Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

Google+ What The Heck Is It?

What the heck is Google+? The short answer is Google+ is Google’s answer to Facebook. Facebook, with its established user base and proven model isn’t going anyplace, but depending on your needs and your audience Google+ may be a worthy addition to your social networking repertoire.

I’ll start with a brief history for the uninitiated. When Google began crafting its foray into social networking with monolithic competitor, Facebook, the established social networking giant was fraught with privacy concerns. Facebook was catching a fair degree of criticism and this played a major role in the direction Google decided to take Google+.

The advent of “circles” seeks to head off the privacy and content distribution flexibility that has been missing in social networking in the past. When adding contacts in Google+ the user selects which “circle” or group of friends these contacts are to be placed in, and when crafting posts a circle or set of circles are selected to have that post distributed to. In order for anyone to see the information posted in that “circle” a user must be a member of that circle. Nearly the same functionality now exists in Facebook, however, users must be manually added to groups and default settings are usually inclusive of all users, rather than exclusive. Facebook’s approach to enhanced user privacy, however, feels tacked-on while Google+ was built from the ground up with user privacy and audience segmentation as top priorities.

Circles is one area where Google+ has made an improvement over the standard fare in terms of social networking, another is “Hangouts”. Google has built-in teleconferencing capability that incorporates webcam and file sharing functionality. Users may engage in hangouts with one another, chat, talk via webcam, share their screens, share YouTube videos and more, all within Google+.

From a business standpoint, Google+ provides opportunities to engage with clients on a much more intimate level. This may or may not integrate with your business and social networking strategy, but for those who can make that integration it is certainly a worthy addition with the potential to increase traffic and ultimately sales. Google+ also offers business users, who have tried and put aside social networking in the past, a fresh start with a new network of potential customers. While the audiences are largely the same between Google+ and other networks, the novel, unique ways of interacting with others may strike a chord with businesses who have not found significant purpose for social networking in their overall strategy before.

Posted on March 26th, 2012 by Team CVA

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