ than other networks. There’s something to having that big, global and significantly older brand behind your efforts, apparently.
A cursory read of some of the detail in GlobalWebIndex’s report shows that Google+’s appealing interface on tablet and mobile devices is driving increased activities for social networkers like one-to-one messaging, watching video clips and sharing photos.
Honestly, if you can find a circle of friends (pun or not) with which to share information, or can develop an active audience with which to communicate on Google+, the functionality is quite compelling compared to other networks. Google+ is a nice confluence of what’s good about Twitter (short messaging, either private or public), Facebook (compelling photo and video sharing) and LinkedIn (the network is more intuitively setup for professional connections rather than personal ones) with some added bonuses like Google Hangouts.
For a business, though, it’s all about finding the audience there. Unless yours is the tech market in the U.S., you’re probably not going to want to prioritize Google+. But if you see opportunity abroad, it might be time to break out the circles.
More from the GlobalWebIndex can be found on its website.