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Let us debunk a popular myth: Google Plus is most definitely not a ghost town. In fact, there are 500 million users on Google Plus today compared to a mere 25 million on Pinterest. And sure, Facebook has 1 billion users (Android users make up the largest percent of Google Plus users right now since Google products are already installed on it) but it is used in a very different way from G+. Facebook focuses on the people you already know – your friends, your family, your high school buddies you have not talked to in 20 years, etc.
Find Useful Information and People with Similar Passions
Alternatively, Google Plus is used more to find information on your specific interest areas and the people related to these fields. So this opens up a much wider world of possibilities and new relationships built on common passions. For example, if you are seeking a group of outdoor lovers in your local area or the latest high tech news, you can circle people in these areas or join related communities and instantly have access to information that is directly pertinent to your passion with no interruptions (unless you want them) from that cousin who is constantly bragging about how awesome her life is. And the experience can be customized on the fly based on how much you want to hear on any given topic area or user.
Why is Google Plus the Next big thing?
The biggest complaint we hear time and again (right after the ghost town joke) is “I don’t know how to use Google Plus.” Well, remember that first time you created your Facebook account? Or think back even further, what the heck was email all about? Did you know how to use those things right away? All new technology is foreign at first and users have to get used to it.
Another common misconception when people first get started on Google Plus is that they expect it to be Google’s version of Facebook. This is NOT Facebook, and it is not trying to be, but many people want at first for it to be a similar experience and while the functionality is quite similar, the people you interact with and how you interact is quite different. Google Plus allows you to explore your own interests further and essentially create a customized newsfeed of all things you love if you take the time to really play around with it and use it. This is something you have to understand and take time to appreciate. The ability to create deeper relationships built on passions, but not necessarily with the people you already know, is what users will fall in love with once they understand how to use Google Plus.
Google Plus is SEO’s best friend
And, make no mistake about it, Google Plus is SEO’s new best friend. Think about it, it’s Google’s very own social media network so bloggers and website owners (which is pretty much every business and many individuals today) will benefit greatly by learning to use and embrace it. It will become more and more important in how search results are displayed, rank and even how they are shared as time goes on and the service develops further. If you have a website, the time to get on board with Google Plus is now.
Think about the lifetime of a tweet? Maybe a couple of seconds? With Google Plus your content you post is now archived forever through search. Because if you think about it, that makes more sense. If you post an article about “Top Best Email Marketing Services” on twitter a few people might see it before it gets pushed down and washed away in your feed. With Google Plus it will be indexed indefinitely and will show up in search results years later as long as it is still useful and relevant.
No API’s? No Problem!
People complain that they can’t use Hootsuite or another third party applications (aka “API”) to link up with Google. But in reality think of it from a consumer’s perspective, it’s a good thing. Now other sites like twitter allow you to pump out tweets without even sitting at a computer. Google thinks this will clog up the internet with spammy content, so that’s why they won’t let you. You have to physically be signed in to Google and post in real time. There are no “egg head” profiles (like Twitter) so you have to be legit. There are rumors that Google Plus will release a API eventually but waiting, no rush because they want to take the time to do it right. (Currently at time of publish, February 2013, there are no third party APIs to allow you to schedule Google Plus updates in advance). So yes, this means yes, you may have to work for it, but it’s worth it and validates your content even further knowing that it came from a person instead of a computer.
Update: Thanks to a reader comment below, we were informed that you can use Hootsuite as as third party API to post to Google Plus. This feature does however post a “hootsuite” next to the status update so we do not recommend as a best practice.
What are you waiting for? Get on the Google Plus Bandwagon
Google plus lets you naturally a way to build brand advocates. You can no longer be a faceless marketer who does “push marketing.” As Guy Kawasaki said himself “Facebook is for people, Twitter is for Perceptions and Google Plus if for Passions.” (In fact, he’s so passionate he wrote an entire book about Google Plus, called “What the Plus”). He convinced us to join the club, so hopefully we convinced you. And as more and more marketers get on board, you’ll start to notice all those little Google Plus icons popping up right along side the Facebook and Twitter ones – including on our site.
We Rock Your Google Plus
Be sure to join our circle and join the conversation in all things web, technology and computer related on our We Rock Your Web Google Plus page.