Social Media Predictions For 2015 – Google+

Good morning, Internet fans. It’s Ryan Perry, with Simple Biz Support. Today is Wednesday, the 14th of January, 2015. Boy, did I do those dates out of order. I have with me Sarah Giometti, with Provaro Marketing. Good morning, Sarah.

Sarah Giometti: Good morning, Ryan. How are you?

RP: Well, I thought I had all of my background videos of this turned off, but apparently one snuck in, so I apologize. Beyond that, I’m doing wonderful. It’s beautiful outside. Birds are chirping, flowers are growing. It’s a great day in paradise.

SG: That it is. Isn’t it always, though? I mean, we are in paradise.

RP: You can’t beat Northern California. Just to let people know, Sarah is not feeling a 100% today. If she starts coughing, it’s not because my jokes are bad. It’s just… Unfortunately, it’s the nature of the beast of not feeling well. So, if you see her with her water bottle, that’s what’s going on, and we definitely hope you start feeling better soon. Last week, we talked about social media, some predictions for 2015, and we’re going to continue that conversation, ’cause there’s no way to cover everything in 15 minutes. The first one I want to talk about is where Google+ is going. I think, Google+ is kind of the ugly stepchild… From an SEO point of view, internet marketing point of view, we all know that we need to use it. From the business owner point of view, from the end user point of view, people are like, “Nobody uses it, so why should I be there?” So, moving forward into 2015, why should business owners be concerned about Google+? What’s changed it?

SG: They’ve made it easier for small businesses to claim their local listings. So, with this, we’re going to start seeing more small businesses step into the social media world, ’cause Google+ still is social media platform. And it’s tied very closely with your online listing. So, I know when I was doing the name change, having to change my local listing with my address, with our office, and it’s very tied into my page. And people had to go to my Google+ page in order to give me reviews, and those reviews were tied to my Google local listings when I come up in search. So, Google has made this less complicated. And so, we’re going to start seeing a lot more local small businesses, especially ones that have an actual brick and mortar store, stepping into this realm and claiming at least their listings. But through this then, it might bring them into Google+ and start playing around with that, but also sets up Google. Google has the infrastructure that they can now… They’ve got all these people coming in, it’s an opportunity for them to have other services in there or do multiple platform sharing, through different social networks. So there’s a lot of things… Potential that could be coming from this, with the advent of more small businesses entering the Google+ landscape, even if all they’re doing initially is claiming their local listing, so they come up properly.

RP: Right. I think one of the things that caught my attention while we were talking offline before the episode started was the fact that you now have to have five reviews in order for your stars to show up. So, if people aren’t aware, much like Yelp, if you leave a review on Google, you actually give a star ranking plus a description of the service. That ranking information, the stars, won’t show up in your local feeds. So, if I go into my computer, and I go on Google, and I type, “dentist,” I’m going to get the local search, which I like to call the map section, most people can relate to that. It’s got the ABC with a little pin drop, the business names next to it. Some of them, you’ll actually see they have a rating. It could be three stars, 4.5 stars, whatever, and some do not.

RP: And I think the idea is that you need to get those five reviews in as quickly as possible, so you can show your rating, and hopefully it’s a good one. And the idea is that, from a psychological point of view… New family moves into town, and they’re like, “Hey, I’m in Santa Rosa. I need a new dentist.” They do a Google search for dentist, some local dentists pop up on the search results, and yet only two of them have star rankings. There’s a tendency that people are going to be drawn to that, because there’s more credibility since they’ve already been rated, at least from the outside. So, five reviews, get your ratings, that way your stars show up. And your business can show up, even without a website or a properly optimized website, if you show up in the local section of Google.

SG: Absolutely. You really want to make sure you got those reviews there, because, like you said, it is, it’s psychological. People want to read the reviews, they want to see that other people have used you and like you, and it adds to the trust factor. We want to trust what we see and read, even though we know not everything on the internet is true, we do want to hope… Because those reviews are tied back to an actual Google user, we want to make sure… It kind of lends trust and lends us to believe that what we’re reading is at least mostly accurate. And it puts you one leg up over your competitions. You want to make sure you claim your listing and have that.

RP: Alright. And then just strictly from an SEO point of view, having content shared through Google+ is very valuable and also having those back links. I mean, if Google’s making the decision to rank your business one, two, three, it just seems obvious to me that you would want to play in their backyard. I’m a big proponent of video, not only because it works from a conversion point of view, but you get to post content of YouTube and Google owns YouTube. Google+, owned by Google obviously, play in their own backyard, you’re bound to get more favorable ranking and results from them by doing so.

RP: Let’s move on, and we’re also… You wanted to talk about… I like this the social conversation, was one of the other pieces that you were talking about. And I think this is great, because the idea is to be able to take people that are already engaging in a social medium, such as Facebook, such as Twitter. Facebook, I know is the one that’s pushing this right now. But being able to capture information from the end user, without them leaving the space. So why don’t you tell us what typically currently happens today and then what that change is and benefit is, that we should see in 2015?

SG: So what we’re currently seeing today is we’re having… If you want somebody to take action outside of liking your basic page… So If you want them to sign up for your e-book or premium content, buy a product, something like that, you have to send them off the platform that you’re promoting it on and send them to your website for them to take action. So it’s multiple steps. You promote to them on platform A, B or C, Facebook, Twitter wherever you’re at, you send them to your website landing page or to that product page, whatever you’re promoting, and then hope that they either sign up for the premium content or buy the product and go through the process and convert.

SG: What we are probably going to see this year, and we’ve already seen Facebook doing it a little bit with their ads… On Facebook ads you have more options, where you can do things, like learn more, buy now, sign up. So we’re already starting to see some of those option in Facebook. What we think we’re going to see this year is a lot more of that coming across, not only on Facebook but on the platforms, where it’s social converting and doing it faster with less steps, because, as we all know or at least we know as marketers, the more steps someone has to take, the more opportunity there is to loose them.

