Last night, the Nina Hale crew (myself, Gretchen & Clare) rolled out to see some local digital thought leaders chat about “The Pro’s Perspective on All Things Google+,” as a part of MN Search’s ongoing “Search Snippet” series. Jimmy Johns, Summit and crackers filled our tummies before the evening kicked off with the keynote speakers, which included:
- James Svoboda – President, MN Search & WebRanking
- Jeff Sauer – Director of Interactive Marketing, Three Deep Marketing
- Bob Stanke – Director of Interactive Services, Minnesota Timberwolves
The dynamic trio each provided a unique perspective of the current status of Google+, in terms of misconceptions of user data and discredited the “ghost town” label that was slapped on it a year ago, via proof of steady growth and active users. James kicked things off with a little bit more of a foundational view of the platform, providing clarity some of the basic functionality, terminology and how it fits within Google’s ecosystem; specifically citing his wife’s immediate lack of interest upon creating a Gmail account, when highlighting who is actually engaging on the platform.
Jeff focused more on how to build your own individual brand by leveraging the inherent SEO benefits of Google+ (Google Authorship, etc.). He gave the audience some tangible KPI objectives to strive towards: from being in over 1,000 circles by the end of the year, to increasing your Google+ traffic referrals by 10%. During the Q&A a woman asked if having a Google+ brand page with no content or strategy is better than having no presence at all; Jeff agreed. While from an SEO standpoint, that’s true, but when taking a step back and structuring your brand’s/client’s social ecosystem, I typically think it’s better to have a strategy in place before jumping in to random stuff because “you should.” Asking questions like: “Well, is my audience even on there?” #AudienceFirst
Lastly, Bob Stanke of the Minnesota Timberwolves came out to chat about how his organization is leading the way in Google+ brand engagement for the NBA. The T-Wolves were the first NBA team to be on Google+ and the first team to execute a live Google Hangout with players. Bob talked about how, when you have the luxury of a plethora of content and an already large established fan base, you can more creatively utilize the unique functionality of Google+ to facilitate some very cool content marketing. For example, Bob’s team segments “elite” level season ticket holders into separate circles, releasing exclusive behind-the-scenes content of Ricky Rubio practicing, as an added value play for these preferred ticket holders who pay a lot of money each year. That’s pretty sweet. Although, someone brought up a good point that a person who is a part of that “elite” circle could share said content to their circles, and it would no longer be exclusive. Eh…?
Overall, it was good stuff, and interesting to see people’s unique POV on the value, purpose and opportunities of Google+ for digital marketing.