Chances are by now you’ve heard talk about Google+ (and maybe you’ve noticed that talk has kind of fizzled out). The reality of Google+ is that most people will never stray too far from Facebook or Twitter, unless they were to roll out some really groundbreaking features.
The main draw of Google+ is the creation of “circles” of friends. Instead of everyone seeing every post, you can actually tailor and groom posts for certain groups of people. You can avoid the awkwardness of pondering over friend requests from church members, coworkers, teachers or students—just accept them and add them to a specific circle (Church, Work, School, etc.)! When you post, you can select each circle you’d like to see that post. You can also quickly and easily contact all the members of one circle at a time (For example, the Family circle: “BBQ at our place for Father’s Day!” or the Softball circle: “Practice cancelled tonight!”).
Another stand-out feature is the concept of “Hangouts”: a group video chat closed to the public but open to any circle you choose to include. I’ve personally used this feature to communicate with family members scattered across the country all at once, and while video chats will never be as seamless and smooth as they are on TV, it actually wasn’t that slow! The only issue is everyone talking at once (which is just my family)!
The mobile app for iPhone and Droid does add a neat feature: all the photos taken with your phone will be uploaded and saved in a private gallery in your Google+ account, so if you lost your phone, your pictures would still exist in cyberspace!
The benefits of creating a Google+ profile or business page would be to increase free exposure for yourself and for your business, and to increase positive search results for your name. For example, when people run a Google search on your name, the top result is usually your Facebook profile, followed by a domain name you have registered, and anything else the internet might dredge up. By adding more positive or good search results that rank higher in the search engine (definitely a feature of Google+), you’ll push the less savory or less professional search results further down on the list.
In my opinion, it doesn’t hurt to have another positive search engine hit out there attached to your name; just be cautious of how much information you choose to give away, as Google+ profiles have fields for address and phone number, and those would be absolutely searchable to anyone. Visit Google+ now and just start clicking around! Maybe you’ll find a new social media tool that works for you and your business.