Google recently announced that it will shut down its often-overlooked social network, Google+.

Compared to the social media giants, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, G+ never gained substantial popularity and many users assumed it would shut down for that reason.

However, it was the discovery of a hidden security glitch that really sealed the deal. Reports indicated that up to 500,000 Google+ accounts were potentially affected by the data breach leaving users’ details vulnerable.

Many businesses used Google+ as part of their social media marketing and SEO strategies, so what will happen now that the social network is coming to an end? Local businesses, in particular, might be wondering how the change could affect them, and what they should do next.

Some things you might need to consider include:

  • Will local SEO be affected?
  • Will your business lose some of its audience?
  • How to make the most of Google My Business?
  • Should you redirect your energy to other social networks?
  • How to clean up your Google+ presence and save important info?

Will It Affect Local SEO?

The first thing that many local business owners will want to know is whether the end of Google+ will affect their local SEO rankings. Fortunately, Google+ has very little influence over local SEO.

Google My Business is now almost entirely separate from Google+, and that’s what you should really pay attention to for local SEO results. Even if you were a heavy user of Google+ for your local business, you’re unlikely to see much difference.

Could It Mean Losing Part of Your Audience?

For businesses that do make use of Google+ (because they do exist), there could be some negative consequences of the platform closing down. If you engage with a significant number of people on Google+ alone, you might be afraid of losing this audience forever. However, there’s a strong chance that these people use other social platforms or will engage with content that you publish using Google My Business Posts.

Google My Business Isn’t Going Anywhere

Although Google+ is being shut down, Google My Business will still exist and it’s strong! It’s more useful for boosting your local SEO rankings and for putting your business on the map (literally). If you’re not already using it, trust us, you should be.

Google My Business Posts allow you to share content that you might have shared on Google+ or other social media platforms. The character limit is only 1,500, but that’s enough space for business updates, short announcements and the like. Craft your GMB Posts with clear images and well-written copy and they will quickly start to lead new customers to your website.

More Time to Focus on Other Social Networks

Without Google+, there’s more time to focus on other social networks. For some businesses, Google+ might have seemed like the best place to reach their target audience. However, many can find just as many or more customers elsewhere. Whether your business is more suited to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram, now you can focus your time and resources on these popular networks instead.

Time Required to Clean Up the Signs of Google Plus

You might also want to consider whether there’s anything valuable on your Google+ profile before it disappears forever. You could delete the account yourself or wait for Google to do it.

Either way, check that you don’t have any content or resources on your Google+ page that you can’t find elsewhere. This could include redirecting your Google+ audience to another platform.

Ultimately, the loss of Google+ isn’t going to be a bad thing for most businesses. It gives you more time to focus on other marketing opportunities for your business and you won’t have to worry about its security issues anymore.

For more information about how the Digital Marketing team at Sprout Media Lab can help you grow your digital footprint using social media, visit us online or call (800) 617-6975 for a free consultation with one of our experts!