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The ABCs of Google Plus

Have you been sold on the big new thing in social media, Google Plus? I know many folks out there are still on the fence about it. One of the main points I hear is the service is very confusing and it doesn’t seem like you can do very many things.

There are a number of tips and tricks that have been either discovered or flat out invented by users to make your experience smoother, though. And I think it will be worth it to put in the work, as Google Plus already has over 10 million users!

Posting Tips

If you’re just starting out, you may think that the Google Plus “wall” is exactly like Facebook’s. This has turned several people away as they don’t think there is any point to using the same service twice.

However, equating the two isn’t the end of the equation. Google Plus’ wall is more like a combination of Facebook, Twitter, a blog interface, and a forum. Sound complicated? It’s not, really; just a new way of communicating.

The frequency of posts is set up like Facebook’s, with the post up top and all the comments beneath, even with a “Like”-ish button called a “Plus 1.” So far, that Plus 1 button hasn’t amounted to a hill of beans, but there may be a future for it yet.

Making a post, though, can yield a wide variety of results. If you want to make a short little message like on Twitter, go for it. You can even make it where people can’t respond or repost it. If you’d rather spend time and create an entire blog post, go for it. You can make that post public for searching through Google and any Joe Schmoe can come along and respond to it, just like a forum post or blog post.

You can also link videos, pictures, or videos up to the same feed, with the same options. One thing many users are excited about is the option to upload movable gif pictures, though the functionality is admittedly hit and miss right now.

Circles

One of the big selling points for Google Plus was the Circles feature. Facebook has a similar feature, which lets you choose groups for you to post to instead of all your friends, family and coworkers seeing everything you say. Google Plus has streamlined itself around this feature, though, so it’s much more usable and intuitive. (Even tried to make a Facebook filter group? Good luck.) It’s also much easier to post to multiple groups, though strangely posting to an individual is a bit of a pain.

These groups make it very easy to have work conversations with your work colleagues and family conversation with family members. Nary the twain shall meet, unless you want them to.

Hang-Out

While Circles was the selling point, it seems the Hang-Out feature is where Google Plus will really shine. Users have found all sorts of ways to use the real-time chatting service that Google itself probably had no idea existed.

Two great examples: a member of a very popular band opened up a public chat for his fans to just come hang with him for a bit. This inspired many other people to do the same, and now it’s become a fight to get on those channels in time.

The other and much more business oriented example is a collaborative effort between musicians around the country. While fans hung back and watched the show, the musicians played a concert that was not restricted by boundaries or miles. Think of the possibilities for collaboration with your business and how your customers can help you create a better product!

How could your business use Google Plus?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/beginnersguide.html

2 Responses

  1. I think what will really determine the success of Google+ is whether or not it will appeal to a mass market over time. It got to 10 million users pretty quickly, but it still needs to continue to grow. Before implementing a Google+ strategy for business, it’s important to find out if your target audience is even using it.

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