Google+ For Business. Worth It?
When the search giant released its social product, there was some initial buzz around it, but it was soon followed by condescending comments like “oh, a copycat” or “yeah, as if we needed another social network” from people in the blogosphere. To be honest, some of us did not take it very seriously either.
Well, things are getting serious now. 90 million users. That’s over 90 million times more users than a lot of the copycats succeeded having!
Plus, there is the added incentive of being part of the search giant’s social network, and knowing that it now gives serious attention to social signals, the incentive is kind of a big one indeed!
The short answer to the question: “Is it worth it?” or “Do we need it?” seems to be “Yes” for now.
Why Businesses Need Google+
The biggest reason would be Google’s social move called ‘Search Plus Your World’. According to their blog, Google thinks that their current search results are quite “limiting”, due to the fact that they only pull up webpages made available publicly. What they want is that information is made available to you from literally everywhere; starting from what your friends are sharing – posts, photos, videos etc. They want to integrate social into search.
This means that in the near future, when people are looking for information about coffee for example, they might be able to see who of their friends are having their lunch break at your coffee shop. Or maybe they want to buy a game on Amazon (via a Google search) but then stumble upon a post made by a colleague who got a nice discount at your game store.
Yes, this is why businesses need Google+! The network is still relatively new (we are talking about Internet age), and the earlier you get in, the earlier you can start building your network (and trust), so it might be a good idea to sign up (or convince your boss that he should!) with Big G’s social network.
Some people think“We’re on Facebook. We got this” or “Who needs another social network when I can just tweet something in under a minute?” Let me show you something that you don’t get with Facebook or Twitter, but that Google+ makes available to you.
What happens when you post something on Facebook? Sometimes nothing (it’s okay to admit it). Other times people comment, like and share. Then… Other posts. They drown that post you made. It goes down the Facebook tunnel, for no one to really see it. You can’t really search for it either.
Here is what’s different with Google+. A “post” is more like an actual blog post. It has the potential to rank. If your post is relevant to someone’s search query, it may appear in his search results (even more likely if you are in his circle); your post is not “wasted”. It’s more of an asset.
A few tips when using Google+
I personally love the concept of “Circles”. You can very easily target your posts to them! You wouldn’t want to share your stomach problems with your “Associates” circles, would you?
Spread the word
You may have more Google+ real-life acquaintances than you think you do. Simply asking, or letting people know on other social networks about your presence on Google+ might get you a few more people in your circles.
Know that it’s different
What works for you on Facebook might not work for you here. It’s a slightly different audience. Be aware that you may have to test (in the beginning) what type of content your connections seem to respond to best. Basically, don’t just copy from there and paste here (and vice-versa).
Scared of new things?
You are not alone. And you would be a bad businessman if you didn’t know fear. But you would be a horrible one if you were not willing to at least TRY new things just to test out the waters…to see if you can make things work out, especially when the “new things” have such a big potential.
Our advice is to go ahead and sign up for a page, and to spend around half an hour to try to figure the new lean social network out. Then spend the rest of the week trying to make things work. 1 week can’t hurt, right?