When Google launched Google+, there were many detractors. “A billion users? It’ll never catch Facebook.” “We don’t need another social network.” “No one uses it.” But, those naysayers missed the point: Google was never trying to be the new Facebook.
Google doesn’t build random apps (no matter how cool they might be.) They explore ways to extend their brand. For instance:
- Google Search led to Shopping, so you could buy what you just tried to find;
- Which led to Wallet, so you could securely and quickly pay for what you wanted to buy,
- Which led to Maps for when you wanted to drive to the store, etc.
Their portfolio of products and services are all interconnected, which brings us back to G+. The product certainly expands the functionality of the Google family. More importantly, it gives Google the only thing it ever coveted from Facebook: the ability to tie real names to online activity.
People seriously connected to Facebook generally use their real names because that’s how their friends find them. You don’t always have to do that with Gmail. However, if all of Google’s products are tied together AND you generally have to log in to use them, suddenly it’s far more likely that Peter Coyote logs in rather than Wiley Coyote.
Ok … great … cool … “I’m a government contractor. This means what to me?”
It means Google is serious about this product and will continue to build seriously cool features to make it ever more enticing for you to build a Brand page for your company. Here are some key reasons you should consider joining Google+:
- Facebook may have a billion members, but Google has a 100 billion monthly searches. G+ makes it faster and easier to tie Google Search and your company’s profile together. Facebook is great for businesses, but G+ enables you to use page entries, photos, videos, etc. from your company page to dramatically strengthen the impression you give to people who searched for a company like yours.
- Google+ lets you claim authorship of your content. Why’s that important? Because it gives you greater visibility in Search, improves your rank, and gives you some analytics to your content.
- G+ has a bunch of amazing tools and features:
- Hangouts – is a quick, easy way to handle a video conference; utilize whiteboarding; incorporate photos and/or video clips into your presentation, set up live event, broadcast or chat … And, your audience can easily participate from either a computer, tablet or smartphone.
- Communities – are like message boards 2.0. They can be public or private, store text/photo/video posts, and enable members to easily initiate chats.
- Posts – can actually show up in Searches.
- Events – let you quickly set up event specifics that are integrated into Google Calendar and automatically distributed to your audience.
- Shared Circles – In Facebook, you set up your network of friends. In G+, you set up circles. All are custom-designed around topics, services, products or whatever seems most logical to your business and customers. Google has then made it simple to share entire circles with other people to dramatically expand your networks.
If you’re still not convinced that Google+ Business should be part of your company’s marketing, consider that this “app that nobody uses” went from zero to the second largest social network in the world in 18 months. Here are 10 articles that give more insight:
- There’s No Avoiding Google+
- It’s Time to Start Taking Google+ Seriously
- Watch Out, Facebook
- Proof that Google+ Will Prevail
- 4 Creative Examples of Google+ Business Pages
- 3 Successful Google+ Pages and Why They Work
- How to Set up a Google+ Page for Your Business
- 5 Creative Ways Businesses Are Using Google+ Hangouts
- Facebook vs Google+: A Guide to Brand Pages
- The Future of Google+
As time goes on, getting social and getting more business will become more and more the same. (Oh, and in case you’re wondering … Yes, PROCAS Connect will be creating a Google+ presence soon.)