The social media playground is being run by the big kids now.
With SM playing an ever-larger role in consumer sight, companies are scurrying to install innovation to draw new users. Recent numbers tell the story: Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest, all one-time “small fry,” now draw 55 million, 50 million, and 12 million users, respectively. Pinterest now beats Twitter, Bing, Google non-organic traffic, and Bing in sheer volume. If SMM marketers aren’t members of these communities already, these numbers are sure to attract the top social media marketing companies who are out of touch.
This means that some of the seasoned veterans are losing ground. Facebook once averaged 9.25 external referrals a day, but since the advent of Google+, this number is down to 4.52—a 51 percent drop in volume. Critics of the new Facebook page format argue that this is not just because of Google’s release but customer dissatisfaction with the unwanted “timeline” Facebook foisted on members.
Mountain View Giant has something to say about Google+ and its recent rise in popularity
1. Content recommendations uneven but growing. Google claims that users and content creators have both clamored for the “other recommended pages” option that provides users with relevant cross-content. However, there are potential difficulties: not all pages include the rollover feature, and users must be logged in to take advantage. Further, no one seems to know exactly what drives the content connection, and Google is not telling at this point.
+1 recommendations have these advantages:
- They benefit users with ease of access to relevant content and boost site traffic.
- They provide a gentle push toward social media platforms.
- They promote Google+ use with the promise of a useful function.
2. Easy translations. You can now translate without leaving the page, removing language barriers that slow down social media interaction with friends around the world. Users can now add the Translate for Google+ icon to their pages; this icon appears under each post and allows for instant translation.
3. Google+ goes iPad. It seemed almost inevitable—Google+ had to come up with an app for iPad, and the company came through in style. However, observers warn that trying to advertise without thumbnails or images is going to be counterproductive, at least at this point. Google+ wants a visual app to compete in the visual environments of platforms like Pinterest, so non-imaged ads appear to fade into the background. The iPad Google+ features include:
- The ability to pinch and expand mid-stream to share instant content.
- Users can drag and drop with two fingers from stream to share box, then choose which circles see the content.
- Hangouts with up to nine friends can be started on iPad and streamed to TV. The “real feel” of Hangouts almost make users forget they are not in the same room. The Hangouts On Air feature allows users to save video messages to You Tube or to interact with anyone online.
The implications for brands considering how to invest in social media advertising are numerous. Google+ will provide them with the ability to quickly get content to a larger audience, increase traffic to a Google+ page, improve audience engagement, and improve social media presence.
Google has not done much about promoting its own product at this point. There are no current ads inside Google+, although Google has recently increased overall advertising dollars online and on television.
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