Google+ has taken over the No. 2 social media position from Twitter, according to reports, and from all indications it may even be a contender for the no. 1 spot in a few years, replacing Facebook. What does this mean for hotel companies? Hoteliers must embrace Google+ as a critical social media outlet if they want to remain competitive. Lodging Interactive, an award winning full-service digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry, and its subsidiary CoMMingle, a social media consultancy, is offering a turnkey service for creating and professionally managing Google+ Business Pages and boosting Search Engine Optimization positioning.
Google+ Business Pages are socially enabled and allow members (hotels) to organize people (guests) into social groups referred to as "Circles." Then, hoteliers engage with their own circles of potential guests and build larger circles through social networking and marketing. Today, Google+ Business Pages has approximately 359 million users and growing. Not only has there been increased traffic on this site, but Mashable reports that the amount of time consumers are spending on G+ has doubled since February.
"Simply having a presence on Facebook and sending out an occasional Tweet does not constitute an effective social media campaign," said D.J. Vallauri, Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle Founder and President. "The social media universe is growing rapidly, and Google+ has emerged as a channel with considerable clout. Hotel companies must expand their inner circles outside of Facebook to include Google+ if they want to maximize their social networking efforts. Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle are helping hotels to develop solid, original content on Google+ to experience stronger recognition on search engines, enhancing its value and its SEO strategy."
According to a recent study, by February 2016, Google+ will surpass sharing by Facebook users, at which time G+ users will generate more than 1,096 billion +1s ("likes") per month, while Facebook users will generate just 849 billion shares per month. People who use Facebook are sharing 10 percent more each month, in aggregate, while Google+ shares (aka +1s) are growing by 19 percent per month.
+1's Impacting SEO
Rosella Virdo, Director of CoMMingle Social Media Marketing, explained that as the Google+ network continues to grow, the weight applied to +1's will receive more consideration, and the hotels with the most +1's will reinforce their search engine rankings.
"Hotels can link to other sites throughout their G+ profile," Virdo said. "Unlike other social networks, this actually aids in strengthening a hotel's overall sales funnel. When engagement of +1, sharing, commenting begins to increase, a hotel's profile links will become powerful vehicles in search. Posts which have been +1'd will be indexed more quickly on Google, increasing your organic presence.
"If this sounds confusing, CoMMingle is here to help," she added. "Lodging Interactive will create the Google+ Business Page and then CoMMingle, on behalf of the hotel, will leverage all the opportunities available from Google+ to engage with guests, ensuring that the hotel's content will be picked up on travel related searches. As an extension of a hotel's marketing department, CoMMingle will take a pro-active role in managing each property's online presence and communications to not only Google+, but to all social media networking communities."
Hotels interested in outsourcing their social media strategies and expanding their social media circles to include Google+ should visit http://www.lodginginteractive.com/ and http://www.commingle.me/.