Google+ (Pronounced “Google Plus”) is currently the second largest social networking site after Facebook. Having been founded only 2 years ago, you might think “WOW” the second largest networking site? Maybe I should get on this! Check below for 5 reasons for, and 5 reasons against, using Google+ for your business:
5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE USING GOOGLE+
- Google Integration: Google+ is Google! It’s integrated with all of Google’s other online tools. Calendar. Adwords. Analytics. This does wonders for your SEO initiatives and showing up in organic search. Keep in mind that this may also be detrimental if you show up in search but aren’t actively engaged on the platform.
- Google’s “+1” is used similarly to the Facebook “Like” button. People who see your content can endorse it by “+1”-ing which signals to Google that you are important. +1’s are located all over the web and as long as users are logged into a Google account (Gmail, YouTube, etc), they can +1 or share content without being on the Google+ site.
- Group Followers: Adding people to circles allows you to easily manage different groups based on criteria you assign to them. This allows for easy targeting for your content and messages.
- Schedule a Hangout: I think Hangout is the most wicked feature of Google+. You can use it to schedule live meetings with groups of people in your circle. It’s kind of like a chatroom – but with people you’re connected with. Use it for Q&A sessions, for client meetings, team meetings – you can even live stream!
- Brand/Business Account: You can join Google+ as a brand! This allows you to interact with experts and businesses in your field, or with customers – as your business.
5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT USE GOOGLE+
- Is Your Target Audience Using Google+?: Before you jump the gun, think about this: “How active is my target audience on Google+?” Most people today, who have access to anything digital, have probably heard of Google or at least used something run by Google (Gmail, YouTube, Google play, etc). Chances are that if you’ve used any of these, you have a Google account and have probably created a Google+; however, with Facebook, Twitter, Skype and the multiple tools people are already using – they may simply have an account and not be using it.
- Other Social Networking Sites More Established: If you’re already using Facebook or Twitter, then you’re golden. Both of these social networking sites are much more established and have more active users than Google+. Google established Google+ simply because it could. Other than circles, hangouts and the ability to integrate with other Google tools, it’s not much different from more popular social networking tools that you’re probably already using for your business.
- Time, Money, Staff: How are you managing your social channels? If your social media team is 1-3 people and you already have a Facebook, Twitter, maybe Instagram, Pinterest and MySpace or a blogging initiative, adding another network could be overkill. Do you have the time, people and budget to manage another social networking site?
- Privacy: So you have Gmail, and a YouTube, you search with Google… Google has all of this information about your user behavior. Are you sure you want to give it access to your online business engagement as well? Haha, you probably already do anyways – but just throwing it out there.
- What is Your Social Media Plan? Think about how you plan to use Google+. Taking everything above into account, if you don’t know what your goal with using Google+ is, then don’t create an account. You’ll fail. Write it down: “How will I use Google+?” To generate leads? Engage customers? Post content? And “Is it Necessary for my Business?” – Will you use the unique tools that Google offers such as +1 across other platforms or Google Hangouts? The number 1 reason for why you probably shouldn’t use Google+ is if you don’t have a specific Social Media Goal or Plan of Execution.
Google is revolutionizing the way people engage online by creating a social platform that interconnects across the web. Although it’s a few years in and is gaining traction – be careful when thinking about joining the network. Social networking is a great business tool but being on every single social media site available is unnecessary and could be detrimental to your success. Simply being there is not enough. Like with any other social networking initiative, be ready to integrate Google+ with your already established communication networks and to manage it with relevant content 24/7.