Social Media is buzzing today because Google began integrating Google+ data into search results for users who have Google+ accounts. In addition to the search results we’re all used to, we’ll be seeing what other Google+ users in our circles have shared related to the keywords we’re searching, as well as others that Google deems authoritative on the related issue. This is a huge change in the way Google has worked in the past and presents a new challenge to business owners concerned with optimizing their Web sites for better search engine placement.
Google will rank higher those pages that are +1’d more often by Google+ users (roughly equivalent to having more Facebook likes). Businesses that have Google+ pages with lots of +1’s will be given better placement in their search results, as well as Web sites that give Google+ users the ability to +1 their site by embedding code on the page.
This is a significant leap in the trend to give social media more importance in advertising. Google and Facebook allow the consumer to know what their friends and society as a whole view as preferred or important. Advertisers will need to keep up with these trends, shifting some of the time and money spent on traditional advertising media (tv, radio, print ads, etc.) to the newer social media. Here’s a great article on Wikipedia about the relevancy of social media that is definitely a worth-while read (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media).
Because social media is relatively new and there are so many social media bases to cover, it can be mind boggling to keep up with. Each new social media site presents users and advertisers with a different way to sign up and use their service. In addition, all of the major social media services are constantly evolving, so keeping up with how to update your business page and interact with your clients can change from one week to the next. You end up spending more time having to learn and adapt to these changes, leaving you less time to actually run your business.
Most challenging of all is knowing which social media sites are important for the type of business you’re in, then keeping up with followers, staying engaged and presenting content people will find interesting and relevant and which they will want to share with others. It’s truer than ever that having an unused presence on social media sites is worse than not having one at all. But depending on your type of business, ignoring social media altogether may hurt your chances of success.
Successful business owners will realize that the social media trend is here to stay and growing by leaps and bounds every year. Finding a reputable company to help mange your social media may be more important than ever for those businesses whose owners don’t have the time or technical skills to manage their social media presence.