Mention Google+ to someone and chances are that they’ll try to convince you that Facebook and Twitter are sufficient in their social media involvement, some may even go as far as say that Google+ is a big flop and not to bother with it.
Google+ was launched by Google in 2011, it is the search giant’s own version of a social network, with an excess of 175 million users worldwide, and a distant second to Facebook which has more than 400 million users, but Google+ has one important dynamic, that of being linked to the world’s largest search engine, Google, and the world’s second largest search engine, YouTube, meaning that, when a user registers with Google+ they can improve their primary website’s find-ability rankings because of the aforementioned mega search engines.
Facebook and Twitter don’t allow Google to search or index their listings, and it is for this reason alone, that Google+ could just end up being the best online business building tool ever developed.
According to Chris Brogan, President of Human Business Works, and consultant to Fortune 100 and 500 companies such as Pepsico, General Motors, Microsoft among others, there are other reasons why Google+ has the potential to become the next big thing in the business world. Google+ looks like it is becoming the perfect way to build a ‘communications backbone’ which brings together Google’s numerous products into one place. If that scenario plays out as anticipated, then mastering Google+ and being early to the party will pay big dividends further down the track. If you can master using Google+ today, you will be well positioned for what happens in the future as Google, YouTube and others continue to bring new developments to the online marketplace.
Brogan said: “Google+ isn’t a hardcore sales and marketing engine. The game, such as it is, isn’t to get the most followers and then start blasting them with offers until they purchase. It is, instead, a way to educate prospective buyers, a way to connect with your community of customers, a method by which to promote offers and events (sparingly) to your audience, and a way to build relationships before you need them. In Google+, you can do this in several ways. One is by sharing posts from people with smaller audiences. Another is to make introductions between two people you follow who might not yet follow others. Another is to promote products and services that aren’t yours but that would help your constituency. These are all big opportunities to build value for others and build relationships in general.”
The central organizational element in using Google+ is your Public Profile. Once you get that in place, using Google+ then becomes a matter of setting up and maintaining circles and posting in the stream. Learn how to do these activities first.
Pure and simple Google+ is an excellent tool for warming up an audience of people that you can then go back to and sell in the future. It is quite possibly the best lead generator, publishing platform and pooling mechanism for prospective customers the world has ever known. Google+ can add value by helping you build connections and learn how to sell to them.
While it is still early days for learning how best to use Google+ to generate added value for a business, there are a number of power plays which people are already experimenting with. Start trying new things. Find what works for you and for your business. The simple underlying dynamic is people do business with the people they like. Google+ is a great way to help others get to know you and to like you. That’s worth pursuing.
To take full advantage of the power of Google+ to grow your business, the power plays you should try are:
1. Get started
2. Set up a routine
3. Learn how to listen
4. Post daily
5. Share and cross-share
6. Use video astutely
7. Run some hangouts
8. Share loads of photos
9. Comment everywhere
10. Build business pages