Getting on Board with Google+

Regular readers will recall that I suggested a taking a wait-and-see approach to Google+ when it first launched (especially since the search giant has a less than stellar track record when it comes to social). Though it’s no panacea, the verdict is in: if you haven’t already, it’s time to start exploring Google+ (if you aren’t on yet, sign-up using one of my invites by clicking here).

Much has been written with tips about how to use it, so let’s focus on the why. Though it’s difficult to add yet another social network to our hectic schedules, there are two aspects of Google+ in particular that give it staying power – the Hangout feature, and SEO.

Hangouts
As noted earlier, a Hangout is a multi-user video chat that can be used in a variety of creative ways. Though only 10 people can participate in a Hangout at once, Solo PR community member Jenny Schmitt used it for a mini press conference on behalf of a client, and Steve Rubel, of Edelman, notes that he used it for a Q&A session, and rotated people in and out of the Hangout to accommodate more people. There are also tools available to record a Hangout, so – though the quality is not at a high level – there are occasions when it could be used for something akin to a webinar. The myriad of possible uses is still being explored, so it’s an exciting new frontier.

SEO
On the SEO front, as outlined very well in this article on Search Engine Land, connecting with folks on Google+ means that the content they share will show up higher in your Google search results (and vice versa). As noted in an official Google blog post about Social Search, other social networks are used in their ever-evolving algorithm, but it’s easy to see why Google would give preference to its own social network when displaying search results. This will likely be the key aspect for business users.

Except for a few test accounts, brands/companies are still not allowed to have their own profiles on Google+ (these are expected later this year). Once they are unleashed, we can expect clients to be asking whether they should be on this network, and how they should be using it. By kicking the tires with your own personal account now, you’ll be prepared to handle the inevitable questions down the road.

If you’re just getting started, feel free to add me to a circle and say hello! If you’re on Google+, what has been your experience? Do agree with the characterizations here?

  • Good Points Here, Kellye!

    While It’s Still a Bit Early to Tell ‘How Big’ This Can Get, Make No Mistake About It – Communications Professionals Need to Get on the G+ Train…!  Especially Since Companies / Businesses Will Be Allowed to Sign On Later This Year…As Industry Professionals, We Need to Know As Much As We Can About This Service.

    Narciso Tovar
    Big Noise Communications
    @narciso17

  • Kelly – I agree that SEO and Hangouts are the two best features of Google+ right now. Your Google+ profile appears at the top of your Google results if someone searches for your name. Imagine what possibilities that holds for business accounts once they roll out.

    Love, love, love hangouts.  Google really made this feature super easy. Looking forward to using it more.

  • Kellye,
    Your timing is impeccable. I’ve been noodling around on G+ this morning — and I like what I have seen and experienced. Uber prediction:  companies and brand are going to want this service, so now is the time for PR and communication professionals to get busy with research! Thanks for your comments. 

  • Thanks, Narciso – choo choo. 🙂

  • Great point about one’s own visibility, Maria. Having a fully-fleshed out Google Profile is becoming an important way for potential clients to find us Solo PR Pros.

  • Serendipity! As I noted on the #solopr Twitter chat today, it’s not my favorite social network, but it’s worth having in the toolbox.

  • Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place.
    joomla outsource | drupal outsource

  • Google + is awesome for me. Another success for Google.

    Cheers,
    Judith @ social media for churches

  • Hi Kellye! I too took the wait-and-see approach with Google+. 🙂 I decided that, since Google is king when it comes to content, I had nothing to lose. I just added you to my media/PR circle…looking forward to your posts! 

  • Hi – held on to this ’til I had a chance to read it – love your posts, thank you so much for writing them and educating me! I did join Google plus a few weeks ago, so far it’s something else for me to forget about, not active yet but your insights have helped push it to my mental foreground a bit. Added you to my circle.

  • Thanks so much for the kind words, Caryn! Glad to hear you found it useful — I’ve added you to my circles, too.