There are some marketers that are quite sensitive when it comes to any foray into social media by Google. Google doesn’t have a great record for long term support of projects if they don’t grab everyone’s attention immediately, so there is a little resistance to Google+. The feeling in some quarters is simple enough – why expend energy if the whole concept quietly slips under the carpet in a year or two? Whilst I understand their feelings, I don’t think they are right this time; in fact, I think Google+ is here for the long haul.
One thing is certain, Google is still pumping resources into the project, and their latest offering for website owners includes functional and cosmetic changes to the Google+ button. These changes include:
- the ability to configure a badge to a suitable width
- changing the background color of a widget to match your page’s color
- including a widget that displays your Google+ profile’s circle count
As a marketing tool, website owners have nothing to lose by including a badge on their sites. According to an article on WebProNews, some businesses are receiving a 30% increase in followers simply because of the widget. If your content is of a reasonable standard, then you shouldn’t find it too difficult to encourage readers to click on social media buttons. There’s no harm in inviting your readers to click on social media buttons – they are often sharing a good story with friends whilst bookmarking an entry for future reference.
When it comes to marketing, you need to use every tool that adds to your website’s exposure. Google+ looks to be one widget that’s here for the long run – are you badged yet?