Fernando Cuscuela is a co-founder at Everypost.
Google+ is the hot social network on the tip of everyone’s tongues as we gear up for 2014. Everywhere you look, web marketing gurus and technology reporters are talking about how the coming year will finally be the one in which Google+ evolves from a hip, different offering to the search engine colossus and a go-to social network for marketers and consumers alike.
Everyone knows they need to get on the Google+ train or they will be left behind, but what tools are needed to do this? If 2014 is the year marketers all start focusing on Google+, then it inherently must be a year of real growth in the analytical tools and offerings available to help harness the streams of information and capture actionable data from the conversations on this platform.
Here are three things that marketers should be clamoring to see in tools in 2014:
Find influencers and mavens specifically for your offering
Currently, there are tools such as Recommended Users that can provide categorized lists of top influencers on the network based on criteria such as “Women in Technology,” “VCs & Angel Investors,” or “Tech Entrepreneurs.” Depending on the product or service you are marketing, some of these compiled lists could be immensely helpful; but what would be much more helpful would be a service that can figure out, based on your activity, who carries the most influence over the conversations most relevant for your efforts.
Of course, every marketer should participate in discussions related to their industry and find communities to participate in that are relevant, just as they would on another social network. However, in contrast with other social networks, the tools for capturing this type of information and identifying who to target really lag behind.
Capture better, more actionable information about your own influence
There is also a dearth of analytical tools on the market that can provide much information on your own profile and influence. There are tools that exist currently such as Circle Count and the PlusClout extension which use different data and algorithms to calculate how your influence ranks compared to others, and both of these tools (as well as others) provide a bevy of information about whether your influence is growing.
The next step needs to be better metrics on understanding who you are influencing and why. Location is a terrific filter, especially for a local businesses, but in 2014 we should see these tools and others stepping up to the plate to offer us more information on what we are doing right and what we need to do better.
Monitor what your competitors are doing and their influence on Google+
In addition to tracking ourselves, it is important to get a handle on what our competitors are up to on Google+ just as through any other medium. Tools such as SocialBro, Twitonomy, and many others already exist to provide side-by-side comparisons between competitors. This kind of competitive intelligence is crucial for maximizing the results a marketer can achieve through Twitter, and it is reasonable to expect that we see tools geared towards accomplishing this on Google+ start to gain traction in the marketplace.
In recent years a myriad of helpful analytical tools for Twitter have been introduced, and many of those tools have improved and evolved to a point where online marketers feel they know how they want to approach their strategy with Twitter. The same must now happen for Google+.