SoMoConf: Google Highlights Influence of Social, Mobile Tools on Local Purchase Decisions

According to Christine Merritt of Google, they are now touting Google+ as the foundation for a business’s web-wide identity.  A big reason for that is the growing reach that Google+ now has.  Christine said Google+ launched in 2011 and already they have 190M active monthly users, about 390M social actions.  Social actions include everything from a “+1” to reviews and Christine said they have about 10M reviews.

“Small businesses want to utilize Google AdWords but they don’t necessarily want to manage that activity,” Christine said.  “That is why our partnership programs are so crucial in helping SMBs with this part of their business.”

On the mobile front, Kesh Patel from Google said that devices are starting to converge. We pick up our smart phone then our laptop then our tablet sometimes in the same hour. He said that we live in “a multi-screen world” and we can do anything we want on our connected devices.  He went on to say that this connectivity has brought us ability to search for anything, anywhere and through these searches Google is able to take consumer intent and provide ads through their AdWords solution that respond to consumer wants and needs. Google finds this contextual marketing to be extremely successful and important.

“Search gave us intent which we marry with the contextual world today like location, time of day and device,” Kesh said.

Finally Ohad Tzur of Google’s Wildfire talked about the importance of managing the many social tools available to businesses in order to influence more brand awareness. The real power in social media, according to Ohad, comes from the way social facilitates word-of-mouth.  According to a study by Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust the recommendations they get from the people they know.

In addition, Ohad provided what he viewed as the two main challenges for social media. One, the many social tools and platforms that are available make the space very fragmented and, two, proving the value and ROI is very difficult on social media.

“Social, eventually, is all about people,” Ohad said. “Leveraging these connections to increase word-of-mouth is really important.”

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