Can Google+ improve your business?
After what was an admittedly slow start, Google+ has been gathering pace and establishing itself as a major player in the social media field. So is it time for your business to take the plunge or is Google+ just one more unnecessary endeavour?
Getting into Google+
With Google+, you're not just looking at a social network – you're looking at a way to integrate seamlessly with a huge number of other Google products. From Hangouts and Talk to YouTube, you can link your business’s Google+ page to a wide variety of other channels – allowing you to build brand presence and give potential customers more ways to get to know you.
Why consider signing up?
Google is being smart when it comes to social integration – it offers incentives so you will sign up to as many of its products as possible.
For example, the Places function on Google Maps is being replaced with a location feature that's connected to a Google+ profile. This means that if you want to make sure your business is highlighted on all-important maps, a profile may be a necessity. Google+ is also known to be a factor when it comes to local carousel results – something that can have a huge impact on your traffic.
Additionally, if your business regularly blogs or produces content, using Google Authorship to tie your posts into your Google+ account can help give your rankings a boost.
The search engine giant is moving towards blended results – search rankings that feature content from a lot of different sources, including your Google+ page. So the bigger your presence, the better your results have the potential to be.
What are the downsides?
As with many social sites, Google+ is a demanding beast when utilised for business. It is a content-driven network and you're likely to find that managing your account can take up a fair chunk of time, especially as Google+ hasn’t been integrated with all social dashboards yet. This means you won't be able to control your account centrally, the same way you can with Twitter, Facebook and other social sites that are fully integrated.
In the early stages, you're also likely to find that growth is small and it will take a while for your profile to grow. As businesses can only add other businesses to their circles, you'll need to be patient when it comes to growing a fan base. That being said, Google+ is much more than simply a place to advertise your brand or make new friends. It is well on its way to becoming an integral part of staying connected online.
You may not be ready to take the plunge and get stuck into Google+ right now, but chances are you will be soon.
Have you used Google+ successfully for your business? Tell us in the comments below.