Google has made substantial efforts to push adoption of Google+ since the launch of its social network nearly two years ago. The company’s most recent tactic wisely utilizes Google’s range of popular services to prompt users to join Google+.
Consumers using Gmail, YouTube and any Google-sponsored review services are now required to set up Google+ profiles. This update applies to reviews on Google Play, the Zagat restaurant review website and reviews of any apps or physical goods obtained through Google.
The promotional push is obviously a savvy way for Google to force the increased adoption of Google+, but it also presents many opportunities for the company to improve and advance its other services.
Users will now be more accountable for their reviews posted online as comments will be connected to their Google+ accounts. Credibility of the reviews will likely increase overall once consumers are able to see who is posting the reviews.
Similarly, the heightened integration of Google’s numerous properties will allow the company to incorporate data from users’ online activity and customize their experiences. It also presents an opportunity for Google to create more personalized advertising by notifying Google+ users when their friends on the network recommend a purchased item.
Marketers have already recognized the value of Google’s robust consumer data. Click-through rates have reportedly increased from 2 to 15% on ads including Google+ content.
The aggressive strategy has been quite effective in directly increasing Google+ usage as well. The number of people using Google+ features jumped from 150 million to 235 million between June and December 2012.
With Google+ continuing to gain prominence in the online market, it is important that companies incorporate the growing social network into their communications plans. Red Banyan Group actively maintains a company page on Google+ and recommends use of the social media service in many of its interactive client campaigns.
While the world of social media will continue to evolve, Google’s powerful online presence and deep consumer expertise will likely ensure that the Google+ network grows into a major player and remains there for many years to come.