Google recently merged Google Places into its Google+ (Google Plus) platform, dubbing it Google+ Local. Although Google+ is sometimes seen as just another social network, it has more practical uses than you may think. Google+ is not only a great tool to bolster your social media presence, but it is also a great way to increase awareness of your organization’s online presence and drive traffic to your website.
What is Google+?
Google+ is a social networking site that was launched in summer 2011. When it comes to sharing information with your audience, growing brand recognition or creating SEO, Google+ acts as a little-to-no cost opportunity for businesses and organizations to grow a more robust online presence.
How does it work?
- Pages: Any individual, business or organization can create a Google+ page. To share information, post media, and communicate with audiences.
- Circles: Place different people in “circles” to send tailored messages to certain groups of people at once. For example, you could place business associates in one circle and customers in another.
- Hangouts: “Hangouts” are video chat rooms similar to Skype, but with a twist. Google+ Hangouts can be conducted with groups with up to nine people – for free.
- Google+ Local: Like Google Places, Google+ Local consists of business listings and related photos, and allows users to search, review and share recommendations. This means businesses can effectively manage an online presence from one place.
- +1 (Plus One): Similar to Facebook’s “like” feature, the +1 button lets Google+ users share and endorse posts or pages. You can incorporate +1 into different websites, blogs, YouTube pages, etc., and items you +1 become recommendations for people in your Google+ circles.
- Search: When logged into Google+, your Google search results are tailored to your interests and your friends’ recommendations. For example, if a friend in your circles +1’s a Japanese restaurant, that restaurant will be in your search results for sushi along with a note about the recommendation. (more…)