Social media has continued to grow, more so than anyone would have expected. It not only connects users with their friends and networks, but also informs users what their own family and friends like. Google saw the Facebook “Like” button taking off and knew their social media presence was lacking. Several of their past social media products never grabbed attention of the mainstream Google users.
Though it may take some time, I expect eventually, when searching for local coffee shops in your area, your results page will show both total “+1” clicks but also your specific friends that have “+1’ed” the coffee shop. This will be very similar to what Bing has already implemented, using your already established Facebook friends.
Considering it’s free price tag, low maintenance, and rate of return for some, these simple social media buttons can really help a product take off and become a great marketing tactic. Facebook still being the most used button, Google’s +1 button has already taken the number 2 spot from Twitter in only its first couple of months, according to BrightEdge Research (via Search Engine Land @ http://searchengineland.com/report-facebook-has-the-most-implemented-social-plugins-googles-1-surging-84926).
Though it may be very powerful, one issue with social media buttons is trying to track its ROI. Managers want to know how well their company’s social media efforts are working and if it is turning sales. Some methods include using analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Hootsuite to track your social media presence, but what if many of your sales come in from phone calls? Call Tracking (local or toll free numbers) can link sales to social media pages or other websites.