Back in 2011 Google+ was launched and it met with a number of different reactions – excitement, complacency and maybe one or two sighs as the groan rippled out through businesses "Not another social media network to maintain and feed!" Many people got involved and committed time and energy to exploring what is was capable of and how it could be put to best use, they then promptly returned to Facebook and other social networks forgetting all about Google+.
Social networks are only as good as the people that use them and communicate through them, it is like building an incredible sports facility, people come and have a look around they like the features and the equipment but whenever they go if there’s no friendly face or person to chat with they will gradually stop going. It is frustrating because there is so much potential and so many opportunities that are being realised. We know that the name Google is synonymous with search and they have built an incredible social network that feeds directly into search. Late last year we saw significant evidence of this integration and so businesses are now paying closer attention to Google+ and it is getting the attention that it deserves.
This is quote is taken from Social Media Today:
Here’s the bottom line: If you don’t use Google+ you will lose out in search rankings compared to sites that do. That fact was confirmed by Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page who said, “If you ignore GooglePlus, Google Search will ignore you.” No association can afford to let that happen!
If that statement isn’t enough on its own then here are five reasons why Google+ deserves your attention
If you use skype, webinars or screen sharing software then you will love Hangouts which is a combination of the three. I can train clients across the country on a one to one basis, run group sessions (with up to 9 attendees) and I can stream live to YouTube at the same time! There is also an Hangouts App for your phone and all absolutely free!
With Google+ installed we are beginning to see more personalised and relevant search results. If you rely on Google Search for leads then paying attention to Google+ is no longer an option it has become compulsory. This post explains the correlation clearly.
3. Privacy & Control
We have seen high profile cases of other social media networks making huge mistakes with our privacy and still apparently doing little to prevent information straying. However the whole infrastructure of Google+ is set up to protect our identity and the information we share; it is very difficult to inadvertently share information with the wrong people. This means from one account you can communicate with different groups of people in your life: family, friends, colleagues, clients, club members etc and depending who they are and how they are connected to you they will see a completely different version of your profile.
This is a whole blogpost in itself! You may have noticed when you use Google search now that individuals images are appearing next to search items, this is all tied in with authorship and Google+ and if you haven’t already I highly recommend you research this. I have found this article particularly helpful.
5. Join in as a Business
If you want to use Google+ purely for business purposes you will be delighted to hear that Pages (Company Profiles) have almost exactly the same opportunities and access as personal profiles on Google+. Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn, where Companies can’t join groups or comment on individual’s updates and profiles, on Google+ all of this is possible. So businesses have more of a voice and don’t get filtered in the same way as they do on Facebook.
If you are already on Google+ then come and find me here. There are so many great resources available on Google+ you can find my stash here. If you would like to set some time aside and really understand Google+ then do come along to a half day workshop with your laptop and your sleeves rolled up. I am running these sessions in both Bath and Bristol.