Google’s ongoing efforts to push its social network’s exposure simply cannot be ignored. After having updated its Google+ Android app last month, the networks’ mobile users were treated to flashy new animations and larger displays for profile images. At that time, Google also announced that an update for the iOS version of Google+ was already in the works and would arrive with some additional functionality.
The promised update actually ended up coming out today and, for the most part, it features pretty much exactly what has already been seen in the Android version. On both iPhone and iPad, Google+ users can expect to experience a more attractive user interface that puts the emphasis on profile content above UI elements and the like. Additionally, the new update adds further support for multi-touch capabilities and integrates Apple TV into the device for Google Hangouts. Google has also promised that future updates will add in Google Events features.
Capturing that Vital Mobile Market
Although Google+ continues to struggle in its attempts to catch up to Facebook’s average monthly sign-up rate, Google is taking the right steps in trying to capture that market. Aside from the obvious benefits of a cleaner looking and better operating interface, the new update to the company’s social network is sure to take advantage of the eye-catching retina displays seen in Apple’s newest line of products. Seeing as every new buyer of the iPad 3 and Macbook Pro is looking for that killer app to show off their beautiful screens, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more people download the newest Google+ app even if as just a show piece.
As any successful social media company knows, getting people to take notice of a site is the essential first step to gaining conversion rates and increasing unique visitor traffic. Even if the initial download of the updated app is due to little more than curiosity or passing whim, Google+ now stands to improve its reputation with Apple users. As a result of this, those companies that are currently listed on the company’s social network could gain more attention in turn. What matters is that business get listed on Google+ before Apple users move on to the next big thing.
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Should your local business rely on search engine optimization or engage in social media optimization? Both are strong, online marketing initiatives, but data released by the Pew Internet & American Life Foundation show this may influence some local businesses to deemphasize SMO. It seems consumers, interviewed by land and cell phone lines, reported levering social media only 1% of the time to find information about local business, ostensibly making social media an ineffective marketing tool.
I think the report may misrepresent the importance of social media and does not give the marketing process the credit it deserves. Sterling concludes his post by mentioning social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, have a long way to go before they can adequately help local small businesses.
To begin, let’s not forget the traffic of social media platforms. We saw Facebook trump Google in 2010. The numbers are there for local businesses to attract.
Available traffic is not the problem; it may be the other way around. Perhaps a large number of small businesses, within a waning economy, have not taken part in social media…yet. Search engine optimization preceded social media optimization; more businesses have made investments in the former online marketing objective. Maybe more users leverage SEs rather than social media because there’s a greater chance of finding desired information there…for now. Local businesses are on the SERPs, yet not enough are engaging in social media optimization…yet. Just about every business has a Web site; only a small number of them engage in social media.
Social Media Influences SERPs
Social media influences the SERPs, creating another reason not to shy from SMO and social media participation. We’re seeing a shift in the SERPs. The process of search engine optimization, making brands more prevalent on SERPs, is beginning to incorporate and place more emphasis on social media optimization and participation as well as reputation management, or building a brand’s online authority.
Social Paid Search
Additionally, social media sites, like Twitter and LinkedIn, are offering social paid search opportunities. Will these paid ad opportunities help local small businesses? I believe it will. Don’t give social media the cold shoulder, local business owners. See the forest through the trees. Successful brands are in it for the long-term, leveraging social media platforms, using multiple online marketing tools at hand to increase exposure.