Is It Too Early To Use Google Plus For Economic Development?

Yes, it is only the middle of January; however, I am thinking about Intelegia’s 2012 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index©. Why, you may ask?  With all this buzz about Google Plus, I am pondering how long will economic development agencies wait to adopt the new social network into their social media marketing mix for investment attraction and business retention.

According to social media guru, Chris Brogan, Google Plus will change “EVERYTHING” when it comes to social networking.  He cites the following two reasons in his book, “Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything

  • Search capabilities
  • The way information is shared on the web

Economic development officers that utilize the web to efficiently promote their region for investment and talent attraction initiatives must take notice of these two realities.  Agencies that use content marketing to reinforce their brand should start building their Google Plus page, NOW!!!.  The network offer opportunities for agencies to push their content via their page which will enhance search engine optimatization on Google.  Consider the following scenario.

Your economic development agency’s Google Plus page is followed by 10 site selectors.  Of these 10 individuals, 5 of them  specialize in identifying regions and real estate opportunities for alternative energy production plants.  (Such details are available on the selectors’ Google Profile). 

With Google Plus, your agency can:

  • Add these 5 individuals to circles of representatives
  • Create and share relevant content regarding location factors for alternative energy sector
  • Appear the Personal Results of the 5 individuals when they perform a query with the search term, “alternative energy”.

The following clip provide a clear explanation of how individuals can use the Google Search Plus to find content within their circles and company brand pages they follow.  A pretty powerful tool that is not offered by Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

One of the most common questions that is going to pop up in the minds of economic development officers that have already embarked on being on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is: “Do we need to be on another social network?”  This question is completely valid.   On the recent blog post,”Is Google+ About To Make Facebook Frown?” by Mitch Joel, I commented that there will be a challenge having people migrate to Google Plus when they are already following you or your company on a variety of networks.  I think that Joel’s response to my comment says it all: “We have to stop seeing Google+ as another destination and more like the undercurrent social platform of all things Google”.

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About Intelegia

Intelegia is a boutique consulting firm in Montreal, Canada that understands the need to be innovative and strategic in a business landscape that’s evolving at an incredible pace. The firm delivers social media strategies to efficiently engage with stakeholders in economic development, business to business and business to consumer segments. It assists clients by defining and executing sustainable social web strategies that will allow their brand message to stand out in a competitive environment where target audience engagement is a must.

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