By now you have heard about Google+, its a brand new social network that seems to have a ton of potential. I am not going to go over what its features are, as there are a thousand such articles already. What I am going to do is give you a few reasons to check it out, and hopefully reveal a few opportunities it presents.
Google+ and Your Business
By uniting the functionality of the Facebook style stream, the Twitter style update, the Foursquare Check-In, the Flickr photo video curation, the contact collection that is in your gmail contact list, and the power of multiple best in class Google properties from Youtube to Maps, Google+ is a legitimate titan in the making.
Google+ has one major Hurdle to Clear
In order for it to succeed Google Plus for business will have to answer one major question: Will enough people decide to invest time and energy into a new social platform? Who will right away: people like me, who have businesses that rely heavily on their web presence. The reason is, despite Bing’s progress, Google owns search. To ignore the potential for increased search rankings from interactions and content on Google+ would be foolish. Please don’t forget with every Gmail user there is also a built in head start as well… true that didn’t work out so well for Buzz. but Buzz sucked, it felt like an intrusive clone, and nobody likes that.
Google+ is different, it is intuitive and it is a hybrid of features from successful networks that have been improved and tied into very very robust Google properties.
Privacy is Weapon #1 for Google+
How many people have had an issue arise from something posted on Facebook? How many people have grown frustrated by the obvious push by Facebook to make it hard to keep things private? Sure it does make sense that you should not share things on Facebook that you would not want public. But those making that argument are missing the point. PEOPLE WANT TO SHARE THOSE THINGS. They just want to be able to choose with whom. With circles Google has the best answer to date. You can share items specifically with the people you want to, and creating a circle is incredibly easy and the granularity of the process is as transparent as I can imagine. I highly suggest that you take your time at the beginning and try to think of the ideal structure for your circles. Work, Friends, Family may be too general to really get the benefit. Think: Potential Customers, VIP customers, company bosses, employees who report to me, CBS fantasy league, college guy friends, Mom’s side of the family, cute girls (if you are looking for that), etc. You can always select to share something with everyone, or you can drill down to the groups you are trying to reach.
Video Meeting via Google+
Having an active Google+ profile and well defined groups means that you will be able to selectively manage the promising video meeting feature of Google plus for business. That could mean proactively jumping into a customers Google+ hangout and striking up a convo and asking if you can do anything for them. But most incredibly you can be face to face with a customer who needs help with your company immediately and for free. Yes it starts to sound like a Skype killer here.There are a ton of possibilities here, including remote meetings with co-workers. Imagine for a moment. Google plus for business and for personal use, under one hood.
Google+ is Uncluttered
Time will tell if it stays this way but the clutter of Facebook is not here. There are no mafia invitations, or applications that ask you to answer juvenile questions about your friends. It is pure and that is refreshing. I don’t have to tell you about the annoyances with Facebook applications, they are the Myspacification of that platform in my eyes. Combined with the lack of control over privacy, the black screen of death when viewing photos, and the general feel of a meat market Facebook has lost some of its appeal to me. The big draw? Everyone is on it… but you know what everyone I knew was on Myspace too, and I can remember the day I fell for Facebook and then the day some time later that I somewhat sadly deleted my Myspace page. Things change and in the world of internet empires, pretty f’in quickly.
In summary here is why you should give a chance to Google Plus for business:
- Google+ is a legit, full featured, and well thought out social network.
- Google+ makes Privacy a core feature, highlighting the shortcomings of Facebook in that department.
- It has the strength of many Google properties driving it. (Youtube, Maps, Places, Picasa)
- Google owns search and will be tying data from Google+ into search results.
- The Video feature has a ton of possibilities, and it is free on Google+
- Google+ is a more grown up social network, uncluttered by childish games and the meat market feel of Facebook.
Want an invite? Email me your gmail address and I will send you one. (email@example.com or @spirocks on Twitter)
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This is my initial post on how to use Google Plus for Business, and ideas about the feature of Google plus for business.