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How often have you heard, or said yourself “Google It”. Google has changed the way we socialize, the way we interact. It has made us become a generation of immediacy. No matter where you are, or who you’re with, when conversations turn into topics that facts, figures, dates, information is required, the it’s the norm nowadays to say, “Google It”. No longer do we need to wait for the library to open its doors or call up a friend “savant”.  It has become so much part of our everyday cultured and is in our everyday vocabulary… the word googling is even in the Webster’s dictionary! Needless to say, Google has fast become the ‘go to’ company for knowledge and advanced technology and with the launch of Google Glasses and Google Fibe, it has become nearly impossible to escape its vast empire.

When Google launched Google+,  I thought this would be the social media site to sweep  Facebook from under the rug and reign in as the new “King of Social Media”. With all of the great new features that could easily top those of Facebook’s I had no idea there would be a lack of momentum even with everyone on the “Google Fan” craze.

Suffice to say that the audience for Google+ is completely different from that of Facebook.  They are loyal to their brand and what they love. When you delve into the realm of Google+ you have to pull yourself away from thinking it’s like “Facebook”. It’s not. Google+ is more people focused not brand focused. Google is trying to keep this social media platform as human as possible.

Google+ with it’s 500 million users still remains today in my humble opinion, a big contender on the social media battlefront.  If your brand or business hasn’t engaged in the Google+ platform yet, there’s a lot of you’re missing out on.  Here are some reasons why you should invest time into getting your brand/business on Google+.

1. The big one: Being Found. With all the searching going on, it’s important to get found. It may be self-serving but the importance of Google+ for SEO is pretty obvious…. simply because, well Google owns it! This alone should be enough of a reason for you to take advantage and be part of Google+.  If you’re still not convinced, try this: if you already have a Google+ page,  Google your company name and see if it comes up close enough to first search result. The advantages of this are self explanatory… for your brand and for your customers. 

2. Google+ supports the use of hash tags.  Recognizing the importance of trending, Google+ supports the Twitter way of classifying via hash tags. This way you can hit trending terms that are relevant for your business quicker. In our business hash tag examples would include: #marketing, #branding and #socialmedia or, #design. Like Twitter, trending topics that you participate in will see an increase in followers.

3. Carving out Communities.  The Google Community allows the user to become part of a community that they are interested in and get daily posts about that topic.  So for example if you have a health product, you can become a member of a Health and Wellness community and make posts that will be specific to that group of people.  It’s not just your followers or fans you’re targeting too it’s a whole new spectrum of potential consumers that have defined one aspect of their psychographic profile that reflects the specific niche that is your market definition.

4. Google owns Google+.  Yes, I’ve already said that, but thing about the total integration potential your business might benefit from. Starting with  Gmail, Google Calendar, Google maps… all these properties are all at your fingers tips to use along with all the other Google+ features. This can be helpful and seamless when setting up an event for your company or a product launch.

5. Google Hangouts! As an avid nerd this is my favourite feature.  It’s great for businesses to have a round table discuss from a far.  For people who have a passion for a product, gathering them up to discuss the product and what they would like to see provides an awesome opportunity to get honest feedback and real consumer insights.  A perfect example to utilize this feature would be a weekly virtual book hangout. If your brand pushes out books or your company has an ebook set up a hangout to discuss the content of the book and new book ideas.  This allows you to be closer to your audience and interact with them instead of just commenting on a status they posted.

Just remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, so expecting that  your growth or reach on Google+ will grown exponentially quickly isn’t realistic.  Unlike Facebook you get the chance to be more interactive in new ways with your followers, help them see your brand/company is focused on THEM and you’re steadfast in working with them to help you and your brand/company improve for them. Over time your ROI will be worth the effort you put into Google+ and the attention you give to your audience as well.