To all you Google+ haters, I want to start this article off by begging you – don’t give up on this social network just yet. As you may know already, Facebook and Twitter are most certainly the frontrunners in the Social Media world, but just because they’re the most used doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the most valuable. If you’re going to do anything right this year, you should definitely start by understanding the importance of Google+ and what it has to offer you and your business.
Google+ is professional
Let’s first compare Google+ to the monster that is Facebook. Most of us spend an embarrassing amount of time on Facebook, and many of us know that this network has grown into a portal for users to express anything from what’s going on in society to what’s happening in their personal lives.
On the contrary, users on Google+ tend to be slightly more buttoned up and dare I say more mature, focusing on people who are looking to have intellectual conversations about serious topics, including work, politics or art. When it comes down to it, Facebook is a great resource for keeping up with the lives of family and friends, but when you’re looking to have an in-depth and intelligent discussion, Google+ is the place to go.
While Facebook does indeed have the group chat function, it’s capabilities are not even comparable to those of Google+. Google Hangouts allows you to professionally conduct meetings, complete with video, text and even screen sharing. In addition to these awesome features mentioned above, there’s also a sketchpad feature allowing you to draw a whiteboard in real-time with others and a notes feature, providing the opportunity for collaboration across a group of users in real-time. In fact, Google Hangouts is so dominant from a business perspective that Facebook isn’t even a real competitor to them, but powerhouses such as GoToMeeting and WebEx are.
The best privacy features to protect your online reputation
Once you make the shift from college to the real-world, there’s a reality check in terms of how you utilize your social media and how important understanding your privacy features is. Because of the circles feature in Google+, you can pick and choose exactly who you share with each time you post something. You can share extremely private posts with just family or friends and you can also share a professional or business related post with just your co-workers.
Build your brand
Building a reputation isn’t always easy, especially when your name is new to the online world. In order to show your knowledge in whatever industry you’re interested in joining, adding a +1 to relevant articles and sites can help show that you’re engaged.
Say a business looking to hire an SEO professional is searching for “keyword research”. If you’ve done your research and added a +1 to articles surrounding this topic, your face will show up next to some of the results, which will help send the message that you’re a thought leader, and not just another self-proclaimed SEO guru.
There’s a notification for everything
Have you heard of Google+ Notifications? You know what I’m talking about – that box that sits in the upper left hand corner of your screen when you’re using a Google service and notifies you when you’ve been tagged in a post with a +1. The problem is, if you’re not using a Google service, you don’t get these notifications, right? Wrong!
There just so happens to be a Chrome browser extension called Google+ Notifications that puts the notification bug next to the address bar so you can get alerts even when you’re not using Google. This is a huge benefit for those who are expected to see and respond immediately to comments but hate to always have their Google+ profile pulled up on their desktop.
When I said earlier that Google+ is underestimated by many, I wasn’t kidding. This Social Media platform can be used to greatly benefit you as a person, your business or your brand. By truly understanding the benefits of Google+, you’ll quickly come to discover that the functionality is far superior to that of any of the other Social Media networks, and certainly shouldn’t be forgotten.