Getting To Know Google+ for Meetings: Part One

Some marketers continue to dismiss Google+ because it doesn’t enjoy the same visibility – or notoriety – as some other social media platforms.  A common misconception about Google+ is that the platform hasn’t garnered the same critical mass audience as its better-known contemporaries:  like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  As of May 2013, however, Google+ had approximately 350 million active members – which puts it well ahead of Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.  Yet those social media platforms still command greater recognition and prestige.  Even though over one million brand and business pages were created within its first six months of existence, many brands still decline to utilize Google+.

Why are millions of people turning to and actively engaging in Google+?  Social media gurus who were once reluctant to embrace Google+ are now taking a second look at this platform.  Here are some facts to consider about Google+:

1)             Accessibility:
Google’s mission is to “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”  As a behemoth of a search engine, Google continues to honor its credo by investing in its product line.  But Google isn’t just a search engine:  it’s also a collection of products, from an email service provider and online marketplace to a resource for maps, translation services and documentation storage.  This continued reinvestment makes Google+ a robust platform that is extremely well positioned to compete with its contemporaries.

2)             YouTube:
Google owns YouTube, which makes integration with Google+ seamless.  Uploading videos to and viewing them on YouTube is quite simple.

3)             Hangouts:
An exclusive Google+ feature, Hangouts enable up to 10 participants to collaborate simultaneously on a video chat for free.  Import documents from Google Drive (where you can store large quantities of documents for free) and work together in real-time.  View, rate and discuss YouTube videos concurrently as well!

4)             Circles:
Google+’s contact management system is comprised of circles:  an easy way to group your contacts based on how you relate to them.  Contacts can be grouped as friends, family and acquaintances so that you don’t have to share the photos of last weekend’s family reunion with your colleagues.  One key way for companies to interact with existing and potential customers on Google+ is within its Communities feature.  This feature sets Google+ apart from Facebook:  only personal profiles, and not Facebook pages, can post in Facebook Groups.

5)             Higher SEO:
Profiles on Google+ achieve great visibility and search engine optimization – on Google!

6)             Robust Company Pages:
LinkedIn Company Pages can present creative challenges for entrepreneurs and smaller brands.  Google+ Company Pages integrate seamlessly with YouTube and yield greater Google SEO results than Facebook brand pages.

7)             Hashtags:
Hashtags, used to group topics of conversation, are no longer only used on Twitter:  they are also used on Google+.   Facebook just recently added hashtags to its social media jargon; Google+ has employed hashtags and other communication-friendly features for many years.


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