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With a total of 29 million visitors on desktop every month and a total of 41 million visitors in mobile, Google+ has nearly doubled in size on a year-on-year basis. Although the growth has been significant, it is still lacking behind its major competitors such as Facebook and Twitter. Facebook alone has a reported 1.2 billion members. However, the small size of Google+ also represents an opportunity for tourism marketers (eTourism Blog).

OPPORTUNITIES FOR TOURISM MARKETERS

Given that Google+ has not matured like its biggest rival Facebook, it offers hotels, destinations and other tourism service providers the chance to find an audience and engage with them more efficiently. This is partly attributable to the lower level of noise in Google+, which allows a businesses message to reach their audience better, without having to pay for promoting their post. Secondly, investing in Google+ is an investment in the future. As the network is strongly integrated in Google services, it runs less risk to fall away from popularity and become insignificant.

INTEGRATION WITH GOOGLE SERVICES

Google is interested in pushing its own platform. More recently, Google linked the Youtube commenting function to Google+ accounts. In addition Google+ has changed the way users scan search results, and recent studies confirm that the +1 feature has a measurable impact on click-through rates. Thirdly, Google Authorship allows content producers to prove the quality of their work by linking it to their Google+ profile. Although Google Authorship is not currently used as an organic search ranking factor, it seems highly likely that it will become one in the future, as more and more people seek to claim authority over their work online.

LONG TERM DEVELOPMENT

Considering how much Google invested in pushing its own platform, and establishing it as an alternative to Facebook and Twitter, it is clear that the social media network isn’t going anywhere. It will be around in the long term. However, this is not the only reason why it is important to invest in Google+. Google will is constantly introducing new features, which open up valuable marketing opportunities, such as Google+ Post Ads or AutoAwesome.

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