Google has commenced its rollout of the +1 button on its search engine homepage.
While not everyone can see the share button for its Google+ offering just yet, it has started to crop up – but what does this mean for businesses, and how should they act on this development?
The new +1 button on the Google search homepage means Google+ members can post content, videos and photos straight from this screen, rather than needing to log into the social media site.
However, comments across the industry have varied. Danny Sullivan, writing for Marketing Land, asserted: "I don't get why I want to go to the Google homepage to share content on Google+. Rather, I'll go to Google+, if I want to do that. But others might prefer to go straight to the Google homepage, so perhaps they'll find this useful."
What does this mean for social media marketing?
The introduction of the +1 button so prominently on the search page highlights how important Google+ is becoming. With Google placing increasing weight on Google+ posts in its search results and the +1 button appearing next to links, businesses that do not have an account on the social media site are missing out.
Having a strong Google+ presence can bolster engagement between companies and consumers, especially if more people join up to the social networking site out of curiosity of what the new +1 button means.
If a brand enjoys a positive reputation and is widely talked about on the website, it also boosts their chances of featuring in Google's search results. If a local restaurant, for example, is talked about on Google+, these related posts will be flagged up in the links the search engine returns – however, this is still the case even if the comments are negative.
Businesses need to quickly respond to both positive and negative feedback on Google+ to show members they take customer comments seriously. This, in turn, can help to enhance their reputation.
The button also shows up on apps such as Google News, a page companies can enjoy a prominent presence on through well-written and keyword-optimised copy.
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