A recent post on HubSpot's blog reinforced to me that many associations are not yet actively using Google+.
Yes, some associations are using Facebook and Twitter to engage their current members and connect with new potential members. And, some associations are starting to use LinkedIn to grow their membership as well.
But, Google+ remains low on the list of social networks used by associations, despite being the second most popular network on the internet, with 540 million monthly active users.
The post on HubSpot's blog targeted 4 main reasons that marketers should start using Google+ in 2014.
- Impact on search marketing - Most associations probably don't think about search marketing. Remember that prospective members and partners, plus current members, may search for not only your association's name, but for terms related to your industry or your area as well. By setting up a Google+ page for your association, you can expand your visibility. Your profile image, description, followers and recent posts can all contribute to the search results for your association, your industry or your community. Take advantage of this opportunity to show up higher in search results and deliver more value to your members.
- Impact on email marketing - Many of your member businesses or individuals are likely to be using Google's personal or business email services. The Google+ and Gmail integration allows your recent Google+ posts to display next to your emails, giving you more ways of sharing your content with your members and followers.
- Impact on Pay-Per-Click - Some associations use Google AdWords to help drive traffic to their site for important industry information or to attract new members. With a Google+ account, your Google AdWords can be annotated with the number of followers your association has on Google+. Having this additional information on your ads can lead to a higher click-through rate and help drive more traffic to your website.
- Social Proof - We know that more and more people are finding information through links on social media sites and by following individuals and companies they like. By integrating Google's +1 button to your website content - such as your blog or other pages - and allowing your followers to easily share your content on Google+, you're giving them one more way to talk about your association and extend your reach. The more Facebook likes, LinkedIn shares, posts on Twitter and Google +1s your content has, the more likely it is that you'll get in front of prospective new members.
Has your association starting using Google+ yet? What has your experience been so far?
If you're not sure how to get started, please review Create a Google+ Page for Your Association.