Google+ How to Make it Work for your Business
While the offline world seems to be caught up in the News of the World closure, the online world over the past couple of weeks has been dominated by the launch of Google+ (Google Plus or G+). At first we were reading all about it, but it seemed that only the top tech bloggers were on there and the rest of us who’d registered an interest were wondering how soon we would be able to have a look at the new offering from Google. After a couple of days of watching from the sidelines, I received an invite from one of the tech bloggers that I follow on Google Buzz. Practically jumping up and down with excitement, I followed the link only to find that Google+ seemed to be over capacity! I persevered and within a few hours, the link worked and I was in.
Google+ Better for Business than Facebook?
Although Google+ has been touted as a huge threat to Facebook, it didn’t actually look very Facebooky when I first checked it out. It actually looks much more professional, with a very clean and minimal look. One of the main benefits with Google+ is that it’s much more business-like, offering users far more control over who sees what than does Facebook. For those of us that spend a lot of our time working online, this will prove to be an invaluable feature.
We’re all aware that Facebook is used by organisations to communicate with customers and clients via Facebook pages. This actually presents many problems for those of us who are on Facebook in order to communicate on a personal level with family and friends and are also managing Facebook pages for professional purposes. There is the option on Facebook of dividing friends into Lists, but this is time-consuming and we’ve all seen instances where people are getting into trouble at work for stuff that they’ve posted on Facebook.
Drawing your Contacts into the Circles
This is where Google+ comes into its own and beats Facebook hands down. Your contacts on Google+ are organised into Circles – a task that’s really easy to do by just dragging and dropping people into appropriate Circles. People can be put into more than one of your Circles which is really handy for people who are colleagues as well as friends. Every time you post on Google+, you get to choose which of your Circles get to see the posting – this is a huge asset and should eliminate the worries of making faux pas such as letting all your clients know that you’ve just been to your Mum’s birthday celebration. It will also mean that your personal friends and family are no longer being inundated with news of your organisation that they really have no interest in.
Everybody’s Doing It!
While Google+ is really in its earliest days, the take up has been absolutely massive 10 million people so far and that’s expected to double by the weekend! So far, most of the discussions on Google+ have been about Google+, with loads of tips and tricks and how to’s. This is a really great time to get involved and learn about how Google+ can be of benefit to your business. There is loads of advice on using Google+ as the early adopters are sussing out how to make it work best for their purpose.
Mashable have posted an article on how to get your own Google+ Vanity URL mine is http://gplus.to/jonnyross – an absolute must for sharing with friends. Silicon Beach Training show you how to “Pimp your Google+ Profile Design” (checkout my design Jonny’s G+_Profile)! along with a list of tips and tricks, including how to view your Profile as
others see it, making sure that some of your posts are Public and not just limited to certain Circles, how to disable sharing, how to filter your notifications effectively so that your Inbox is not inundated and how to mute a post. More useful tricks include keyboard shortcuts, how to tag posts, type tips and more.
Another useful resource is a Google+ Cheat Sheet put together by Mashable which will help you to make Google+ work for you, whatever you happen to be using it for. Another great resource is provided by Andrew Shotland on his blog – Google+ Tips and Shortcuts which contains a list of links on just about everything you’ll need to know about using Google+.
The Rapid Response Team
The Google+ team is responding rapidly to feedback (which each user is encouraged to provide by using a link in the bottom left hand side of the screen). Changes and improvements are already happening, showing that Google+ is listening to its users and determined to give people what they actually want, unlike Facebook which seems to make regular changes that tend to be quite unpopular for most people. There are also hints that Google+ is set to launch new features in the near future that will be aimed at businesses and organisations, making it an even more powerful tool for engaging with your followers, communicating with clients and reaching a wider audience.
Even though it’s in its infancy, now is the best time to get in on the act so that you’re totally familiar with Google+ and ready to use it to full advantage when it’s time for your business to get on board. In the meantime, you can make some connections and gain a following so that when you register your company, you will have a readymade audience. Over the coming months, as Google+ develops and becomes even more useful, I’ll be keeping you up to date with how you can ensure that any new features/discoveries can have a positive impact on your business. With a little bit of time and effort (and using some of the links I’ve provided), you should be well on the way to making Google+ a really important resource for your business communications.
If you found this post a good resource, share it with your friends for me, also join me on G+ and add my to your “following” and/or “friends” circle. Also if like me if you need an invite to get on there add your email address to the comments below and I’ll invite you to join the experience. Lastly if you would like to discuss your Social Media Strategy or would like to instruct me to run an SEO campaign or improve your Google PPC AdWords Campaign give me a shout and contact jrc.agency Now!