Google Plus (sometimes referred to as "Google+"), is the next iteration of Google's social media.  It incorporates the former "Google Buzz", "Wave" and other Google initiatives to help compete against the ever popular Facebook.  Currently, Google Plus has an estimated 13 percent market share of social media ("Google Plus May Pass Twitter", Bloomberg.com, 2011)

If you are familiar with Facebook, you know that users connect with you as a "Friend" or as a "Fan" if you have a business or interest page.  Google Plus has what they call "Circles."  You invite people that may share an interest in your business "into the circle."  They will receive notifications as you update your Google Plus account.  So, in our opinion, Google Plus blends the social aspect of Facebook with the notification features of Twitter.

Should you add Google Plus to your marketing strategy?  At the moment, Google Plus is in a beta test mode.  What that means is that there are a limited amount of features available for Google users, in the future, more features will be added. If you are a company that depends heavily on social media, i.e. retail and hospitality markets, it maybe a good idea to join (you can use your existing Google account to join or create a Google account).  The marketing strategy for Google Plus is to add another social media outlet for your business.  And, since there are many Google fans, it could be another way to reach your prospective customer.  Also, Google Plus integrates into the Android operating system and the Google Plus Application that can be downloaded onto Android mobile phones. 

Google Plus also gives you the opportunity to create a webpage.  However, Semiam will not be able to manage the webpage because of the personalization features that integrate into your existing Google account. Because the usage criteria is strict, Semiam Solutions will not be able create a Google Plus account on your behalf (Google can suspend your entire Google account for abuse*).  However, we can tie-in your Google Plus account into our website which is professionally managed by our team.

As Google Plus evolves, Semiam will update you on new features.

To sign up for Google Plus, just click on this link: "Google Plus"  

*Abuse would constitute any misrepresentation of who you are and your intentions.  Semiam Solutions would not want to risk any of it's clients being banned from Google because of perceived abuse.
 
The one thing you have to admire about Facebook is that it has convinced companies like Google to create a social media environment.  This battle reminds me of the old Microsoft versus Apple debate.  It went like this: "If you are serious about business, you use Microsoft/IBM, if you are serious about the creative arts, go with Apple."  Facebook gets many eyes and time spent on it's page.  However, it doesn't necessarily convert their "fandom" into business for advertisers.  A recent survey by advertisers showed that only 30% of customers found them through Facebook.  Google is often used as the default "I mean to do business" search engine.  So, now, it's Facebook for the creative arts, Google for business.

So, what does this means to you.  It is important to know where to dedicate your precious resources in this economy.  Don't waste your time, give Semiam Solutions a call or contact us from this web page to get a complimentary consultation on where to spend your money.  If you don't you could waste a lot of money, pouring it down a empty marketing well.


 
Apparently, many people still do...That is, let their fingers "walk" through the Yellow Pages.

San Francisco apparently assumed that many people have given up on Yellow Pages directories and essentially banned delivery of these directories to businesses and residences.  Individuals now have to "opt-in" to have a directory delivered to their business or home.

Local Media Research has recently released a study that claims that over 70% of consumers, (Yes, OVER 70 PERCENT), used the print Yellow Pages, or, a combination of Yellow and White Pages to search for a local business.  That's astonishing!

Honestly, I have always thought that print directories were heading the way of the buggy whip.  However, it appears that more people trust the print directories that I originally thought.  It also appears from the study that a great deal of people combine a web search with print directories, (84% on consumers use both).

Another interesting finding in the study is that only 32% of consumers use Social Networking sites such as Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, and others to search for a local business.

Predictably, consumers only use newspapers 58% of the time to search for a business.  Also, do you think junk mail will go away anytime soon?  Think again.  Sixty-Eight, (68%), of consumers access flyers, brochures, and mailers to select businesses.

However, after reading the survey, the demographics are not working to the printed directories favor.  People under age 34, and those with higher education, generally turn to search engines most of the time.  Whereas, people over 55 years of age, and those with less than a college degree tend to lean heavily on the printed directories.  So, expect the baby boomers to cling to their printed directories...The younger generation are not embracing the Yellow and White pages.  And, another factor plays into consideration: Smart Phones.  As these phone become more commonplace, expect more mobile searches and "App" generated searches.

At Semiam, we believe a balanced approach is necessary.  The print directory experts do a great job.  Where Semiam Solutions can help businesses is with their online marketing needs and managed Google Adwords campaigns.