Google+ Gets Redesigned: What Marketers Need To Know

Google+ Redesign

This week, Google announced a major redesign of their social network, Google+. This update brings with it a new focus on Communities and Collections, and much less of the other stuff.

Here’s what they’ve updated and what it means to businesses and marketers.

The New Google+

Google redesigned Google+ to put a much heavier focus on two areas they see major growth in. Communities have been growing by an average of 1.2 million new joins a day. Growing at an even faster rate, Collections are making a big splash just 5 months after being introduced.

With the redesign, most of the focus on the platform has been put on these two areas. Collections and Communities are now featured predominantly, to entice people to join in the discovery and discussion.

Emphasis put on Collections and Communities means lessened focus elsewhere. While Circles can still be used to organize and distribute updates to the desired groups, the redesign hides them away and makes them less easy to access.

Profiles feature much less about the user now. This means less opportunities to link to your other sites and social profiles. It also makes Google+ less useful for finding out more about a Google user.

The new design also looks to create a more unified experience across all of the places we access Google+. Mobile and desktop design have been brought more inline with each other, and a new mobile app has been pushed out for iOS and Android. Based on the average rating of just 1.5 stars in the Apple App Store, we can assume that most aren’t big fans of the redesigned mobile app thus far, but more refinements will likely follow. With mobile being the most popular way to access social networks, a good experience there is critical for success.

What The Google+ Redesign Means To Brands and Marketers

The changes to Google+ aren’t really new features, but more of a refocus on a couple existing ones. This change brings opportunity for brands and marketers. With the announcement, we can hope more have taken notice and will peek in to Google+ for another look, if they aren’t active already. The big growth rate of both Communities and Collections are a sign that while many consider the network to be dead, that simply isn’t the case.

Collections are a great way to group together content of a similar topic or interest. Marketers can use these collections as a way to group products, articles on a topic, and much more. They’re like Pinterest boards in a way, and give us the opportunity to share connected content, while making it simple for those that are interested to stay up-to-date. Make it easy for people to find interesting information in one place and they’ll follow fast.

Communities have always been a great way to connect with others that share a common interest. They give an opportunity to share your content (but make sure you share others too or you’ll quickly be ousted from the group) and engage in great discussion. This is an area that you’ll often find more active than groups on other sites, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, and the ability to get notifications within all other Google products (near your profile icon in the upper right corner) makes it easy to stay on top of conversations. Join the discussion, share your insights, and people will follow.

Google+ It Is A Changin’

As with any update, there are plenty that focus on what was lost in the change. It’s no use crying over spilled milk, so focusing on what’s still available makes far more sense.

Highlighting the hotbeds of Collections and Communities may mean an increase in activities within these areas and with it, increased opportunities for marketers to reach a large and engaged audience.

While one must measure the advantage (return) with the cost (time spent) of playing in Google+, this is a great time to jump in and see if it works for your brand.

By experimenting in the areas they’ve highlighted, and expanding your presence in them, you may find that Google+ is place you want to stay and play.

Author: Ben Brausen

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