Why businesses who ignore Google+ are making a HUGE mistake
Google+ was a year in the making and followed a few (failed) attempts to capture the social network market (it actually followed three other failed Google platforms: Google Buzz, Google Friend Connect and Orkut). It cost an estimated $585 million to build and as of today it’s pretty debatable as to whether this humongous investment has indeed gone any way towards paying off its price tag.
Google is known for having one of the lowest per user time spent on average as well as lower engagement stats (such as those who may be sharing and commenting upon posts).
Despite all of this however Google+ is pretty essential to businesses who are attempting to stake out their own place on the world wide web and here I explain why you are making a HUGE mistake if you choose to ignore Google+.
The Six Golden Reasons that Google+ is completely indispensable
1. It boosts your SEO ranking
The number one reason that there’s simply no getting away from Google+ is the fact that it affects your SEO ranking (e.g. where and indeed if you appear within Google results at all). Neglecting to have a content strategy that targets your audience and moreover ignoring Google+ is today undertaken at your peril, as the search engine giant gives precedence to results built upon Google+ data.
2. Hangouts offer up a new way to connect
Hangouts are generally what they say on the tin and allow you to create groups or one to one chats that you can go back and forth to. These can really serve, in the most basic sense, as free, quick and easy communication, beyond this however and they could be used to build a community to display your hard learnt and extensive expertise.
Hangouts also have a Video Chat feature so you can have one mass webcam chat if you wish, or create an immersive webinar experience.
3. Google Apps Integrate and are altogether rather awesome
I love google Apps. From Google Drive that stores my files so that I need not rely on hard storage through to Google Docs that make for a handy and free alternative to Windows Word and onto Google Calendar that basically organises my life. The fact then that Google+ integrates with these is pretty great and as a perfect example of this all you need to do to create a slot for that Webinar you’re organising is to add an Event in Google+ and all of your attendees that sign up will turn up in a nice little list on your calendar. Useful, hey?
What is Google+
4. It provides the most advanced privacy settings there are
Facebook has been subject to plenty of flack over the years due to the way in which they have (or rather haven’t) addressed privacy issues. With Google+ you simply need to head on over to the Cog in the corner, then click through to Privacy and Settings, and that's it… manage all of your privacy settings there and then.
5. Circles allow you to build business and social circles
Circles are, for me, one of my favourite features of Google+. Whenever you add a person to your contacts list (much like a friend list on Facebook) you’ll be able to create a circle in which to put them in. This allows you to keep your relatives separate from your friends and your clients apart from your colleagues… useful hey? Whenever you then share posts from there on in you’ll be able to choose which circles you share it with and you can even opt to email people to let them know all about it! This really goes way beyond what other social networks offer and provides a ready to go, integrated email marketing tool.
6. It encourages making new connections through communities
Communities can be created by you or you can view communities that you may wish to join. This could be upon anything, from an appreciation of wall flowers through to business networking communities.
Despite a shaky start it may be that Google is now gaining the ground that everyone thought it would when it initially launched way back in June 2011. As of the end of 2013 the platform boasted a pretty impressive 540 million users and this growth continues at respectable levels to this date.
What have been your experiences with Google+? Do you think now that it’s worth investing a little time and effort or do you plan on ignoring this rather misunderstood medium? Let me know in the comments section!