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Google Plus for Business – Do You Need It?

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If you are a regular reader of my blog, you might be wondering what’s happening right now, and why I am publishing new posts every single day. I can assure you that it’s not a new year’s resolution, it might stop any day, and I’ll be back to the regular schedule of publishing posts 2-3 times a week instead of seven times a week. But, the reason why I am writing, and publishing every day, is that I understand that I actually learn a lot by writing the posts, and writing is part of an important process for me.

I am writing more than ever, and as long as I believe what I have written might be fairly interesting for you, I’ll be publishing it instead of just adding it to the archives.

And, I have come to realize that, by working as a solo entrepreneur, I need to hustle to keep my clients happy, and I need to stay ahead of the crowd to get new clients. That’s what I love about this business. It’s not like I can just keep doing what I am currently doing, I’ll always need more education and I will always have to keep looking at different ways to do things, ways that might benefit my clients.

Facebook is great, but …

Facebook is by far the most popular social media service in Norway, and the latest statistics I have read, says that 61% of all Norwegians are using Facebook. No wonder why all of my clients are talking about Facebook. But, the thing is, I believe that we shouldn’t just be focusing on Facebook, there’s at least a few other social networks we need to add our activities to, and that’s mainly (for my Norwegian clients);

I understand why Facebook is still number one. I’m thinking that if every person I know is already using it, I need to be using it as well. And, that’s exactly what my clients are thinking too. That’s the power of social. Don’t get me wrong, Facebook has a lot of really powerful options for businesses, but at the moment, I ‘m looking at Google Plus, and especially since very few Norwegian businesses are currently using it, and I believe that Google Plus might benefit my clients even more than Facebook.

I have at least three questions:

What makes Google Plus different?

I believe that the biggest difference is that it’s owned by Google. I know that Google has failed before, with services like Google Wave and Google Buzz, but this time they’re adding a lot of resources and they have integrated Google Plus into Google Search, and it’s already making a huge difference. What we’re seeing right now is probably only the beginning.

Social is not just social anymore, it has become part of how we search the web, and Google Plus has the biggest impact on the search results. It’s not just about how many people are sharing your content and liking it, building relationships, and communicating. A big difference between Facebook (and the other social media sites) and Google Plus is Hangouts.

Hangouts is a great way for businesses to communicate. I haven’t seen anything like it on other social networks. We can use chat, and video on Facebook, but it’s not possible to do it with lots of people at the same time using video. And the quality is amazing.

Why should your business join Google Plus and start using it?

google plus for businesses

I have talked to a lot of clients about social media, and one of their biggest issues with social media, is that it takes a lot of time and resources. They can’t be using them all, and they need to focus. The thing about Google Plus is that we know by now that it’s going to be an important part of how people search the web, and even more so in the future.

Social should become an integrated part of how we communicate at work, especially when it comes to business to business conversations, and a way to communicate with our customers. I believe that Google Plus is going to be a way to be discovered on the web, and a way to communicate.

To me, communication with your customers is the main reason why you should join Google Plus. And, you’ll get the benefit of higher rankings on Google Search as a bonus.

How should you be using Google Plus for your business?

Like I said, to me, Google Plus is a better service for communication between businesses. And, that’s what we need to focus on. Hangouts is brilliant when it comes to live video conversations (and chat). The quality is stunning. And, it’s very easy to invite exactly the people you want to invite.

Circles, is probably the easiest and most powerful way I have seen when it comes to making lists of people in a way that you’ll actually understand who you are talking to.

Communities, is similar to Facebook groups, and it’s a great way to have conversations with your co-workers and with your customers. And, you can start hangouts from your community with the people who are a member of your community.

What, I would do as a business, and this is what I’ll be telling my clients. Is that they should start by creating a profile on Google Plus by adding a Page (after they’ve added a personal profile). The next step is to create two communities. The first community is for the co-workers (and a way to get familiar with Google Plus), the second community is for customers (start with a few customers, and then invite more as they learn how to use it).

Are you using Google Plus?

I recommend using Google Plus for communication, and as part of this communication, you’ll eventually see higher rankings in the search engine – maybe not automatically, but you’ll learn more about how things work at Google, and you’ll have a better chance of more people liking and sharing your content inside Google if you’re using it for your business.



33 responses to “Google Plus for Business – Do You Need It?”

  1. Josh says:

    I am a huge fan of the hangouts and communities. Very effective and very useful.

  2. Khaja moin says:

    Recently I read a post on G+, that it`s not just an alternatives to FB, it`s something more.
    I`m not sure what actually Google`s plan is with G+, but studies shows that Google will be suing G+ to know what every user`s likes and dislikes.
    Comparatively G+ active users increased than when previous.

