Love it or hate it or not quite sure? Google+ is one of those things that you either get or you don’t. Whilst many people have it written off as a failure, many others believe that with the giant that is Google behind it, it shouldn’t be written off just yet. If you’re not that familiar with it, here are a few basic features you need to know:
Profile Page When you first sign up, you are given the opportunity to create your own profile page. There is a tagline section where you can explain what you do and use any keywords that could help with you being found by others. You can use the introduction section to really sell yourself and your business offering and be specific about what it is that you do. The better you make this introduction, the more chance you have of standing out.
Circles This is probably the most innovative feature. You start with a basic circle or group and then create other circles for other connections. For example, you could have a personal circle for your friends and family, a circle for colleagues and co-workers or if you are a business, a circle for clients and customers. Having these clearly defined circles means that you have complete control over information that you share with them and can tailor your messages or updates to suit.
Hangouts This is a feature which allows you to video chat with up to 9 other people at the same time. All those in the hangout are seen on the one screen so that everyone can be heard and seen. If you have a business, this feature could potentially let you have direct contact with customers and do product demos or answer their queries and questions.
Search As you would expect from the people who revolutionized the search engine, this feature makes searching for info that is of interest and relevant to you extremely easy as it utilizes Google search itself. Although the feature was not available from the off, it is now an integral and absolutely necessary if you want to find articles and content on subjects that particularly interest you. As a business you can improve your own rankings within the search function if you make any posts that you add publicly available and include relevant keywords etc. This means that people outside of your own circles can find you when undertaking searches.
+1 Basically this feature is akin to Facebook’s “Like”. If someone wants to show their approval for something you have written or posted they simply +1 your post. Likewise , if someone wants to show support or approval for your business, +1 will do this. This doesn’t mean however that they have followed your page necessarily. If you have a business website, having the +1 button can also help with your own SEO and have a direct impact on your website traffic.
Whether or not Google+ becomes the main player in social networking remains to be seen. However, since it seems to be still way up there in Google’s priorities, it looks like it’s here to stay....