As most of you have heard (and of course for those who haven’t) Google+ is the next big thing for businesses. It’s currently estimated that Google+ has roughly 250 million users. While many of us who signed up a year ago for the beta test decided not to use the latest trend, Google+ has launched local pages for each of the 80 million businesses around the globe. That being said, it’s in everyone’s best interest to better understand the interworkings of this new found beast.
To start Google+ is a very simple and positive way for businesses to stay socially connected. It allows your business peers in your inner circles to see what your business has been doing over a period of time. It’s also a great tool for increasing your referral database. By connecting with businesses in their circles it allows access to their networks, increasing your network tenfold.
Many people have started comparing Google+ to Facebook. While they have some definite similarities in their ability to connect business to business, there are a few things that are separating Google apart from Facebook. First, Google is still a place for reputation. Facebook has never been a company that has allowed consumers to write reviews on local businesses. They also do not care whether or not the business is legitimate. Any persons or business can create a Facebook business page with limited auditing by the powers of Facebook. Google+ is the complete opposite. Google still continues to allow reviews to be posted to their pages, however, now restricting who can post. Those who can post reviews must also have a Google+ accounts, in turn forcing those 250 million users to use their account. In order for a business to have a Google+ account they must also have legitimate information for Google to accept their business page.
While many businesses have really started to use Facebook, one reason for businesses to start using Google+ is for the sheer volumes of traffic Google has at its finger tips. More than 1 billion people use Google’s search engine each month. It’s a no brainer to realize that inevitably by having a Google+ place, you would be subjected to tapping into that traffic. Any current consumer with a Google+ place can also recommend your business by simply placing a +1 to your business or by adding your business to their circles. Also, if anytime someone writes a positive review about your business, it’s not just those people searching you out who are going to see that reviews, it’s also every person within that individual’s circle that will see the business they recommend and what they have said about you. Each business then has the ability to be seen by more people than ever before.
Though, I would never suggest businesses getting away from Facebook I think it is every business’ best interest to start tapping in to Googles “next best thing.” According to the opening chapter of Why I Love Google+: “Ask yourself if you want to enhance and expand the number of people who share your passions. If the answer is no, stick with Twitter and Facebook until Google+ reaches the critical mass. Or, you may decide you need multiple services: Twitter for perspectives, Facebook for people, and Google+ for passions. That’s OK too.” Whichever social network you chose to make your priority, Google+ plus is here to stay, and I would suggest making it at the top of your list because realistically Google is the number one search engine and this opportunity is going to give you the best of both worlds, reputation reviews and social networking.
Image courtesy of http://www.plus.google.com
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