Should Your Business Still Be on Google+?
Recently, a client asked me if it was worth keep her Google+ business page. I’ve been helping her create and share content on her social media platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn). And while we were getting decent traction on those platforms, not much was happening on Google+.
So I did some research.
The Big Push to Get on Google+
When Google launched Google+ in 2011, it was the new shiny thing in social media. Google would use it to compete head to head with Facebook and Twitter, and they would (in a sense) strong-arm everyone into joining.
And it seemed to work, initially. The promise of a growing community and potential organic search benefits prompted many business users to sign up.
But then, nothing happened. Few users really dug into it. As a result, in platform has been redesigned and some popular features (such as Hangouts and Photos) spun off as separate applications.
So Google+ remains. But it’s a pretty quiet place.
Is it Time to Kill Your Google+ Business Page?
Does all this mean it’s time to delete your Google+ page? The answer, as usual, is “it depends.”
To find out whether deleting the account makes sense for your business, I suggest the following steps:
1. Take a closer look at your Google+ account
How much traction are you getting? How many people have you in their circles? How many comments, shares and +1s have you had in the past few months?
If you’re asking whether you should delete your account, my guess is it’s probably pretty quiet.
2. Find out if your customers and/or prospects are on Google+
Different social media platforms appeal to different audiences. If your target market (or a decent segment of it) is on Google+ then it’s probably worth your while to remain active on it.
Research some existing customers and see if they’re on Google+ and how active they are.
If you find a decent amount of activity, then maybe you need to put more time into leveraging the platform, not less.
3. Look at your own analytics
Is Google+ driving traffic to your website? Vice versa? A closer examination of your website analytics might give you some clues.
4. Evaluate the importance of search to your business
One of the primary benefits of joining Google+ in the first place was a boost to organic search. (This article in Social Media Examiner delves into the topic of Google+ and organic search in more detail.)
I wasn’t able to find any definitive answer on how much impact Google+ has on organic search today. But if organic search is critical to your business, you may not want to mess with it.
5. Consider how else you could utilize Google+ resources
Take into consideration the opportunity costs of staying on Google+. If another social media platform looks promising or is giving you good traction, they you may do better to divert your Google+ resources there.
But remember: If you decide to delete your Google+ business page, you’ll also need to update your website to remove any Google+ links, icons and feeds.
A Cautious Middle Ground
So what did my client and I decide to do, ultimately? We chose the cautious middle ground of diverting my time and efforts from Google+ to Twitter and LinkedIn while also keeping the Google+ page around (albeit inactive)—at least for now.
We plan to pick up the discussion again in a few months and decide how to proceed from there.