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""Not another social network. This is the response that so many people have had since Google+ opened their doors to the public over a year ago now. Business in particular has been slow to enter the Google+ network. It’s a real shame because the network itself is very innovative and constructive. I’m going to detail some of my favorite features in this article and perhaps that will give you reason to join me on Google+.

Circles

Many of us have a handful of people that are important to us. These people don’t always fit into the "Friends" category. Sure Facebook and Twitter have "Lists"  or groups, but that control isn’t nearly so fine tuned as what you get with Circles. For Pages specifically this is a remarkable feature. It means you can do nearly all of your corporate communication on one platform. From internal memos directed to an "Employees" circle or stock holder reports to a "Stock Holder" circle you can manage so much of your communication from within Google+. This fantastic approach really gives you power in creating community as well. You can define circles into "influencers" "engaged users" and dozens of other categories. This individualized communication makes it possible to examine the reach of a message and how it is spread or not. Circles are one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of Page managers and learning and developing new and innovative ways in using them will be the future of social media for business.

"Plus+1 Button

The plus one button is the Google version of "Like" without the connotation. The most important part of the plus one button is that it is pervasive and it is Google’s. Why does Google ownership of the +1 button mean anything? Google is the most used search engine on earth and the results are relied on by millions of people the world around. Google has recently used the plus one button to populate search results based on the activity of your network of friends. When signed into your Google account all of your +1 activity is added to the search results and determines the rank of search results. Businesses that want to improve their ability to reach more people will be best served by taking full advantage of all of the many opportunities to improve their search ranking across the Google network. The plus one button is the fastest way to improve those results. The more your website is "plussed" by many people the more credit is given in search results. Building your page with that in mind is important.

"Hangouts"

Hangouts

Hangouts is the most innovative part of Google+. Through Hangouts you can communicate face to face with friends, family, and in the case of business…customers. You can have conference calls, client meetings, and even seminars all through the Hangouts feature. You can limit Hangouts to specific circles so you can have meetings with just your employees, or just the board of directors. Hangouts allows ten people to communicate face to face through a video conference and additional people can participate through text chat while still being able to see the other participants in the conversation. It can be used to screen share, watch YouTube videos and collaborate on documents together. Combine all of this with the ability to capture the video and you have one of the most powerful business utilities available for free. The added bonus…it’s a ton of fun.

Conclusion

Google+ isn’t just another social network. It is a solution to the problems we all have with search, communications, collaboration, privacy, and of course social media. If you need help with getting setup with Google+ please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Additional resources:

Google+ Marketing for Dummies by Jesse Stay

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