As any Social Media Manager will attest to, we’re all watching Google+ to see if it can grab significantly more traffic in the future. With the reach on Facebook pages going down an average of 40% our choices are to start buying promoted posts on Facebook or start concentrating on platforms where we can continue to grow organically, (i.e. no money)
So this weeks updates to the G+ iPhone & iPad apps were a breath of fresh air. Google’s mobile apps have always been significantly better than Facebook’s but the gap had been narrowing recently. Facebook’s mobile app updates were coming faster and they have improved their app experience immensely. But it still has a way to go.
Meanwhile G+ updates its mobile app where you can manage your Communities, Events and Hangouts, three areas that Facebook cannot touch it in. Here is my rundown on these features:
- Communities – The newest G+ features, the first place your eyes are drawn to when you enter the G+ communities tab is some recommended communities. This helps people find communities to join based on their interests. G+ Communities look much like their familiar homepage and are really good at highlighting photo’s. I love the way the comments are displayed in thumbnail mode and comments automatically scroll from first to last comment leaving a cleaner look to the overall community. You can also easily turn on or off notifications. Many people have been complaining that G+ is a ghost town. I think communities solves some of that problem and will bring people in more often. I’m still waiting for a community of Mets fans to be setup by Mets Bloggers. (That is a hint :)
- Events – The Events Tab was something introduced over the summer and was initially met with a great response. After working out some of the initial kinks like only being able to invite all your friends, the events tab seems to be a popular tool to increase online and offline engagement. There is no way to search for public events though from the mobile app but if used in tandem with Communities, the Events tab will be very useful.
- Hangouts – the killer feature. Facebook has no answer to the ability of up to 10 people being able to hangout on a video chat. Imagine scheduling an event in your community for a public hangout. The possibilities for increasing engagement are endless.
Misc Notes, Managing Brands, G+ API:
But the only thing missing from the app is the ability to manage brand pages. I manage a few brand pages and I can still only manage them from a laptop or mobile browser.
Google has yet to allow social media managing software access to the G+ API. I am actually starting to appreciate this because I am forced to use Google+. This means that there are actually eyeballs on G+ as opposed to people who have their content automatically posted to other platforms. Some content mills never actually go into Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, ext… Not so with G+. With the exception of Hootsuite I don’t know of any other Social Media Marketing tools that have access to the G+ API.
So what are your thoughts on the new, updated, G+ mobile apps? Will you be using G+ more?