Two of the major social media networks – Facebook and Google+ — are rolling out significant changes this month in the way they look. So far, most of the press has focused on Facebook’s changes. We’ll be taking a look at those changes, but for today, we’re going to look at the major new visual improvements to Google+ profiles and pages.
Google+ is the most important social media platform that most people never use. Even though there are over 625,000 new users on Google+ every day, and people press the Google +1 button five billion times per day, it can be hard to find someone outside of the pros at places like The Zen Media Group who visit the site regularly and know how to use it to its full potential.
In fact, in a study conducted by Google, 70% of marketers said they need to learn more about Google+. That would be great, except that Google’s survey was of the 40% of marketers who already have a presence on Google+. That’s right: 70% of the marketers who are currently using Google+ told Google that they need to learn how to use it effectively.
But whether you know a lot of Google+ users or not, this is one social media network that is definitely not optional. Because of the weight that the search giant assigns to postings, and +1 “likes” on Google+, no business or marketer that’s serious about search marketing can afford to overlook Google+. And who among us can afford not to take search marketing seriously?
What’s New With Google+
This is what Sara McKinley, Google’s product manager for Google+ has to say about the reasons for the major visual improvements to Google+ profiles and pages.
“We spend lots of time listening to your feedback, and today we’re launching some profile and page updates that you’ve been asking for… Everything’s rolling out gradually, so check back soon if you don’t see it yet. Once it’s live (at plus.google.com/me), let us know your thoughts in the comments!”
The changes are immediately obvious: much larger cover photos, a new tab for local reviews, and a change in the way that information about you or your company is organized and displayed.
What do the changes mean for marketers and business owners? They mean that it’s now easier to get your message out via Google+, and easier to make it look great. Here’s a summary of the major changes:
- Bigger Cover Photos – You can add photos up to 2120px by 1192px, and they display in 16X9 when fully expanded.
- New Tab for your Local Reviews — The new tab for local reviews joins tabs for photos, +1 ratings, and YouTube videos. Individual users can hide the new tab completely, through the settings menu, or allow their reviews of local businesses to be easily accessible through it.
- Easier Editing — The ‘About’ tab now offers separate “information cards” for your Story, Places, Education, Basic Information, Links and more. Each block has its own prominent edit link, and as before, you can choose to share your information publicly, with specific circles or just keep them private to yourself.
Google is rolling the changes out slowly. Have they hit your Google+ page yet? If so, what do you think of them?
Our creative team is bursting with ideas on how to maximize the new features for clients, so if you’re looking for help making the most of Google+ (or any other social media network or digital marketing tool), contact us to see how we can help!