Along with the ‘standard’ Facebook and Twitter icons which we have just gotten used to seeing, along comes Google to trounce them all. Again. So is there any real need for another social media platform?
According to Google themselves, “Click +1 can be used to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1′s help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search”.
Firstly, before you get put off by having to create another account, don’t worry – it is not as time consuming to set up as Facebook. However, if you do have other social network accounts, it can be useful to connect +1 to these; when your friends search for local restaurants online, the one round the corner which you have +1’d will appear in their search rankings, blimey!
Benefits of Google +1 include:
You can build up your profile as you go and with minimal effort; just your name, gender and date of birth will get you started. In theory, all pages on the web can have the +1 function. Whereas on Facebook, you can only ‘like’ pages that are already on Facebook.
If your friend is using Google Maps to search for a restaurant, your profile will hover above your +1’d restaurant, recommending they visit.
As there isn’t an option to ‘tweet’ or shout about your recent +1 recommendation, your preferences are still known to the world, but just a little more subtly endorsed. You can of course rave away on Facebook and Twitter later as you wish.
If your business incorporates the +1 feature, only people who like your page can make their feelings known. We have all heard the horror stories of companies being publicly slated and condemned on Twitter as soon as bad press is received – good job Google haven’t invented the -1 yet!
But what about my business?
Firstly, Google were inundated with users creating a +1 on behalf of their company (e.g. creating a business profile like they have done on Facebook and Twitter) even though they initially intended the +1 function to be for personal use.
Due to popular demand and firms realising the importance of ‘humanizing their brand’, Google have subsequently introduced a business profile +1, although a launch date has not been leaked as yet – so hold your horses for now but as soon as a date is announced we’ll be sure to let you know.
So, trial Google+ using a personal account first, before opening your business doors to it. If you find it easy to use, think about incorporating it into your firm’s web pages – which we can do for you.
More good news: By adding this feature to your site, your Google search engine rankings will be improved. Joys!
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By Sarah Miners