Following on from our series of blog posts as to how the top UK contractors are using social media in 2018, (you can look at our posts on Instagram and Twitter here), we’ll now look at how user behaviour on Google Plus has changed over the years.
As part of an up-to-date review, the following questions will be answered:
• What does this behaviour say about Google Plus?
• Is the platform worth incorporating into your social strategy?
• If so, in what ways should it be used?
Looking at the above graph, we can see that the only changes that have taken place in 2015 have been in relation to a decline in posting to Google Plus. While engagement hasn’t changed (yep, not one construction company on our list uses Google Plus to actively engage), the amount of companies posting has dropped from 30% in 2015 to a mere 18% in 2018. Moreover, BAM Construct and Willmott Dixon are the only companies who have continued to post regularly, with Mitie Group‘s last post being a good three weeks ago.
Overall, BAM Construct are the most active contractor using Google Plus – keeping their account active by posting project case studies, enticing imagery and video content, as well as general news updates from the business.
Interesting to note that while BAM Construct are regularly updating their G+ account, other contractors have shifted their focus elsewhere, with Amey UK and Mace Limited choosing to allocate more time to other social media platforms.
From these results, it feels as though there’s a whole load of uncertainty as to whether Google Plus is worth our time and effort…
Google Plus for Google’s sake?
Let’s face it – if Google Plus wasn’t part of Google – would it still be around? Probably not. The platform would have become part of the archives of internet history years ago.
However this exact reason means that we cannot simply ignore it. As a search engine. Google dominates the SEO campaigns we run for clients and is an integral part of construction marketing strategies carried out. As a corporation (aside from their swanky offices and self driving cars), they have a huge influence on our daily lives.
So why with its lack of engagement and dominance in the social media world, does Google Plus continue to persist?
Searchable and Curated Content for Communities
Google Plus has always been positioned as a social network for content curation, and over the last year there has been a real focus on creating communities. As a result, Google Plus members are able to find like-minded individuals to create niche groups, where they can discuss the content they post. In that aspect, Google Plus does have its merits, particularly with the collections feature. This allows you to create ‘collections’ of work on your profile, while the image compression tool helps to enhance image quality and create particular effects. These features make G+ particularly attractive for budding photographers, artists and even architects.
Local Search and SEO
But is this a good enough reason for construction marketers to focus their efforts on the platform?
Fortunately, G+ does post other valid reasons for having a business profile – fundamentally in regards to being found by key prospects online. While regular posting of quality, keyword-rich content will help to boost your online search rankings, it is also imperative to have your Google+ account linked with a verified My Business profile to feature your business in local listings & Google’s knowledge graph. By doing this, you’ll be able to get quality reviews from customers, list your business on local search directories, have a prominent local presence on Google Maps, and generally improve your company’s visibility in local search. It will allow you to manage everything associated with your account, including your business name, its address, and phone number, so it’s absolutely critical you keep it up to date.
What does this all mean for you? Ultimately – more online prospects finding your information with one click, leading to more visits onto your website and as a result, more business enquiries.
While BAM Construct have the company details listed above, see an example below of where crucial details are missing from MACE Group’s knowledge graph:
Think of Google My Business as the master dashboard that connects your businesses directly with customers, whether they’re looking for you via Google Search, Google Maps or Google+.
Google Plus and Google My Business – What’s the Difference?
The easiest way to differentiate the two services is by the results that emerge when you type your business name into Google. If you only have Google+ set up, only your social network will show up, with your posts and number of followers associated with it. However, if you have Google my Business set up correctly, you’ll have access to those additional business details on the side of the listings.
While the two work hand in hand, it’s not a matter of which one is better, but how you use each service to your construction business’ advantage.
If you maintain an updated and accurate Google My Business listing, along with posting new and relevant content to your G+ account, you’ll see a notable difference in how your business ranks in local search against your competitors.
The trick is to play the game according to its rules. You simply cannot use the same marketing strategy on Google+ as you implement in other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. It should play a factor in your construction marketing strategy from a search perspective, rather than viewing it as a social networking tool.
For further advice on enhancing your Construction Marketing strategy, download our Essential Guide here, or give us a call on 01908 671707.