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Google+ Releases Business Pages, and Other Hot Topics for Nov. 7–11

CTCT Employee

This week, Google gave brands the ability to make pages on Google+, finally throwing the social network’s full weight into the ring. But many people have already started doubting the power of Google’s efforts, and are questioning whether it's worth it for brands to spend the time to build a presence there.


Meanwhile, eMarketer studied the things that engaged Facebook users the most, Facebook itself improved the site’s search algorithm for users who post with third-party apps, and a report showed that smartphone users manage to stay glued to the TV and their smartphones at the same time.


Read about these topics and more in our weekly breakdown of marketing hot topics:


1. Google+’s Unfun Business Pages

Any business or organization can finally make a brand page on Google+, but should they? Google+ strictly dictates that no contests, promotions, or sweepstakes can be used on the pages, and these limitations seem to be just the tip of the iceberg. Brands may be scrambling to chase after the next big thing, but it’s not yet clear whether Google+ is it. 


Bottom Line: Despite lots of hype, Google+ is stumbling; the site claims 40 million "users," but traffic to it has fallen significantly since its peak over the summer. Slate magazine even published an article this week proclaiming that "Google+ Is Dead." Any social network needs a critical mass of active users to be successful, and conventional marketing wisdom dictates that you should go where your audience is. With more than 800 million active users, Facebook remains the reigning champion of customer engagement. Until Google+ becomes popular outside the marketing and technology scene, we're just not sure it's worth a busy small business person's time.


2. More Algorithm Goodness Means More Clout for Third-Party Facebook Apps

Do you use a third-party app to help post content onto Facebook? Well, a September study from EdgeRank showed that this habit could decrease your likelihood of engagement per fan by about 80%. The good news is that Facebook is working to correct that by overhauling its algorithm (i.e., what it uses to determine what content to show users) so the site can identify good quality posts, regardless of where they come from.


Bottom Line: This new algorithm change may be a big plus for small businesses and organizations that are already pressed for time and rely on third-party apps to streamline their posting process. The change means that your posts may be more likely to appear in customer News Feeds, which can lead to more engagement.


3. A Facebook Picture Is Worth .10% More Engagement Than Words

A report from digital marketing agency Web Liquid found that Facebook posts with photos are the most likely to engage users. These posts showed a .37% engagement rate, compared to a .27% rate for text-only posts and a .15% rate for links. Another related report from Momentus Media showed that posts asking users to “like” it had an engagement rate of .38%, compared to an .11% rate for posts without the call to action.


Bottom Line: Brands are still learning how to harness the energy and time of their social media followers, but it’s becoming more and more evident that maintaining fresh and unique content, especially if it's a picture or contains a clear call to action, is a surefire way to engage your audience.


4. E-Commerce Spending Grows 13 Percent in Q3

Retail e-commerce experienced its eighth consecutive quarter of growth, according to a new report from comScore. The 13% uptick means that the industry is now valued at $36.3 billion. Some of the most popular goods being bought virtually are event tickets, digital content, watches, electronics, and jewelry.


Bottom Line: These findings are important for any business that sells products and services online. With additional sales coming through the internet, it may be time to start thinking about a comprehensive, internet marketing strategy that makes use of people’s growing comfort with the concept of e-commerce.


5. 80% of Smartphone Users Multitask While They Watch TV

It used to be that you had to get up during TV commercials, but a new study by Yahoo! Mobile and Razorfish found that 80% of American adults who own smartphones use their devices while watching TV, and 94% of users are doing something related to social media, whether they’re checking their emails or using a social network.


Bottom Line: As mobile quickly becomes an everyday habit for more people, it’s important to remember that your marketing campaigns need to catch the attention of readers who are often multitasking. Mobile strategies like short, simple email newsletters and fun social media posts that grab and keep people's attention may be most effective.


What internet marketing topics caught your attention this week? Let us know below or on our Facebook Page


I'm interested in all things content marketing, especially how they relate to good writing. I'm an author at heart and I think that the internet and quality books and articles have a healthy future together.