Why you need to take Google+ seriously

Thinking of embracing Google+ as your go-to social network of choice? 

In the 4th article in our web design Cornwall blog series we provide some food for thought when considering Google+ as one of your social media platforms.

From seamless integration with Google services such as Gmail, Google Docs and Picasa, to better game integration, video chat via Google Hangouts and easily enabled privacy settings, isn’t it time that you began to take Google+ seriously.

But what do all of these compelling features really mean if your friends and family aren’t already on the site? Google+’s network of 400-million members and over 100-million regular users still has a long way to go to if it is to rival Facebook’s 800-million member base.

However, Google+ has grown considerably over the last few months with businesses really embracing the platform as a way of communicating with their customers.  Although Google+ has some way to go to challenge Facebook, we believe that Google+ will continue to grow in popularity and develop its offering to social as well as business users.

So if you are considering switching to Google’s social media platform here a few reasons why it could be a good idea:

Integration with Google services

If you already use any of Google’s other services and most of us do to some extent, then a platform that integrates seamlessly across these other systems makes a great deal of sense.

The Power of Circles

Circles allow users to put various different people in specific groupings or lists. This feature is intended to share relevant content with the right people and follow content posted by people you find interesting.  Circles are also private, so no one in a circle can see who else is in the circle, what you have named the circle, or how many other people are in it.

Some people have described Circles as being more organic, in that they are a more natural way of managing relationships, similar to that of real life.

Better mobile App

The mobile app rally stands out against the competition, it’s clean and easy to use and the way it fills the screen with images looks great.  It seems to load quicker as well?

Control over your stuff

Google’s Data Liberation feature means that you can save your data and take it away at any time.

Hangouts

A great feature of Google+ is Hangouts. Whether you are at home on your computer or using the Google+ mobile app on the go, Hangouts let you catch up with friends and family. Up to 10 people can join a hangout, and it’s easy to invite specific friends or circles.

It is possible to share almost anything live; add apps to watch YouTube clips, play poker with your friends or even doodle with your children when you are away from home. You can even stream and record conversations for playback later.

However, the real power comes when using Hangouts for business.  From customer appreciation events to feedback sessions, distributed team gatherings to concerts, Hangouts make it easy to reach out and talk with people around the world.

With one click, you can set up video conversations with customers and colleagues alike – all over high-quality, easy-to-use video chat. If you so choose, you can make the conversation even bigger by hosting a Hangout on Air, allowing you to live-stream and record your Hangout so the whole world can watch.

Better for business

There is no bigger search engine than Google – by creating a Google+ page can help your company’s visibility and ranking.

A Google+ page can be thought of as a brand hub. Your page, along with your profile image and recent posts, is eligible to show on the right-hand side results when relevant to a customer’s search. Relevant posts can also show up within search results for your page’s followers.

If you use AdWords, you can use Social extensions in order to let people see more of your customers’ recommendations across Google by linking your Google+ page to your AdWords campaign.

People trust recommendations from people they know, and adding the Google+1 button to your website makes it easy for visitors to show their support and share what they like about your content.

Business is all about the numbers. Google offer in-depth data about +1’s, conversion reporting, and more, showing how Google+ contributes to your bottom line.

Better for SEO

With Google developing ever more sophisticated algorithms, the old tricks employed by so-called SEO experts, are becoming increasingly redundant.  In fact, Google will actively penalise your website’s ranking for approaching SEO in this way.  Original content is now even more important than before and there is no better way than to share your that content via a social media site owned by the operators of the worlds largest search engine.  Positive recommendations via Google +1’s will contribute positively to your Google ranking.  This is why so many businesses are actively seeking your approval in this way.

And there’s more

There are even more positive features that make Google+ a serious player in the social media market including:

  • Easily applied privacy settings
  • Easier profile setup
  • Browser integration – a bonus over the competition Google has its own browser, Chrome
  • Hot topics with adjustments
  • Better search – full Google integration
  • Elegant notifications
  • No more friend request fatigue – no requests, just add and delete whenever you want
  • Less bloat – a lighter more intuitive feel
  • Better ads
  • Better game implementation
  • Safer sharing
  • Single post muting
  • Photo gallery implementation.

It goes without saying that if you’re not on Google+ already, that now is the time to start taking it seriously. Whether you are a fan of Google or not, to ignore this increasingly potent form of social media could be foolhardy.

Have you made the switch to Google+? If so, let us know why?

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