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Another social network. Gareth Case knows what you’re thinking. Google+ adoption hasn’t been quite what many were expecting and why should you dedicate your time to another social network? Gareth Case already spends a considerable amount of time writing his Social Media Today blog and managing his activity through LinkedIn, Twitter and other social channels but Google+ for Gareth does a unique job in that it is (possible without intending to) blurring the lines between traditionally personal social channels like Facebook, and business networks like LinkedIn. Google has introduced Brand Pages a short time after their initial launch and has seen good traction and early adoption from many of the worlds leading brands.
So why can’t Google+ be ignored? well here are a few reasons:
The social layer of SEO is one that Google has had missing from its armoury for too long. Their algorithms for returning the most relevant web pages have clearly been industry leading for many years but having the extra ‘tick in the box’ by a number of people ‘+1ing’ content helps them better understand what visitors are really looking for. What’s more you can see in Google’s search results page what people in your Circles have +1′d too. A very useful tool.
The adoption of video conferencing will explode over the next 3 years. By 2015 90% of all internet traffic will be video in one form or another. Google Hangouts enable not only friends to have a video chat but it also provides a free video conferencing solution for businesses. What’s more, organisations can use Hangouts to push live events and seminars out to an audience that can’t physically attend. I am already planning a virtual seminar next year to our customers and prospects using Hangouts.
IT’S THE FACEBOOK FOR BUSINESS
I work in the B2B technology sector. For me, Facebook has always has an image issue in our market. Our customers and prospects typically see Facebook as a social channel for the younger generation, and one that is not usually accepted in the professional B2B space. LinkedIn on the other hand is a fantastic B2B tool for many reasons but it’s one downside for me is that it lacks the interactivity a ‘social’ feel.
So Google+, despite my early criticism (which I still feel is valid) I am going to embrace you. Your 50M users may provide an easier and more manageable target than the 800M I face on Facebook. And well done for accidently producing a social environment that has the potential to perfectly blend business and pleasure.