Digital marketers had to battle their way through a lot of challenges in 2013. Content became the wave of the future, and everyone wanted to get a lot of links. Then Google decided to put a stop (or at least add more challenges) to that game. Facebook made what seems like countless updates to their algorithm causing many a marketer to pull their hair out, and don’t forget the rise of images and differential media with unbelievable growth realized by innovators like Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine.
In the midst of all the changes, are marketers missing out on opportunities with developed digital properties that already have huge numbers of active users? LinkedIn and Google+ both have their advantages and downfalls, but many businesses are not actively integrating these networks as a part of their social strategy. Consider the following points when weighing the value of these networks for your company.
Considering that there are currently more than 259 million users on LinkedIn now with more than 184 million of them logging on each month, it’s safe to say that most people reading this article have at least some familiarity with the network. Many people have created a profile and treat the network as a resume or occasionally reach out to connect with their colleagues, but this strategy ignores a LOT of opportunities to cultivate new relationships that can turn into revenue.
Consider that businesses find 3X higher visitor-to-conversion rates than Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn members are 50% more likely to purchase from companies that they engage with on LinkedIn. That sounds like pretty good evidence to justify spending some time on LinkedIn each week to cultivate your network. If nothing else, make an effort to share your blog posts on your company’s LinkedIn page and your personal LinkedIn accounts. Including these links can increase engagement by as much as 200% and drive traffic to your website. Joining relevant LinkedIn groups can give you an opportunity to share your posts in front of an exponentially larger audience. Sharing your blog posts on LinkedIn can increase engagement by as much as 200%
I’ve written a couple other posts on CopyPressed about Google+, and I’m perfectly aware of the fact that most people consider the network to be a joke. My consistent response to this logic is simply, “It’s Google!” Do you really think Google is going to give up on Google+ any time soon? They are continually integrating the technology available in the network into countless other programs that we use every day. Did you know that you will soon (if you can’t already) be able to reach people’s inboxes even if you don’t know their email address thanks to Google+’s integration with Gmail?
The numbers on Google+ are always heavily debated because a lot of the registered users don’t regularly (or ever) use the service. However, know that there are many millions of active users of the network. Not only are the numbers growing, but the network allows you lots of options for sharing content, and creative marketers will find new methods to take advantage of the connection with all the other “essential to daily life” products that Google owns.
Once again, if nothing else, add Google+ to the list of places that you are sharing your blog content. As more and more users become disenfranchised with their preferred networks, many will stumble over to G+ for the convenience of having everything under one login.
So, what’s the answer to the question I posed in the title? Maybe it was a trick question, because the real answer is you should use both in 2014. While many of the new networks offer shiny cool features and are riding the wave of millions of people jumping on the trends, not all businesses can justify dedicating time and energy to having a presence on all these sites. However, LinkedIn and Google+ offer businesses the opportunity to easily share many types of content to a focused group of users and build quality relationships. Create your company accounts, add them to Hootsuite, and expand your reach in 2014. Seriously.