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Google+ and Some of Its Pluses

Google Plus

Have we talked about Google+ yet? I don't think we have and we really should. Many of you may think of it as unnecessary or a nuisance or maybe you've never heard of it and therefore don't even understand the words coming out of my mouth. No matter how you feel about it, there are several very good reasons why you need to be getting your G+ on. After all, it is run by GOOGLE, the largest search engine in the world. Google THAT. 

We realize you may not have seen its full impact yet, especially if you are operating solely from the Midwest where it just hasn't gained much popularity as competing social media venues. BUT we must accept that we aren't sitting at the cool kids table here in Middle America and must take matters into our own hands like the true bosses we are. (If enduring "death winter 2013/2014" doesn't make you a boss, then I don't know what does). 

There is much more to Google+ than meets the eye and we urge you to toss those fears aside at least for the next 400+ words! See what I did there? Oh and keep in mind, there are plenty of other G+ features but we wanted to relay those which you might find most useful in your everyday, Monday-through-Friday-and-sometimes-beyond life. See, we're very nice and helpful like that. 

+1. Is Google forcing me to do addition now?

I mean, to some math is fun but no, the +1's are not meant to force you back into those dreaded days of "showing your work". Facebook asks for likes; Google+ asks for +1's. And they do the math for you, so if you see +31, don't fret, just become +32 by clicking it. There, you've now cast your vote; there should be a sticker for that. This type of activity along with sharing and commenting is not only desired within social media, but it's imperative for business marketers. Watching from the sidelines defeats the purpose of social media - it's a multi-directional communication tool so get out there and interact! 

O. But shapes are for kids. 

Again, the circles are not some way to trick you back into your elementary school days. They are Google+'s way of separating followers into target markets by giving you the power to control who sees what you share. You can create circles for current customers, potential customers, employees, whatever makes sense for you! Businesses are highly encouraged to create specialized circles and socialize accordingly. So, rather than blasting the same message to your entire fan base (which you can still do if you so choose), you can discuss and share items important to each group instead. 

". You want to hang out?

Not even a full year old yet, Hangouts have taken off as an instant messaging and video platform that works across any computer, Apple or Android device. For free. Perhaps this is yet another replacement for SMS texting but only the future will tell. There are many similar instant messaging platforms out there (though this one breaks up your circles automatically for you) but the video call capabilities within Hangouts are really cool. For starters, you can video call up to 10 friends at once, whereas venues like Skype allow multiple callers at once but only one video call at a time. Once the call is in session, the screen automatically pans to the person speaking. How? Sounds. Which means if I drop my pen while my coworker is speaking, it will pan to me for a moment but back to my coworker who is still talking. I swear I'm not usually very geeky but I love this feature! 

+post ads. Now you're just making up words. 

For those well-seasoned businesses out there, the latest news is that Google+ plans to offer promoted posts which would be similar to Facebook Ads but definitely not the same. These will presumably have the ability to attach to your AdWords campaigns and show up on the Display Network which then takes social media conversations out into the web. This hasn't been done before! We consider this especially interesting since G+ hasn't yet and possibly never will allow ads on their network. So, our interest is piqued to say the least but "+post ads" are still in beta so we have to wait patiently. 

Are they HERE yet?