Beyond the Big Three: How Some of the Newer Social Networks Work Google+

What is Google+?

Google+ is a social network from search giant, Google.

According to Google, the idea is to make sharing on the web more like sharing in real life.

Did you know? There are 100 million active Google+ users. 70 percent are male compared to 30 percent female.

Source: Infographic Labs - 2012

What is the benefit for small businesses?

To some extent, search results are already influenced by Google+ activity. Google is now a search engine with a self-fulfilling engagement platform. Those who actively participate on Google+ have a better chance of getting in front of their target audience via search results. As consumers begin to adopt and favor personalized search results via Google+, those brands and businesses that engage on Google+ will have an advantage over those who don’t.

The other benefit aside from search is in its networking potential. Since the network is not yet main stream you have a better chance of having conversations with industry leaders and making connections that could benefit your business in the long run.

How does it work?

The user experience is similar to that of Facebook (a news feed based on status updates and shared content, recommended friends, etc.), but the idea here is to make it easier to share content with specific sets of people (called Circles) instead of just publishing content on your wall for everyone to see.

Getting started: Step 1

You need to create a personal Google Account before you can set up a Google+ business page.

If you already have one you can sign in with your Google Account.

Step 2

From there you’ll want to create your Google+ business page.

Pick your category and then add your basic info.

Step 3

Edit the profile for your page. Pretty much everything on the page can be edited.

Step 4

Promote your Google+ page on Google+ using the “Share your page” button.

Let your email list, Facebook fans, Twitter followers and other social networks know about your new Google+ page.

How to share on Google+

At the top of your Google+ page you’ll see a box to add an update. Type the information you’d like to post. You can also include a photo, video, link, or your location in the update, just click the appropriate icon.

Next, you’ll choose which circles you want to share the update with. You can make the update public or you can share specifically with the circles you’ve created.

Then click the “Share” button to send your update.