I know what you’re thinking: “Oh great, not another social media website that I have to manage!” Yep, that was my reaction to Google+ when it was released last year too. Regardless, I did my part as a web professional to set up an account shortly after it was introduced in order to familiarize myself with it.
To be honest, if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m in the web business, I still might not have a Google+ account at all. Additionally, although I have an account, I rarely use it. Google+ tends to feel like a Facebook clone and most of the contacts I normally connect with online are not regular users of it yet.
However, despite these rather deflating opening statements on Google+, I strongly encourage you to consider using it for business purposes.
1. Google+ is Google friendly – Including meaningful real time search of social media services within search results has been an ongoing quest of the major search engines and has even spawned some new search engines geared just for this task. Recent agreements between Twitter and Google have crumbled and Facebook and Google aren’t looking to promote each other. Google+ is Google and Google wants it to succeed, so guess what social media profiles will get the most visibility in Google search results? Google+, of course. Ever do a search for a video in Google? Have you noticed how YouTube videos always appear at the top of the results? Did you know Google owns YouTube? Those are easy dots to connect.
2. Google+ is now open to businesses – When Google+ first started out, Google restricted it to individuals only. Now Google+ offers users the ability to set up business pages, just like Facebook. While Facebook still has the bigger social media infrastructure in place, Google has the deep pockets to challenge Facebook on this front.
3. Google+ has quickly built a large user base – With the name recognition of “Google” behind it, Google+ quickly amassed a very large user base. In fact, it hit 50 million users in its first 2 months of public release. That is explosive growth that not even Twitter and Facebook can match. In fact, Google+ is approaching 100 million users as I write this. You can’t ignore those kinds of numbers. Like it or not, you have to start thinking about Google+ when you think about social media marketing.
4. Google+ might actually be better than Facebook – While this is simply a matter of opinion, Google+ just might be a better platform to spend your time on than Facebook. It feels simpler and more streamlined, and the ability to group various contacts into different “Circles” is a long standing shortcoming of Facebook. I suspect that as more of my online contacts sign up with Google+ I will happily start to shift a larger allocation of my social media activity to it.
Click here to sign up for Google+ .