Anders Orsander
June 16, 2015

Why You Need To Be On Google Plus

Every time Google announce a change to Google Plus, there are big headlines announcing the imminent death of Google Plus. The irony is that when Facebook split Messenger from the Facebook app no one announced the death of Facebook. I often encounter a very negative attitude towards Google Plus. That’s why I call Google Plus the ugly duckling of social media.

Forget all your preconceptions about Google Plus for a moment and ask yourself:

  • Do you use Google?
  • Do people use Google?
  • Does Google drive traffic to your website?
  • Do you use YouTube?
  • Do you have a Google account?
  • Do you have a local business on Google Maps?
  • Do you like having content on the first page of Google Search?
  • Do you like connecting with like-minded people, sharing your interests and passions?

If the answer on most of these questions is “Yes” you should get on Google Plus. Or truthfully, start using it, since you’re already there if you’re on YouTube or have a Local business. But wait, wasn’t Google Plus dying?

Let’s think about that seriously for a moment. Do you honestly think Google would cut out the social media from their services? Relationship Marketing, Contribution Marketing and Human to Human are hot topics. Social networks develop and change. But I don’t believe that Google will cut social from their services. Google Plus will develop and change, just like Facebook and Twitter, but it’s here to stay.

It’s An Integrated part of Google

Google Plus is an integrated part of Google’s array of tools and services. If you approach it the same way as Facebook or Twitter you’ll be disappointed (I speak from experience, I did this before I knew better). It took some time to understand Google Plus, but once I did I found it to be full of amazing people.

Free from ads and cute cats, Google Plus focuses on your passions and interests. For instance,  if I need help with WordPress my first stop is the WordPress Community. I get quick quality responses from passionate people. Quality is the keyword, quality content, quality contacts and quality response.

“But there is no one I know on Google Plus.” is something I often hear. Well, there are loads of great people to connect with. 300 million monthly active users. The beauty of Google Plus is that you can find people sharing your interests and passion. It’s a place for quality content and quality feedback.

If you have a business, you should set up a local business page. With a completed, verified and active profile, you’re likely to get a knowledge graph. This allows you to display your photos and latest Google Plus post on the first Google search result page. Your local business information is also found on Google Maps.

“But it’s so scary with all the things Google knows.” is another thing I hear from time to time. Completing the Google profile with public information, such as visiting address, phone number, website, blog and opening hours, is all information you probably already published. What’s so scary about putting that in your Google Profile? What’s so scary about sharing a public blog post in a Community with like-minded people?

Maximize your use of Google

Google-plus-not-dead-yet-600x331Google and Facebook are the giants on the internet. It’s worth maximising your use of both of them. Reading posts suggesting to get the most out of Facebook is like stating the obvious. Posts about Google seems to be a lot about SEO. But Google Search and SEO is only one part of Google. Maps, Local Business, YouTube are other parts, and for all of them, Google Plus is the social layer in the cake.

I said that I call Google Plus the ugly duckling of social media. Do you remember the story of what happened to the duckling? It grew up to a magnificent and beautiful swan. That reflects my experience of Google Plus. It started as an ugly duckling, but developed into a magnificent part of my use of social media. To help get you started experiencing it as I do, here are my highest level tips in a few bullet points are:

  • Create your Local business.
  • Create/complete your profile.
  • Verify your business.
  • Start interacting and communicating in Communities.

I’m very interested in hearing your opinions on this, so please comment, whether you agree or disagree, or just have questions.


Image attribution: Copyright: ‘‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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Anders is a Digital Marketing Officer at United Bible Societies. He specializes in building personal connections and relations in social media. His experience covers the local perspective in his parish and the global, being part of the global mission team at United Bible Societies. Anders experience of social media began in the mid 90s on chat forums and guestbooks.

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