Google + and Facebook: Big Business Trends to Watch in 2012

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I just started playing with Jamey and Andre’s website (LittleHousebyAndre.com)  and their Big Commerce cart.  They’ve just started using the Facebook interface where customers can buy direct from Little House by Andre right off their Facebook Page.  It’s the start of Facebook making it easy to integrate business with social and Google+ isn’t far behind.  While I’m an admitted newbie to Google+ and haven’t played with it as much as I should, there are some capabilities that I really like about both.  In order for Google+ to jump into the social media game, they’ll need to become more top-of-mind when it comes to making it easy for me to use it.  I roll over and grab my I-Phone when I want to tweet, facebook or “like” something.  With Google+, I haven’t made that jump – yet.  So let’s take a look at what the trends are and why social media giants like Google+ and Facebook are the big business trends to watch for 2012.

+1 Button According to Google, “90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know.”  Akin to the Facebook “Like” button, this button does some heavy lifting in that it shows on the search which of your friends have “plus 1’d”  something on their search. Here’s how it works:   When you go out to Google and do a search, you’ll notice a “+1” icon.  Click on it and you instantly give your love to that website on Google.  One of my friends’ sees that I have “plus one’d” a site, they are more likely to go to it if they see I have recommended that site. Facebook doesn’t have the reach that the Google search has at this time, so that +1 capability in and of itself is a powerful SEO tool that you will see businesses soon saying “+1 us on Google.”  Awkward phraseology, but what 5th grade grammar teacher would’ve ever dreamed “fan us on facebook” would’ve taken off, either?

Google Places – Formerly Google Local, Google Places has really taken off as far as ranking in the search engines.  Many of the resorts, restaurants and hotels I’ve worked with have seen their Google Places outranking some of their Yelp postings or even their own website in some cases.  Make certain you keep this updated and for goodness sakes, respond to the comments and ratings sections – even if they’re bad.  Nobody’s perfect and it’s your swift response, your courtesy and your willingness to make it right that will shine through even the most glaring critique.
Google+ Hangout  This is a video chat that goes one better than Facebook in that you can hold a meeting in private or in a group up to 10.  FB doesn’t offer this yet – but w/ the integration of skype into fb, stay tuned for that development.

Google Talk – This is better suited to one-on-one video chat.  Talk also provides voice only and group text chat.  If you’re on the go, you can download “Huddle” onto your smart phone (it only works on Android, but Apple is at work for a version of it.)

Facebook Contest Landing Page – A major drawback for business owners is Google+ doesn’t allow offers, contests and promotions.  Fb does allow for a static ip html page that you can create for a landing page for a contest.  For details on how to build one yourself, sign up for the Facebookin’ for Bucks free tutorial or watch this video here.   to learn how to create your own contest landing page on Facebook. New users to Got Clicks Facebook page get to see my contest landing page, while regular fans see my wall.  (If you’re a regular fan, first of all many thanks, secondly, just click “Get a GOT CLICKS TWEAK” on the left side of Facebook in order to see the contest landing page new fans see.)   It’s been a nice way to promote the Got Clicks Tweak and very easy to implement using an IFrame and Serif WebPlus software.

Search Plus Your World – This was just unveiled last week and I have some very mixed emotions about it.  As a marketer, I feel like the sugar fairies have been released and there will be tons of opportunity to do some phenomenal niche marketing.  As a human being?  I feel like my entire world and privacy are up for sale to slice and dice into neat demographics and psychographics.  CNN’s John D. Sutter wrote this article on the changes – mixing social and personal content to the search engine almost sounds like you would get a cacophony of search results that may make it irrelevant.  Or, it could be that you will no longer be searching for your products, your products will come searching for you.  Very powerful stuff…

So who will win in the end?  I believe making it a habit to visit the page, making it easy and fun will be the keys to the kingdom.  Google + is still an afterthought to me; I’m a die-hard Facebook fan.  Facebook has been very kind to Got Clicks and my loyalty runs deep.  But I’m not adverse to making new friends and new circles. Just don’t have my toaster oven plus one me…

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2 thoughts on “Google + and Facebook: Big Business Trends to Watch in 2012

    Susannah Noel said:
    January 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks for this post, Sarah. I’m also new to Google+ and this helps orient me.

    I also appreciate your honest reaction to Search Plus Your World and your insight that perhaps one of these days, our favorite products will come searching for us. Like you, this gives me the heebie-jeebies as a person, but as a marketer – well, I think a lot of people will be making a lot of money with this new feature.

      Got Clicks? responded:
      January 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      Susannah, thanks for your comment. If we as marketers connect the right product or service with the right customer without trouncing on their privacy, then we will have done a nice service for both the consumer and the producer. If this turns into exposing friends, family and acquaintances to every miniscule commentary made on social networks, it could dilute the power of relevancy on the Google Search making it useless. I doubt Google will expose itself to such adversity, and chances are, the Google programmers are hard at work with the perfect algorithm to quell my biggest fear. It is a fast moving train, isn’t it? – Best to ready for it.

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