Hello, and welcome to our final thoughts on Google Plus. Thanks to those who’ve been keeping up to date with this series, we hope you’ve enjoyed the content and found it insightful. For those of you who’ve just joined us, each week we’ve been sharing thoughts on the social network, around how employers can make best use of this largely overlooked channel, to become more social, personal, human and ultimately more valuable to the people they hope to begin a conversation with.
Let’s start off with a quick re-cap.
Google Plus has a big user base. Surprisingly big, in fact. It’s now the second largest of the lot and is growing faster than its competitors. It’s predicted to outgrow Facebook in 2016.
It’s not too hard to understand why – it has some really useful and unique features that may just be the difference when it comes to building your employer reputation in the social space.
We’ve already talked about how Circles help you be more personal, how Hangouts help you be more human and how Communities can help you become more valuable. So what else is it keeping up its sleeve?
Well, there is one last hidden gem that Google Plus offers. It’s not as obvious as the ones we’ve mentioned, and you probably have no idea it exists unless you’re a bit of a techie.
If you want your website to appear on page one of someone’s search, Google Plus can help. And here’s how…
Google Plus content is treated exactly the same as a regular page on the web. Meaning it will appear in any Google search. And as Google is keen to give priority to content that has validation, it can also gain in page rank. How does that happen? Well, social networks are populated by real people who share, re-tweet, +1 and Like. These are called social signals and Google’s search engine watches these signals like a hawk, which help dictate popularity of content and thus search rankings. So if you share something with your community, and it receives plenty of +1’s, Google will automatically give that priority in any Google search.
Let’s put this into context. You’re a law firm that’s looking to engage talent earlier. You’ve created your own community for law students in their first year and you’re regularly sharing content, writing blogs and delivering thought leadership on all things legal. There’s a high level of interaction because you’re using Circles and Hangouts to deliver personalised content to the community and, as a result, you’re having meaningful, two-way conversations. Naturally, people +1 your content, share and then re-share (which you can monitor with Google Ripples… remember?) with their own Circles and Communities.
Now, let’s take Sarah, an 18-year-old who’s just finished her A Levels and is interested in a career in law. She wants to join a graduate scheme but is unsure which firms would be right for her. She decides to do a Google search: “Undergraduate law firm internships”.
Google begins to send out the crawlers and the usual suspects come back – such as ratemyplacement.co.uk, summerinternships.co.uk – but then your page appears three spots down.
You’ve not done anything extraordinary in terms of SEOing your site; you’ve not paid for sponsored Ads or Pay Per Click campaigns. Quite simply, Google has given you priority because of your effective use of Google Plus.
And why wouldn’t it? It’s a Google product!
Naturally, Sarah sees that this must be directly related to her search and decides to check out your page. Of course, she finds a wealth of information there to help her along her journey, and people in the same position as her from all over the world. Naturally, she decides to take part in the conversation and turn to your firm as a source of advice, comfort and thought leadership.
In today’s crowded marketplace, being visible is half the battle won. In a world where employers are trying to shout louder and harder to get their message heard, surely it makes sense to make best use of the tools available and begin to build conversations that count, in a more effective (and cost effective!) way.
Please do let us know what you think and of course, feel free to share thoughts on whether you think Google Plus offers businesses a new dynamic – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Don’t forget to like and follow us for more content. We’ll be back next week to share more tonicthinking around employer reputation.
Thanks for reading!