Google has announced that it is updating its social networking site with an updated look and a new focus. While Google+ hasn’t become as popular as Facebook, Instagram or other large social media sites, it does have a following and is beneficial to digital marketing.
In its announcement, Google explains that it has used user feedback to revamp the site. As Google puts it, Google+ is “now focused around interests [and] the new Google+ is much simpler.”
Emphasis on Communities and Collections
Google has chosen to make its social network more about communities of people and collections of content. While these features aren’t necessarily new ones, the new focus reflects how Google thinks people use the site, making it more user friendly.
Instead of seeing a list of their circles across the top of the page, users now see a bold navigation menu on the left-hand side of Google+, with “Collections” and “Communities” being at the top of the list.
Behind the Scenes Speed Update
One change you won’t be able to see, but that will change your experience, is an updated code that will make Google+ faster. The new version of the site is also more mobile friendly, so it will be easier to use on smartphones and tablets.
While these changes may seem minor, they signal a shift in how Google thinks people want to use its site.
The New Google+ for Business
With these changes in mind, you should make sure your business is focusing on communities and collections. Doing this will help you keep your account relevant and help you give your market what it wants on this particular site.
Leverage this feature by setting up your own community where your customers or fans can talk to each other. This could act as a meeting place where people help each other, network with others and even access customer support from your business.
But, your community doesn’t have to be narrowly focused on your business or products, it could simply be industry related and act as one more place where you can provide value for your target market.
To draw attention to your own account and build your Google+ network, you will also need to participate in other communities by leaving comments and sharing content.
Use Google’s emphasis on Google+ collections to your advantage by setting up your own collections that your target market can follow. They should be made up of curated content, your own and others’, that provides real value to people while remaining relevant to your brand.
Following others’ collections can help you stay on top of industry trends and changes in your market, so you know what kind of content people want and what kinds of topics resonate with them.
In the coming months, we’ll be able to see whether this Google+ update will help the social networking site become more relevant and popular. In the meantime, you can use it more fully by focusing on using communities and collections to reach your target market and promote your business.