Pros and Cons of Google Plus for Small Business

Google Plus

One of the undisputed truths of present-day digital marketing is the fact that, no matter the size, every business needs to be present on social networks. In fact, most businesses (especially in the retail industry) start their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts long before they ever make a website.

In this particular case, some of them start selling products via these platforms instead of making an e-commerce platform. However, what about Google+? Sure, this network seems like it's getting momentum and increasing your presence here is a low-cost activity, still, is the effort invested in increasing your reach over this platform actually worth it? Let's find out!

1. Great for networking

Even in the 21st century, there's no small amount of stigma regarding various networks. For instance, sending a unique B2B proposal through Facebook Messenger or Instagram DM is considered to be unprofessional. On the other hand, doing the same thing (sending an identical proposal) through an email or LinkedIn is something else entirely.

When it comes to it, Google+ is somewhere in between, which means that it can be a potent networking tool for tackling semi-formal issues regarding your business. To make the long story short, when it comes to networking, Google+ provides a practical business value in identifying and reaching out to your market, which directly results in increased networking capabilities.

2. Influencing search position

Even though Facebook and Instagram may be larger and more popular networks than Google+, it is not that hard to believe that there is a certain degree of bias, when it comes to influencing search position that comes from having a great Google+ account. However, it is not enough to simply have a Google+ account, you have to constantly expand your circles and your context needs to be properly indexed. In other words, even though it is possible for your Google+ efforts to boost your SEO, they aren't able to give you a rank boost of its own.

To make the long story short, Google+ activity is a powerful supplementation to your search position improvement activities, yet, it is not as potent as a stand-alone method. It still has to follow up with traditional SEO and local SEO efforts.

3. Segment different demographics

Another massive boost that one gets from Google+ lies in the fact that this platform is specifically designed to allow you to segment different demographics. Imagine yourself as an author who writes two completely different types of fiction (Sci-Fi and historical fiction). It isn't far-fetched to assume that promotion of one of these genres might harm the other.

Even though this allegory might not be 100 percent transferable to the SMB-related scenario, trying to peddle two completely disassociated products might be confusing for your general audience. Luckily, with Google+, you can share specific content with specific audiences, therefore, targeting single demographic with ease.

4. Hangouts

One of the reasons Google, as a brand is currently so predominant in a business world is due to the fact that it allows you to access so many different platforms from a single interface. For instance, in the past, there was a much tougher competition between Outlook, Yahoo Mail and Gmail, while, today, the favor heavily lies with Google's mailing service. As for the browser of choice, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer were equally dominant in the digital world, until Chrome managed to dethrone them all, one by one.

Nowadays, Google is pushing its own IM software and all those believing that it can't possibly stand up to Facebook Messenger, Skype and Viber are in for yet another surprise. All in all, the potential behind Google Hangouts alone should be enough to make any time investment in Google+ worth your while.

5. Incredibly simple setup

Even though it would be ridiculous to claim that any major social network has particularly difficult setup, Google+ pushes this even further. You see, most SMBs and individuals already have a Google Account, from here, there's only a few-steps-long-process until your system is fully operational. When taken into consideration how many social media profiles you currently have to micro-manage, this can sometimes be a deal-breaker, as incredible as it sounds.

6. Downsides

At the very end, it is important that we talk about the downsides of Google+. First of all, even with all the talk about growing and benefits, you need to keep in mind that Google+ is still significantly smaller than its counterparts such as Facebook and Twitter. That being said, one can expect a massive growth in popularity somewhere in the future, yet, at this very moment, numbers are still quite modest (when compared to these other networks). Apart from this, you get yet another social network to worry about, which can be quite a problem, considering the fact that you already have so many platforms to tend to.

In conclusion

As you can see, the advantages of using Google+ are numerous, while disadvantages are quite situational. First of all, establishing a presence on Google+ takes only effort and time and not a financial investment, which is quite convenient for SMBs looking to expand while remaining frugal. Sure, adding one more item to your to-do list may seem like a bit overwhelming, yet, running a successful small business was never supposed to be easy in the first place.

As for the low reach, you need to keep in mind that this only matters in a situation where you are forced to prioritize. Needless to say, during initial stages of your business, your overall workload won't be so significant to allow this to become a serious problem.

Guest Author

David Koller

David Koller is a passionate blogger and copywriter for Media Gurus, mainly interested in SEO and Digital Marketing.