Google recently announced that it would shut down the consumer version of Google+ (G+), their social media network in August 2019.

The shutdown announcement was tied to a potential data leak risk that affected up to 500,000 accounts. However, it’s been apparent for some time that G+ has been a steadily shrinking presence in the social media world.

The Promise of Google+ that Never Materialized

G+ was created in 2011 as a response to consumer’s concerns over the growing influence of Facebook.

Google worked to align G+ to search engine results. They asked that content authors use their G+ accounts to add search weight to their latest posts.

Until 2015, Google encouraged local businesses to use G+ Local to gain traction in search results. Today, many of those local content features—reviews, posts, events—are found in Google My Business.

While Google touted 395 million active Google+ accounts, the social media network never managed to pull people permanently away from Facebook or other social media outlets.

Over the years, it became somewhat of a ghost town. Its impact over local search results ended long ago.

Time to Audit Your Marketing

Many small businesses followed Google’s lead to promote their G+ pages on their website and marketing collateral. Just this week, we found the G+ logo on a couple front entrances of local businesses.

You should take the time to remove G+ presence from your:

  • Website
  • Email signatures
  • Store signage
  • Printed collateral

If you have G+ account, consider downloading your content and deleting the account.

The Lesson to Small Businesses: Be Strategic with Your Online Presence

The shutdown of G+ shows how disposable social media networks can be.

As we’ve seen with G+, Facebook and other social media networks, features for businesses come and go based on decision totally out of your control.

If you’re building your total online business presence on social media networks, you could be a corporate whim or an accounting decision away from losing it.

The best strategy for your online presence is to build it first with something you own—and control. Post your content, articles, tips on your website then push it out to your online outposts—the social media networks your target market is using.

Reach Out for Help on Tasks

If auditing your marketing materials for G+ logos and updating your website and printed collateral is now another task on a long list you’re trying to get through—consider delegating.

Give Business Solutions Unlimited a call today at (904) 429-4588 and let us help you with that…and more.