With over 140 million users and growing, Google+ likely isn't your favorite social media network. Earlier this year, comScore reported that while the number of users is growing, the average Google+ user spends only 3 minutes per month on Google+ itself. Google itself reported slightly different numbers in June, saying that its users averaged 12 minutes per day "in the stream," reflecting usage of all of Google's products such as YouTube, Docs, etc.
That doesn't exactly sound like a lot of people are comfortable knowing how to use Google+! While some people see it as a poorly executed Facebook clone, nothing could be further from the truth, and there are some great minds in social media marketing that agree with me. If you're not convinced there are good reasons for you to learn "one more thing" in social media, let me give you 5 good reasons you need to learn how to use Google+ now!
How to Use Google+: 5 Reasons Google+ Matters to your Marketing
#1 – In Google+, it's easier to control who sees your updates: Let's face it. Your boss doesn't need to see your family pictures. While Facebook lists can help you control who sees which updates, Google's Circles (in my opinion) make the process of limiting sharing to select groups much, much simpler. How to use Google+ to control updates? It's simple. Create Circles for work, family, prospects, and anyone else you want to, assign people to those groups, and with each post, you're asked to select which Circles you want to share with. Simple and easier to make sure each post is seen by the appropriate audience.
#2 – Notifications: Your Google+ notifications icon sits in the upper right hand corner of every Google screen. As a result – it's quite easy to stay on top of updates, +1's, and messages when you're online. If you use Google's Chrome browser, you can download an extension that allows you to see your updates next to the address bar even when you're not on a Google website.
#3 – Position Yourself as a Thought Leader: As your opinion and activity on Google sites builds, you build your personal brand at the same time. Imagine the credibility it gives you when a prospect searches for information about business management and sees a miniature version of your profile picture next to some of the results.
#4 – SEO Opportunity: This is quite possibly one of the biggest reasons you should learn how to use Google+ now. Google+ profiles and pages are integrated into search results. So – you could potentially move higher in ranking on Google based on your Google+ profile, even if your website isn't as highly ranked.
#5 – Look More Professional: Like LinkedIn, the fact is that Google+ profiles and interactions have a much more professional appearance than on Facebook. Having a robust presence on Google+ suggests you are a professional wanting to engage with other professionals about more weighty topics (and not just the latest meme or e-card floating around Facebook). Knowing how to use Google+ effectively allows you to interact with some of the brightest minds on topics of your choosing (and as a social platform, as you continue to use it, it even recommends people to follow based on the content you search and share.
Do you have other favorite reasons for knowing how to use Google+ to build your social presence online? Leave a comment below – I'd love to know!