The web has been buzzing since the arrival of beta version Google+ and more than ever this week since Google has allowed everyone to make accounts on this new social media platform. I finally took the plunge last week and opened my own Google+ account to check out some of its features and uncover what makes this social network different from the rest.
The goal behind Google+ is to make sharing online more like sharing in real life. It gives you the ability to connect with people on the web like you would connect with them in person. With features like Hang Out and Huddle, Google mirrors real life online. Here are five pretty awesome Google+ features:
Share the Right Stuff with the Right People
Google+ redefines privacy on social networks by allowing you to create and group people into circles. You can create new circles or modify existing circles so that all of your friends end up in the right group. When you have content to share, you can select which groups to send that content to and Google+ will only allow people (or circles) that you selected to see it. I like to think of this as selectively sharing data. Now you can target select groups with certain content or personal information or pictures. The best part is no one can see what you named your circles or what circles they are in so have fun and get creative with your circle names.
If you are looking to find people to add to your circles, findpeopleonplus.com is a great resource to use to start connecting with people today.
On Google+ you have the option to “Hang Out” which literally means you hangout with people face-to-face-to-face via your webcam. Hang Out combines webcam conferencing with the ease of hanging out. Once you log into your Google+ it is really easy to create a hangout that people can drop into and begin chatting. The only downfall is the hang out is limited to 10 people. This feature is great for your brand because you can hangout and people can actually talk to you face-to-face when they have problems, concerns or questions regarding your company or product.
Google has also included an interesting feature called Sparks into the Google+ interface. Sparks automatically shifts through articles and videos to target the information you really want to read. You can simply type in a keyword and Sparks will bring up relevant articles about that topic. This is a great tool to use to keep up on industry related news.
Gone are the days when you have to flip through your contacts or manually create groups on your phone to mass text. On Google+ Mobile you have the option to huddle, which lets you text groups of people or individually selected friends one mass message. Up to 50 people can chat in one huddle at a time and it is really simple to add people in by groups or individually to start a conversation in real-time. However, this feature is limited to the mobile version of Google+ only.
Improve Search Engine Rankings
You have worked really hard developing content for your website but you feel like no one is reading it. Google allows you share content that you have developed through your Google+ account. Google puts a higher ranking on content that has more shares or +1’s and all of this can be done directly in your Google+ account. Not only are you establishing your self as an industry leader through your content but you are also increasing your search engine rankings.
Earlier this week Google+ ended its beta mode version and opened their doors to everyone. Although businesses do not have the ability to setup pages or accounts, it is still a good idea to get involved on Google+ and become a mouthpiece for your company. You can learn how to use the tools, connect with other people within your profession and share your content today. Once the doors are open to your business to create a page, you will already be a Google+ pro.