Why You Can’t Afford to Bypass Google+
Google+ is a brand new social network, which Google launched as a limited field test on June 28 2011. The network is now available to anyone with a Google account, which means that in order to gain access, all you have to do is sign in at http://plus.google.com. Once you have access to the network, you will receive one hundred and fifty invites to send to friends and family.
Google+ is still new and is small compared with Facebook, although membership numbers for the new service have been climbing at an amazing rate. This is because there are a lot of potential members who already use other Google services, such as Gmail. As of February 2010, there are one hundred and seventy million Gmail users worldwide.
As of 29/08/2011 Facebook has more than 750 million active users. On the other hand, there are as yet no official statistics for the number of active Google+ users. However, it is estimated that there are at least ten million, and it is possible that there are already 20 million active users.
Unofficial statistics from a report released by Hitwise indicate that most of the incoming traffic to Google+ is in fact from other Google services. Fifty-six percent comes from search, while twenty-one percent comes via email. This is not surprising, as every time you make an update you are asked if you would like to email the update to friends who are not yet on Google+.
Furthermore, Google+ has experienced an amazing rate of early growth. More statistics from the Experian Hitwise report reveal that as of July 16th and prior to its public opening:
- Google+ was the 42nd most-visited social networking site in the United States, and the 638th most-visited site on the internet.
- Google+ visits increased by a huge 283% from the previous week.
- Google+ grew by 821% from the week ending on July 2 - the first week Google+ was made available.
What is more, the data above was collected before Google released the new Google+ iPhone app. An android app for Google+ is also available, so the number of active members will have increased again.
Be An Early Adopter:
The earlier you start with Google+, the more time you will have to build up a loyal community of followers. Use your public posts and Sparks to share relevant information that will help you to be seen as an authority in your industry. Signing up early also makes it easier for people to find you on the network. Many of those using Google+ are professionals, which means there is great potential for you to make new B2B contacts.
There is even a third-party people finding service called Gplus Pals which has a section just for accountants: GPlus Pals (Accountants)
Many users see Google+ as a fresh start, because their profiles on other social networks are no longer providing them with a good user experience.
Furthermore Google+ is an especially attractive alternative to Facebook, where sharing options are limited and friend lists have become bloated.
Google+ Circles let you share specific content with select groups of people. Share pictures of your night out with your friends, while remaining professional and only sharing relevant content with your colleagues.
Extend Your Reach with Hangouts:
Set up video conference meetings with up to ten clients and colleagues at a time with Google+ Hangouts.
Stay in touch with your colleagues while on the road, or have face-to-face meetings with new clients who are based too far away to travel to your office.
Make sure you fill out as much information about yourself in your Google+ profile as possible. Add your full name, and links to your websites and other social media accounts, for instance Twitter. You should also add a small summary of your work and interests in the ‘About’ section. Your profile will appear near the top of Google search results for your name, and your homepage and social media links will be all in one central location for people to browse!
Donna Svei from Accounting Today has been testing search results in Google and has found the Google+ profiles of herself and her colleagues ‘…have come up above our other social media profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter) every time. In fact, my Google+ profile has come up above my website about half the time. Thus, if you want your name to appear close to the top of search results, you now must have a Google+ profile.’
Coming Soon! Google Plus Business Profiles:
At the moment, Business profiles are not available on Google+. However Business Profiles are coming towards the end of 2011.
* Please note, the signup form for Business Profile test partners that Christian Oestlien mentions in the video is now closed.
ReadWriteWeb - Google Plus Business Profiles Are Coming Q3, Analytics and All
ReadWriteWeb - How Businesses Can Make the Most of Google Plus
Once you have signed up, start using the skills discussed for finding and sharing content in the Creating Killer Content series, and you’ll be on your way to getting the most out of the brand new Social Network: Google+.