Why you should be using Google Plus

This post first appeared on BSK’s Kent Growth Newtork blog, which is now no longer available.

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How many brand names have become the verb or noun for what they represent? Hoover? Biro? Add Google to that list now, once you’ve finished googling other brand names and googled yourself into a frenzy.

That’s why you should be using Google Plus.

With an estimated 1,100,000,000 unique monthly users – compared to its nearest rival, Bing, at 350,000,000 (Alexa Rank, Feb 2015) – Google aren’t going to be losing their crown any time soon, particularly as you have access to Google docs/drive/Youtube/Blogger etc, all under the same Google account gmail address. They’ve made it incredibly easy to sync all your social media and administration needs.

In addition to those stats, there are now 500m plus users on Google Plus, 150m of whom are active and generating 235m social actions every month. And everything you put in Google Plus stays there. Forever. It’s key to elevating your profile.

Having a Google Plus profile will also give you a higher ranking on Google search – and with 90% of UK searches conducted on Google, it’s a no-brainer. And it’s happy for you to post everything on its platform, from existing blog content to social media posts.

However, like Facebook, it wants your eyeballs – you have to go in to do so. Use the proper links too, don’t cut and paste. Using these specific buttons will give the domain name more authority.

A Google Plus presence will also ensure it dominates a local search. And they’ve recently announced they’ll be including tweets in searches too, so if you don’t have Twitter either, now’s the time to consider it.

A business page can be created as a standalone profile, or you can activate a personal one too. Whichever you choose, make sure you populate your profile – tell your story.

Have you seen those slideshow videos on Youtube? Google Plus lets you create them from your images.

Targeting is also much more prescriptive – you can choose individuals, create ‘circles’ and post to specific groups, keep them public or make them private. And the bonus is that Google’s insights are much more focused so you know exactly who is looking at you.

The jury is out slightly on Google hangouts – they can be a bit car-crash! But, for tutorials, IT support or physical demonstrations they can be highly effective, especially as they can be connected to Youtube easily – there’s massive potential for event interaction. (The downside is that Extra-Super-Deluxe bandwith is required!)

It can be daunting, with the sheer amount of social media channels available now, trying to make the time to even think about which channel would be best for you and your business, let alone actually setting up a profile. Start gradually, play around with and populate one or two you think fit you best – better to have one or two active streams, than a dozen static ones. With the stats as they stand, and the welcoming nature for content, Google Plus is one you might wish to try first.

“Facebook is a walled garden – Google is a public park”Eileen Brown, social media guru for Amastra.

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