Google+ for Business: Hype or Helpful?

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With so many social media options out there, and with more on the horizon every day, it’s a challenge to know whether your business can benefit from any of them or not. Right?

Google+ is one of the new guys, and there are mixed reviews so far. If you’re already using Twitter and Facebook and getting good results, then you might not want or need another avenue right now. If you’re new to social network platforms and still working on goals for what you want to accomplish, Google+ should be thrown into the mix.

Google+ ties several Google products that serve businesses together. One point especially worth noting is that with Google being a top search engine in the world, public posts made on Google+ automatically rank higher than any others in a Google search. What’s not to like about that?

There are 4 types of posts to create in Google+:

1. Link posts – offer a link to something interesting, perhaps your latest company blog post
2. Photo posts – pull customers in with a visual that relates to the topic you are writing about
3. Video posts – point to a relevant YouTube video or upload one directly
4. Location posts – tell people where you are writing from when you’re at a conference, convention, or somewhere you might want people to visit

Like all networks, sharing information from others goes a long way. Google+ has a “share” button on every post that makes sharing as easy as ever.

Google+ makes having conversations easy, too. Readers can comment on any of your posts and before you know it, you have a lot of dialogue going. You might want to take the conversation into a Google+ hangout where you, or someone from your group, can interact through live video with the people who want to talk to you.

Michael Dell - you may recognize the name of the man who is CEO and chairman of Dell - is quite active on Google+ with posts, shares, and using hangouts to reach his customers. There is also a Dell company page that has a lot of customer interaction and invitations to events offered through the hangout.

World-leading business software provider, SAP, has a company page managed by its social media team. The company uses video links to share company insights with its readers and even offers live streaming of conferences and events it hosts.

San Francisco-based cloud computing company Salesforce.com is on Google+ offering social media tips through commentary, video replays, and live video streams.

Google+ is free, useful, and quick on searches. It is full of people who want to have conversations and is an excellent way to get a higher Google ranking, which is always great for attracting new business.

Get started by creating a profile and doing searches on your competitors. See who is out there and who isn’t. Check out companies and people in non-competitive fields. Spending a little bit of time investigating can help you decide whether jumping into this social media outlet will bring you more business or not.

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