Google Plus offers unique value as a social media platform due to the fact that it is run by Google. As we mentioned in our recent instructional on using Google Search Operators, Google accounts for more than two-thirds of all web searches. This is important because Google is very good at prominently serving up its own properties in search results.
That being said, every social platform requires an investment of time and attention to be beneficial for your company, whether you are a small business, a startup, or an established enterprise. Because of this, it is important for your organization to pick and choose which platforms to be on and how to use each one to achieve the best results possible.
Here are 3 unique functions and features of Google Plus that make it a worthwhile social media property for you and your company to focus your efforts upon.
Google Circles represent the connections your account has to other Google Plus users. While every account starts with pre-defined groups (friends, family, acquaintances), you can create customized Circles to organize your contacts. Creating a variety of Circles allows you to easily segment your audience while using the Google Plus platform. This means that you can share information, posts, and media selectively, which in turn allows you to target your audience appropriately. Circles also let you filter the updates you receive and see, allowing you to zero in on the information and thought leaders that matter most to you.
Google Authorship allows you to link content you create to your Google Plus profile no matter where you're being published on the web. Once you set up Authorship, your content will have a new look in search results. Not only will a byline appear, but so will the picture from your Google profile. The number of Circles you appear in acts as social proof, an indicator of your reliability, and there may also be a link to more of your content. All together, this new package of information helps increase your exposure, helps you and your company establish credibility, and improves your placement in search engine result page rankings.
Google Hangouts are live chat sessions that offer a great deal of flexibility for a company. While it is possible to use Hangouts for voice only conversations, it's also possible to conduct live video calls with groups of up to 10 people. Hangouts also represent an incredibly easy mechanism for generating video content that can be publicly broadcast, live streamed for free, and automatically recorded and uploaded to your YouTube channel. This is important because video represents an ever-increasing opportunity for companies to attract new customers and engage target markets. As Shutterstock notes in the video below, 190 million Americans watched 75.6 billion videos in January of 2014 alone, with a full third of those views going to advertisements.
Jason, for the team at Kendall Press