NicolePosted on 09.13.11
So you’ve heard the hype about Google+. You’ve caught snippets of its new features and heard word of its competition with Facebook, but you don’t quite get the benefits and aren’t completely decided if you are going to sign up for an account.
New social media platforms can be overwhelming. Heck, a lot of people are still figuring out how to integrate Twitter into their social media routines. We’ll give you the rundown of Google+, and help you decide if this is one social media weapon you might consider adding to your arsenal.
In the real world, we have different circles of relationships. We have work friends, friends we like to have fun with on a Friday night, family and so on. So, sharing things on social networks should work in a similar fashion. With Google+, you can create different circles of people and share photos accordingly. This way you can share only your most flattering pictures with Grandma.
The next best thing to a real life conversation. Google Hangouts allows you to video chat with up to 10 people at a time, and even watch YouTube with them. You can let specific friends or entire circles know you’re hanging out, allowing other friends to join in the conversation at any given time, just like in real life.
If you have a Facebook, you know how great it is sharing mobile photos of your latest adventures. If you have a Facebook, you also know how un-great it is uploading those photos from your phone onto your account. Enter Google Instant Upload. Your photos and videos will automatically upload to an album on Google+ that will be kept private until you choose whom you’d like to share them with.
This feature is sort of like Google News, only you receive all of your updates in one place, and links, articles, videos, etc. are easily shared with friends. Let Sparks know some things you’re interested in and it’ll send you some things it thinks you’ll enjoy.
Google Huddle simplifies the back-and-forth of making plans with multiple friends via text messages. Huddle creates one simple group chat where all your friends can text at once. Less time texting, more time doing.
This is a feature that, in many ways, resembles the Facebook Like button. Just hit the +1 button on a page to let everyone know they should check it out. If you’re a business, having the +1 button on your page will help you stand out and get better traffic. This is definitely a feature you don’t want to miss out on, even if you opt out of creating a Google+ account for yourself.
So what does this mean for your business?
Considering Google+ is still in what it calls a “field trial” and hasn’t yet rolled out its business account option, the truth is no one can be certain. The success of social networks is generated by people. And since Google+ is still in a trial mode, we can’t predict how it will be received by consumers. But what we are seeing is an undeniable buzz and excitement about this social media platform.
There’s no doubt that Google+ makes connecting and sharing with friends an absolute breeze. It also looks like the social network will revolutionize the business world. Functions like Huddle and Hangouts may play a significant role in the way colleagues and clients communicate remotely, allowing up to 10 people to communicate at once via their personal computers by video or by text. And the +1 button is an obvious benefit for businesses receiving increased traffic thanks to the button’s ability to increase your website’s popularity and visibility.
We’ve seen more and more employers ban Facebook from the workplace, and older generations deny its marketing benefits due to its college-centered demographic. The Google brand may bring about a more widely received approval from businesses and older demographics, based on its professional reputation. Unlike Facebook, Google+ wasn’t first released with a college-only clientele.
The future looks promising for Google+, and while we don’t suggest creating an account for your business just yet (Google promised to unveil an account for businesses soon), we encourage you to set up a personal account and become familiar with the platform. While Google+ is still in trial mode, and the popularity of its future is still not certain, now is a great time to become acquainted with the functionality. To create a personal account and start exploring the platform, you currently have to be “invited.” If you don’t have a friend who’s got an account, we’d love to invite you! Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can join the party, too.
So there you have it. The wonders of Google+. It’s hard to say how this social media platform will fare against the social media giant that is Facebook, but there’s no denying Google+ has some truly innovative features that improve connecting and sharing with friends, family and even coworkers. And that’s a real plus.