While most entertainment brands have dipped their toes in the Google+ water, few have dived in headfirst. But what many of these brands might be missing is that unlike social networks that operate from a single site, Google+ is designed to integrate and enhance all of your Google experiences – from search and display to Maps and YouTube. This means that investing in Google+ activities can pay dividends across multiple marketing channels.
Here are four ways entertainment brands can take better advantage of Google+ this fall season.
1. Supercharging search.
Whenever a consumer conducts a search on Google, brands now have the opportunity to increase their visibility by adding in a social layer. By keeping up an active Google+ page, a brand’s content posts, brand info and multimedia assets will appear in the Google sidebar, helping to boost engagement, as well as increase organic reach and search rankings. This means they can ensure consistent, top real estate placement in the prime upper right of Google search results without spending a dime.
What’s even more compelling is that the Google+ presence expands beyond a website hyperlink and static title and description pulled from meta-data – things that rarely change across the site and are not often within control of the social team. Brands that are consistently updating content and multimedia on Google+ can now highlight real-time news, updates and statuses with anyone searching for them.
Boosting search is especially important for the film industry: on average, moviegoers consult 13 sources before they make a decision about what movie to see… and although the number of titles released declined 9% in 2012 vs. 2011, searches on Google were up 56% in this same period, according to Google data.
2. Setting up a few Google Hangouts.
Google+ recently introduced Google Hangouts, a live group video chat feature that gives brands a way to speak and interact with multiple customers at a time. Entertainment brands can bring their Google+ presence to life with live chats with their stars and the people behind the scenes of a popular show or new film.
For example, to celebrate its 125th anniversary, National Geographic hosted a seven-continent Google+ Hangout that gave participants the opportunity to ask top explorers James Cameron, Jane Goodall and Robert Ballard questions “face-to-face.” The Hangout drew 22,000 views and 150,000 new followers.
3. Creating Communities.
Another great new Google+ feature is Communities, which aims to connect people and brands by creating a forum to come together and converse around shared interests. Within a Community, fans, not just brands themselves, can share links, videos and images – you can even create Community-specific Hangouts. The end result is a gathering place for passionate individuals around a shared interest.
For example, the CW Television Network created TV show-specific Communities on Google+ for their most popular programming, with each Community tailored to the style and audience of that particular show. The Vampire Diaries Community has over 38,000 members who regularly dish on the latest celebrity gossip surrounding the show’s cast and provides a place for fans to interact with each other.
4. Powering word-of-mouth.
On Google+, users can follow their friends, family, acquaintances and brands—and discover content shared by this network in Google Search. This Plus-Search integration is compelling because it allows entertainment brands to reach consumers at the point-of-purchase, as well as drive positive word-of-mouth.
For example, if Jeff searched for “World War Z” on Google, a Google+ post by his friend linking to a movie trailer on Fandango might appear in his search results. Once he clicked on the link, he would then end up on the Fandango site and be one step closer to buying tickets… and might be more likely to do so since a friend posted about the film.
Google+ is more than a social network; it’s a gateway to increasing visibility wherever people interact with Google. With over one billion Google searches run every day and more than 500 million global users on Google+, entertainment brands can get a big boost by giving Google+ more attention.