When Google Talks…

…everyone listens.  Seriously!  In terms of search rankings, as well as all the other wonderful free tools that are available to us just for having an account, when the Google honchos make a move, we all sit up and take notice.  So it’s no surprise that the recent full scale roll out of Google’s new kid on the block, social platform Google+, has captured everyone’s attention.

Many people are still debating the utility and viability of the Google+ platform.  I will be the first to admit that I still have much to learn about it.  But aside from the obvious search rankings benefits that MUST come when one joins a social platform developed by the premier search engine in the world, Google+ does appear to offer some features that are beneficial enough to earn a spot in the “Here to Stay” category for social media enthusiasts.  Many of these features compare with those on Facebook; indeed, some are considered more favorable.  Here are a few of the “pluses” I’ve experienced with Google+:

  • The interaction is easy, as it is on Facebook.  But the type of people I see and the manner in which they converse remind me more of those who populate LinkedIn.  I would say conversing and networking on Google+ is like a cross between those two platforms. That’s a good compromise for me; when my time is short, I often find myself neglecting one or the other of those sites. Google+ seems to offer the best of both.
  • The concept of circles mirrors Facebook’s “group” idea for friends. But whereas not everyone on Facebook uses groups, you must use circles to add friends on Google+. That is a good thing, because it allows you the option to be very specific regarding with whom you want to share certain posts. As an avid user of Facebook’s group feature, I like that circles are naturally integrated into the Google+ process.
  • Probably one of the most useful features offered by Google+ is “Hangout.”  Hangout is a quick, simple way to start or to join a video chat with others in your circles.  Think of easy, free webinars for clients!  The ability to conduct product demonstrations, live Q&A sessions, or even just interact to show a brand’s human side is an invaluable asset to a business.  As of now, I know of no comparable feature on Facebook.

These are my takes on some of the major capabilities and features of Google+ that I have used or witnessed so far.  While I don’t see the new social site as ultimately vanquishing any of its counterparts, I do see it as a platform with the potential of becoming a major player in the social media world. And of course, its natural standing as “favorite child” in the eyes of the world’s premier search engine doesn’t hurt its prospective longevity, either!

Have you established your Google+ profile yet? Did you set up a business page as well? What are your feelings about the platform? I’d love for you to share your input and insights with us!

–Jeanine Vecchiarelli

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