When MktSoc can afford to get 8 boxes of (delicious but) pricey Patsy's pizza, you know the event is going to be something special, and today was no exception!
Melanie Hamilton (Sales Lead of New Advertising Products at Google+) came in to talk to us about what she does and how Google+ hopes to fully integrate Social and the Search, leading to a better experience for the user.
In Melanie's presentation she discussed four issues that marketers are struggling with in the digital realm and how Google+ can help address these issues.
First, Melanie brought up how Circles can help brands connect better with their fans. She showed us an example of how Intel had users +1 pictures of circles labeled "IT Experts," "Trends," etc. The users were then manually added to the corresponding circle by Intel, who could now share appropriate content with the right people! I thought it was a clever way for a brand to use Circles to their full potential.
Another complaint that people often have is that comments are not as meaningful as conversations. This is where Hangouts, Google+'s group-video-conferencing feature, comes in. She showed us this cool video of Will.i.am using Hangout to interact with fans:
After this, she talked about how recommendations made on social media lack staying power. To address this issue, Google introduced the +1 button, which you might have seen popping up around the internet within the last year or so, next to the "share on facebook" or "tweet" buttons. An interesting fact: +1 annotations (both friends' and general) in search results have been show to increase click-through rate 5-10%! That's huge!!!
Finally, Melanie addressed how marketing is fragmented. This is why Google is trying to integrate social elements into all of its efforts. Only when it was pointed out to me did I realize that this allows brands to build relationships with the world's larges audience--Google Search users (read: everyone with an internet connection).
Melanie then opened up the floor to questions, and did a wonderful job answering everyone's questions. In response to one student's question, she demoed Ripples, a Google+ analytics tool that shows how quickly and by whom content gets shared--it was pretty darn cool. Overall, it was a fantastic event, and I look forward to the future of brands on Google+!
For pictures from the event, click here.