Google+ was unveiled in 2011, to make sharing of information and content on the web more like sharing in real life. The social network which is eyeing Facebook's place, has up to 400 million subscribers worldwide. Of these, 100 million are active users per month and 12 million per day, according to Ham Namakajjo, country manager Google Uganda.
Speaking at a recent social media gathering in Kampala, Namakajjo encouraged brand managers and business owners to utilise Google+ to promote their brands and products online because it offers them a platform to engage with their customers and know about their brands.
"You need to be present where your fans are. Once you put a Google+ on your product, your will get product endorsements. People's purchase is now driven by endorsements by friends. You should be present at search," he said. But first, one has to start a G+ page and let people know about it just like it happens with Facebook pages.
Namakajjo cited global brands such as Cadbury, McDonalds, H&M, ASOS, and Late Rooms as some of the big brands that have embraced Google+ to successfully market their products online. Cadbury has 1.2 million followers on G+ and has used it to launch some of its products.
Commenting on the benefits of using G+, Namakajjo said that unlike other traditional channels of promotion, social media is measurable and allows to know where your marketing spend is going. "It can help you make your marketing relevant because you get your customers where they are looking for you."
At the gathering, Christian Abassi, general manager Blu Flamingo added that social media is the best way for brands to reach the most influential customers and the most cynical ones.
He further emphasized that digital marketing should not be about the number of followers but places with influence.
"The people you reach should be your ambassadors, it's much more useful to get a blogger to write about your product than getting 14 000 people following you," Abassi told social media enthusiasts and corporate executives.
The social media marketing event, Social Media For Business, was organised by The 360° Network, an organisation that brings together both virtual and real people networks to foster interaction, knowledge sharing and opportunities, through several meetings, activities on its website.