Google has added their own version of a social networking site to their suite of services – Google+. You may be like many of us and trying to figure out if you want to take on another social media outlet into your marketing plan. We’ve been playing around with Google+ over the past month and we have some pros and cons to help you decide how helpful this new site will be to your business or if it will just remain a personal pursuit.
- Automatic Integration. Google+ easily integrates into all your other Google services – Buzz, YouTube, your profile, rss reader and more.
- Convenient. If you have Google’s other services in your business, like Gmail or Documents, Google+ is just one click away on the menu bar.
- Circles. One of our favorite features of Google+ is the circles feature. This allows you to easily sort your followers into different categories so that you can communicate with different groups more effectively. Only you know who is in what circle. You can also follow people without being their “friend”.
- Profile Editing. You have a lot of control over your profile and you can hide or show different elements depending on what you want people to see. You can even have different parts showing for different circles.
- Photos. Google+ has a great photo sharing tool. So if photos are your thing, then this is a great place to show off.
- There’s an App. You can download the mobile app to your phone to get and make updates on the go. An essential plus these days.
- No Business Profiles. Google+ has made it impossible for a business to have a “business” profile. As of right now, they have made it so you have to be an individual person to join. This makes it difficult to keep business and personal communications on Google+ separate. You can create a business “circle” but that can be limiting. We are hoping that they will offer better ways for businesses to interact with the site in the near future.
- No Events. There is no event sharing tool like on Facebook. You can share links to events but you can’t create an event page and invite your followers.
As with everything we recommend, it all depends on the circumstances. Depending on your relationship with your business – do you like to mix your personal life with your business or do you like to keep it separate – will determine how helpful Google+ is as a business marketing tool.
You may want to play with the site on a personal level to get a feel for it and see if there are any opportunities and benefits to bring your business into it. Good Luck!