For some, Google+ is the ‘greatest thing since sliced bread’ – for others the jury is still out.
What is Google+? It’s Google’s social network, their version of Facebook. Launched in June 2011, already it has got more than 62 million users – Facebook has one billion! But Google doesn’t want to be the largest social network – it’s aiming to be the easiest to use most integrated in the world.
Google+ has rolled out business pages to allow companies to create customised profiles. Google want to encourage you to create more ‘buzz’ about your company. They encourage brands to connect, share and engage with fans.
Be warned, to get to grips with Google+ you need to get up to speed with their own bespoke terminology like ‘circles’ (share your messages with the people you choose) +1 (equivalent of Facebook like) endorse updates from others.
One of the most interesting features is ‘hangouts’ (video conference calls) which you can conduct with fans, prospects and customers. It’s this video chat that distinguishes Google+ from other social networks.
So, are you tempted to add that little bit extra to your marketing mix and improve your search results quality? Before creating your Google+ page ask yourself these questions:
- How many of your customers actively use Google+?
- Do you need to create a business page to strengthen your brand?
- What content will you share, more importantly what will they want to engage with?
- How will you use it differently to other social media?
- Will you utilise services like the hangouts, for example?
- Do you have the time, resources and processes to manage another outpost or will you just disappoint potential customers by taking days to respond?
When will Google+ be relevant for you? It’s unlikely to be now for most businesses – though an early presence is not a bad thing (claiming business names etc).
But remember, don’t start what you’re not prepared to finish! Regularly share fresh content, be engaging and respond to your fans. And don’t forget to promote it on your blog and website. To create a Google+ page visit plus.google.com