For years, you had to have a Google Plus account to use features like Google Photos, Hangouts, and YouTube. So, most consumers created Google Plus accounts to use these other apps—not the social media platform.
Then a data breach happened. Google discovered a glitch that allowed third-party apps to access the private information of 500,000 Google Plus users.
5 Social Media Platforms That Replace Google Plus for Local Businesses
There is no one-size-fits-all replacement for Google Plus.
Depending on your business and where your key audience hangs out, you might choose to use one or all of the platforms listed below, which may help you recover some Google Plus features.
Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a snippet of information about your business’ operating information, reviews, and so much more. Getting on GMBcan help you appear as a business profile and on Google Maps, both on desktop and mobile, when users search for brands like yours.
Business Profiles on Google Search look like this:
Business Profiles on Google Maps look like this:
Business Profiles on mobile searches look like this:
While all this information is likely on your website, GMB helps you index the content and share it with a broader audience.
The result? A potential boost in search result rankings, revenue, and valuable insights about your customers.
Why Google My Business Is a Good Replacement for Google Plus
Google My Business is more than an online local business directory. It comes with “social” features, making it a suitable replacement for Google Plus.
People can tap the “+ Follow” button under your listing on their mobile devices and receive updates from your business. You can use the feature to send out a special “Welcome Offer” when someone opts in to help incentivize people to shop at your store.
Lastly, Google My Business comes with interactive features like reviews and a Q&A section. With 91% of younger customers using online reviews to make purchasing decisions, engaging and monitoring brand sentiment can help you build a stronger “know, like, and trust factor” with your audience.
How to Use Google My Business:
Highlight all the information about your business, such as opening hours, your website, products, menus, location, and other essential details.
Use the GMB dashboard to see which search queries people are using to find your business, a breakdown of actions (calls, clicks, bookings), and how your profile performs compared to others in your category.
Why Pinterest Is a Good Replacement to Google Plus
While Google Plus was good for sharing updates and creating a community, it didn’t have a way for you to boost sales.
Pinterest, on the other hand, has exploded its e-commerce capabilities.
First rolling out buyable pins and then promoted pins, the platform encourages users to take action on their feeds’ inspirational content.
However, before you head on over to Pinterest, know the site is not for everyone.
Pinterest’s audience skews female and younger, and lifestyle brands generally see the most success.
As the site is a visual search engine, your brand needs that element to succeed. If your brand doesn’t appeal to the platform’s niche interests and demographics, it might not be the best Google Plus replacement for you.
How to Use Pinterest:
SEO optimizes your profile, boards, and pins to boost your brand’s visibility in search results.
Create visually appealing pins to get users to click-through.
Activate Rich Pins and make your pins shoppable to increase conversions.
Use a Pinterest scheduler tool like Tailwind to pin at the best times for engagement.
Invest in Pinterest ads to reach your ideal customer.
Instagram for Local Businesses
Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for relationship building and showing your customers the humanity behind your brand.