    If you have a local business than it`s very important for you to be on G+.

    ~@Khajamoin1

    • The impact Google Plus has on SEO is the most important part of why I joined, but after I started testing it, I have come to understand the features and that it’s a great way to get in touch with people and create strong relationships. And I really enjoy using communities and hangouts, that’s a great way to communicate.

  3. Sarah Park says:

    I have also tried Google+, but more of a personal use. And honestly, I believe it still needs a lot of improvements in order for it to be as popular as Facebook.

    • I have tested it most for professional use, and I find it great for businesses. The only challenge I see right now is that very few people (in Norway) are using it… but that’s about to change 🙂

  4. Leora Wenger says:

    Seems to me one of the best arguments for using Google+ is it can help with the SEO of your blog. If the authorship of your posts are verified with Google, they appear that way in a search. Important to keep Google happy.

    You have some great reasons listed for using Google+.

    • That’s exactly what I’m thinking, and it’s the reason why I started focusing on using Google Plus. But, as I have been using it for a while, I have come to understand that there are some really great features as well, like communities and hangouts.

  5. Rogier Noort says:

    Great post.., covers it all. Indeed.., the idea of a real community is much more prevalent on Google+ than it is on Facebook. I don’t know why… it just looks and feels better, more natural (if that’s possible).

    Beyond that.., SEO, the greatest superpower of Google+.

  6. joanna says:

    recently i have been reading a lot about google plus. i will be trying it out soon for my business. we never know if it will be as popular as facebook very soon. do u think so ?

    • I believe that it will become very popular, but I doubt that it will be as popular as Facebook with about 1 billion users. But, it’s not about the number of users, it’s how you connect with them 🙂

  7. Rahul says:

    Yup, G+ is far more better than FB and other social networking site because of its simplicity and uniqueness.

  8. Pankaj says:

    Well, Yes I’m using Google Plus and I would say that latest addition of Google Communities is really great feature. It actually encourage people to spend more time on Google Plus.

    • I enjoy communities as well, and even though I haven’t created my own yet, I have joined a few and I have tested it. I am not sure if I’ll create my own or not. Have you created your community yet?

  9. I do see the value in Google+, but I find it hard to get started there. I do love the communities feature, and I am trying to stick with it! I do think there are big things in G+’s future.

    • The challenge in Norway is that very few people are using Google Plus, and when few people are using a social media service, it’s hard to get started. But, it’s really not that different from Facebook.

  10. Aayna says:

    I have been an avid user of Google+, but more for personal communication, I haven’t tried it for the business purpose. But yes, if given the option, I would prefer Google+ for business in comparison to FB. Thanks for the share.

    • It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in 2013, I am not sure if Facebook will be dominating as they have, or if Google Plus will be getting more of the market share. But, it seems that Facebook is having a press conference in about two weeks, it’s going to be interesting to see what they have to say 🙂

  11. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jens, You’re right, I’m becoming a bigger and bigger fan of Google +. Those who weren’t impressed in the beginning should take another look. Google keeps improving the site and adding features. I hope that the site continues to grow and add value.

    I like your innovative idea about forming communities for a company’s customers and employees. You are really thinking innovatively to make the most of the medium!

    • The problem right now, is that we’re all using so many different social media services, and we’re spending time everywhere instead of focusing on a few. On the other hand, I am actually not sure if it’s a problem, or an advantage 🙂

  12. Hello Jens,

    Great article (as always).

    I remember extolling the virtues of Google+ very early on. Facebook has always paled in comparison for me.

    The great news is that Google pays attention to feedback and keeps improving!

  13. Fatima says:

    Google Plus has competitive features that are beneficial for businesses. I have started using Google Plus and have found it amazing so far. Thanks for the share.

  14. Hope says:

    I still have mixed feelings about Google +. From an organic, seo perspective, Google + is a necessary evil, if you want to rank well, you will use Google +. From an intuitive, user experience perspective, it’s not so user friendly. When Google talks about providing the best user experience to end users, I still wonder if they have seen Google +. 🙂

  15. mohd aktar says:

    hey mate,
    google plus is emerging as a powerful tool as we can have video chat with multiple users simultaneously
    thanks and keep it up

  16. Heru Prasetyono says:

    I haven’t used Google plus for my business yet. But it is quite clear that Google plus offers us more and it is helpful for business activity.
    Google plus grows fast in its young age but it can not neglect by online or offline business.
    It has a lot unique features which support businesses and grow communities if they are used optimally.

    • Hi Heru,

      I have been using it for a while, but I haven’t been active at all. I am more active now, and it seems that I can drive more traffic via Google+ than I thought I could, and using it active will help us get a better ranking on Google search, so it’s definitively something we should do.

      – Jens

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