You might think you’ve seen enough of social marketing with Facebook and Twitter, but the
latest big thing is Google+. Now, you may or may not be a fan of social media marketing and looking at the evidence, it does seem to be more effective for big brands rather than small and medium sized businesses. However Google+ has a few advantages worth considering.
One of the main reasons you should keep an eye on Google+ is that it is indexed by Google itself — the biggest search engine in the world. It has a lot of integration points such as Google Places and will develop further services in the future. It is essentially a social networking platform that is likely to be the next big thing — I’ve heard it said that it is cleaner than Facebook and more engaging than Twitter. It has great potential as a communication tool and as a way to get more traffic to your site.
So what makes Google+ so different to the rest of the social media sites? Well, mainly it is that Facebook is not indexed by Google search results. This means that everything that happens inside Facebook stays there.
Also, Facebook and Linkedin are both set up as more of an exclusive model — meaning that you have to connect with others you know. This is why companies push so hard for ‘Likes’. Google indexes all public posts on Google+ and it is a great platform for pictures and images.
Finally, Google+ is developing parts of the site for business, and it pays to get in early on the action if you think this is something that might work your business. I have heard some good reports that Google+ can deliver more traffic to your site than most of the other social media sites.
An alternative to Google’s AdSense program
A new report suggests that Daily Deal sites may be a new way to advertize — an alternative to Google’s AdSense program. Ads placed on other site’s webpages through Google’s AdSense account for some $2.43 billion of their revenue (28.3 percent), and this is up 19 percent year over year. Much of this success is because there is a lack of competition in this area.
However, the report suggests that the Daily Deal sites could evolve as an alternative to AdSense because they could start placing deals on other site’s webpages. The report says that they could become more intelligent and sophisticated and be better at getting consumers excited about daily offers. There is a huge opportunity for this strategy to evolve and become more personalized.
Sophisticated mobile apps
Already, Groupon and Living Social are working on leverage for mobile applications to personalixe promotions on where the consumer is geographically at any given moment. Groupon’s mobile app has localixed a ‘Groupon Now’ feature that allows consumers to click on relevant offers based on the time of day and their location. Living Social is also testing its Instant Deals, a new feature of its mobile app that allows users to search the deals within a half mile radius of their current location.
The report believes that this may become as pervasive as AdSense on the Internet, changing the market share. It also suggests that Living Social will overtake Groupon as the leader in this new trend because it gets a significantly larger share of its traffic from Facebook – 17.4 percent at present, compared to 10.1 percent of Groupon’s traffic. Social media is likely to play a big part in generating traffic, particularly viral offers that gave consumers a free voucher if they refer three friends who buy an offer. Facebook is a popular way to share these offers — in fact, 19.8 percent of visitors leaving Living Social click onto Facebook.
Different target markets
Incidentally, if you are thinking of getting involved with the Daily Deal sites as a marketing strategy, Living Social have a younger audience than Groupon and their market ranges widely in age, education and geographic location, according to research from Nielsen Co, which measures online activity.
Visitors to Living Social are 49 percent more likely than the average Internet consumer to earn $150,000 or more per year, compared to 30 percent more likely for Groupon’s visitors. Living Social’s target audience is also more educated with 46 percent having a college degree, compared to 39 percent for Groupon’s. For comparison, the national average for all web users is 25 percent that have a college degree.
Living Social attract a younger visitor with those in the 21-34 year-old age bracket making up 33 percent of its audience, compared to 25 percent for Groupon and 21 percent across the Internet.
As for the interests of Groupon’s site visitors, almost half are interested in gardening and around one third are interested in home repairs and renovations, religious involvement and landscaping. Geographically, Groupon’s customers tend to be from the north-east and Living Social’s are more likely to come from the south and west of the US. Both companies are starting to target ever more local deals based on shopper’s locations through their mobile apps.
Now, take a look at some marketing strategies that could help propel your business to ever greater success…