Google Plus hit mainstream attention in the last few weeks. While it’s not ready for prime-time business use yet (Google is yet to release the business tools for it), it’s still a good idea to get more information on how to use it and what it means in terms of being able to quickly share content with your customers, friends, and community.
On the surface, Google Plus feels and acts a lot like Twitter – you post updates to your network, you can follow people, people can follow you – and it doesn’t have to be reciprocal. This is where things get a bit more complicated; like Facebook’s Friend List feature, you can add people you want to see updates from into groupings called circles. You can read posts from Circles and you can also post information specifically to any circle(s) you choose.
Now – add in a bit of LinkedIn-style flair with profiles that can link out to external pages, groups, share documents, and more… and you’ve got Google Plus.
A handy example: let’s say I have two sets of clients – beer clients and wine clients. My wine clients certainly aren’t going to want to hear about the newest pilsner I’ve brewed up, nor would my beer clients care about the latest pinot to come from the vine. I can post information independently to the people in those circles, I can post to both, or I can even target lone individuals to see information (they don’t have to be part of a circle).
Google Plus seems to be shaping up to be a very efficient way of sharing information – the process of adding people to circles is easy and the Google profile provides you with a brand new way to build some additional SEO. Frequent posters have reported that a majority of their traffic now sources from Google Plus (not surprising considering it’s a new social network, but it will be interesting to see if this trend continues). If it does, business owners will have a brand new tool to learn and leverage.
Google Plus isn’t currently open to the public, but you can try it out and snag an invite when they become available from time to time from me or the LCBD staff.