SG: So if you can get them to sign up or take whatever action you want them to do, whether it’s sign up or buy, without leaving that platform, they’re already engaged, they’re in that mode, it’s a lot faster, cleaner and a higher conversion rate, if you can do it without having them do too many steps. So we really think we’re going to see a lot more of that. It would be interesting to see how much more Facebook expands on it, ’cause they’re already playing with it, and then to see the other platforms start doing something like that with Twitter. I mean, Twitter has got the Twitter cards, so they’ve got a little bit of it, but… So it will be really nice to see how they bring it back all in, to try and keep people from leaving the platform.

RP: Yeah, and there’s two things that I really like about this. One, if I don’t have to leave the room, I’m just going to call it a room, whatever platform you happen to be at… If I don’t have to leave that room, I’m already in a place of comfort, I’m feeling good, I like what I see, I’ve made that decision and if I can click to enter my information and put it in right away, I don’t have an opportunity to change my mind. If I have to click, which is probably 98%, 99% of the time, we have to click, a new website has to load, now I’m outside of my trusted realm, because I’ve moved down to another entity, I maybe start getting that buyer’s remorse, like maybe this wasn’t the right decision, it can happen in a split second.

RP: I was watching a news article with Jeff Bezos from Amazon, and they dig into their analytics like nobody does and they found… I forget the exact number, but it was something like three tenths of a second would affect their ability to sell a product. So if page took too long, and for them they’re not even talking seconds, they’re talking fractions of a second… Fractions of a second for that page to load cost them business. And it was significant enough that they took a lot of time and effort and energy to fix that problem, in order to increase revenue. So It may seem a little crazy to us, but fractions of a second on the internet really can make a difference.

SG: I totally believe it. We are an instant society, especially here in America. We want what we want now. Once we make a decision, we want something, “I want it immediately, I don’t have time to wait for it.” So that absolutely makes sense to me, and so it makes sense that we would start seeing that in social, where if someone makes up their mind they want to buy something, they don’t want to take two or three clicks and leave where they’re at, they just want to do it, “There, now, done, leave me alone. Help me get what I want as fast and easy as possible.”

RP: Yeah, perfect. And that actually pulls… Ties directly into the third subject, so I’m glad I waited till the end to talk about it, and that is the… I’ll call it, “The transformation of contents.” And one of the things that you were talking about offline was specifically video and how video, we expect some transformations in what people want to see… Maybe not what they want to see but how much of it they want to see.

SG: Right, so we’re going to see obviously the content… It’s all about the content on social media and the interaction. So we’re going to start seeing some changes in content. We’ve already seeing that it’s moving… We moved from text and links, to more… People liked more pictures, people wanted more video. And then now we’ve seen with Vine and Instagram, both doing short videos, that people are really liking that. So, what we’re possibly going to see are a couple things. One, shorter videos, so maybe more tools surrounding video, more platforms surrounding video, and maybe more people wanting the shorter stuff. It’s already… I think you would agree, stick to less than three minutes for video, so it’s already pretty short, but we’re going to start seeing more really short clips. And so you’re going to have to be able to impart a lot of content in a really short period of time.

SG: Another one that they think is… It’s ripe for development, is interactive video. There hasn’t been a… It’s been around for a while, but there hasn’t been a lot of use in it in social media. But it could be really powerful with an interactive video, where I can see you doing it with the videos you do, showing a construction site where people can pan the video, versus just watching your progression of it. So, it will be interesting to see the changes that happen to video, ’cause it seems video right now is one of the top content options, people really like them, they get a lot of traction, they get a lot of views, and interaction. So, it’ll be great to see how that adjusts this year.

RP: All right. So, I guess the big question for us is how are we going to take this 15 minute segment that we do every week, and condense it down into a Vine that’s 15 seconds long.

SG: Not going to happen.

RP: I think that’s going to require a side topic, or a side conversation, after the meeting. Yeah, well maybe we’ll have to… We should sit down and just study Jimmy Fallon videos, although his aren’t 15 seconds, but they’re highly entertaining. So anyhow, three things to look forward to 2015, and if you want to recap, starting with Google+, and businesses being on there.

SG: Okay, so yes, you want to make sure you claim your local listing, you’re probably there already anyway. Google knows most businesses. So you want to make sure you claim it, get it right, and then get some legitimate reviews on there. And then start playing with Google+, see what it’s all about, and it’ll help you in your SEO anyway.

SG: The next one is social conversions, so playing with the Facebook ads that already allow you to learn more, shop now, buy now. Playing with those, see how that works for you, compared to the other ads that you might be doing. And then the final one is playing with video, which Ryan will totally love to help you with that. Playing with video and seeing how it performs for you on different social media platforms, play with different links, different content. Just have fun with it, but with a purpose behind it.

RP: Alright, perfect. And we’re out of time, but for those people that are interested in your new business, Provaro Marketing, where can they go to find out more information?

SG: They can go to my website, We’re on Facebook, so, I think.

[chuckle] Still new, I’m still remembering what all my handles are. And then, of course, I’m on Twitter, so @provaromktng… Excuse me. And Google +. So I almost made it through the whole thing without coughing.

RP: I was going to say, I was very impressed, very impressed. Alright, Sarah.

SG: Mute was my friend.

RP: What’s that?

SG: I said, mute was my friend.

RP: Alright Sarah, as always, I appreciate your time, it’s always good to see you and hear all the wonderful information you have to share, and I hope you have a great week, and I will see you next Wednesday.

SG: Sounds good, thank you very much, Ryan.

RP: Alright, bye.

SG: Bye.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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