BernieBorges.com Blog: Social Media and Web Marketing
5 Reasons To Use Google Plus for Career Development
Google + is a New Social Networking Site That Deserves Your Attention
You may (or may not) know that I run an internet marketing agency which creates online marketing strategies for businesses to help them grow. And, I blog about trends and issues pertaining to internet marketing from a corporate marketing perspective.
A few days ago I wrote about the new Google + social networking site and my views on how businesses can use it. I encourage you to read that article if that interests you. Here, I turn my attention to how you can use Google + for social networking from a career perspective.
Google is Already a Player
Even though the new Google + social network is competing for your time and mindshare against Facebook (primarily) and to a lesser extent Twitter and LinkedIn, this new social network is not from an unknown start up. This is Google, the deep-pocketed, talent-rich search giant. Sure, they’ve had two failed attempts at social networking (Buzz and Wave), but they’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way.
Google + Is Not a Me-Too Social Network
Google + has borrowed features from Facebook and Twitter, and to some extent LinkedIn to create a different social networking experience. For example, unlike Facebook where you and I must mutually accept a “friend” connection, I can follow you on Google + regardless of whether or not you follow me. That feature is Twitter-like. By following you, I can see your stream, just like a Facebook stream.
Tip: Follow influential people whom you admire to see what they’re posting. You can comment anytime and engage in online conversations in a thread from any of their posts.
Be An Early Adopter
You can certainly join Google + one year from now, but you’ll miss out on a lot of valuable networking. This social networking train has already left the station. I encourage you to join and start networking with friends, business colleagues and following influential people as mentioned above.
Without question, the most unique and interesting feature in Google + is the ability to create “circles.” This feature allows you to create circles of friends or people around any reason. For example, you can create a circle for close friends, work colleagues, industry pundits, competitors, fishing buddies, etc. Hopefully you get the picture. You define your circles and add people to them. This allows you to network with people in circles and even limit the visibility of your posts to specific circles. Additionally, you can put people in multiple circles. People you add to a circle get notified by Google that you’ve added them to a circle, but they are not notified of the name of your circle.
Tip: You could add a competitor to a “competitor” circle and to an “industry influencer” circle, if that fits a person’s place in your network.
Google + Will Be Widely Adopted by Businesses
This is my prediction, but honestly this is a very low risk prediction. I’m not much of a gambler, but this is a no brainer! Google has not yet released their business features. At the time of this writing, Google + is only for people’s profiles. Google’s official statement on the release of business features is it will be available later this year. No one has specific insights into the business features in Google + but consider this. Facebook pages have been a successful engagement channel for B2C (business-to-consumer) companies, but much less so for B2B (business-to-business). Google knows that. So, I’m anticipating Google will offer significant features that will allow all businesses, including B2B to profit from adoption of Google +.
Tip: By becoming an early adopter of Google + you will have developed a strong network and understanding of this social network so that when business features are available you can quickly follow and engage with the businesses you want. If you are a business owner, you’ll be ready to jump on the Google + bandwagon quickly.
Will Google + Replace LinkedIn?
I doubt it. Google is gunning more for Facebook than any other social network. I wouldn’t be surprised to see technology integration announcements between LinkedIn and Google as a way to further erode Facebook’s market share. In the end, Google wants you and I to spend less time on Facebook and more time on Google +.
How Do You Join Google + ?
If you have a Gmail address joining Google + is a snap. Currently, you need an invitation from anyone who has a Google + profile. All they need to do is send an invitation to your Gmail address and you can join in a matter of seconds. Not surprisingly, Google + is nicely integrated into the Gmail interface.
Mobile Google + is Awesome
If you use an Android phone, using Google + is a snap. If you’re an iPhone or Blackberry user, stay tuned as they plan to release Google + for those mobile platforms soon. The Android app is very elegant, which is likely to contribute to rapid adoption.
Google + Will Take Off
I don’t hesitate to make this prediction. Of course, I could be wrong but I don’t think I will be. The earlier you get in on the networking potential, the more potential for your career networking opportunities.
Stay tuned for a Career Center ProStuff article with more in depth explanations and a video walk-through of how to use Google + for career improvement.
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