Google+ recently rolled out some new features along with Google+ Brand Pages. The site seeks to enhance its users’ experience, giving people a greater ability to connect, interact, and play within the platform.
So what exactly are these new additions, and how would these affect direct sellers? Well, as a direct seller, you have the unique opportunity of being your own personal brand and yet also representing your company’s. You need to do a bit of balancing act here, since it’s about how you relate with your consumers and audience as a person while still promoting the company and products you stand for.
Social media has definitely changed the way direct sellers can connect with their audience. Rather than having to go house-to-house talking to one person after another, you can easily connect with hundreds of your friends and followers with just a click of the button.
So here’s a rundown of the latest additions to Google+ and why direct sellers should take note of these changes.
Ripples are basically a graphical representation of how posts or updates are spread in Google+. The graph shows the key influencers, which people can click on and visit. You also see which of the posts are being shared and by whom.
This is an excellent feature for direct sellers, since it helps foster brand recognition. It also gives you valuable feedback on your posts – are they getting the attention you want or are they being ignored? It helps you determine which topics you should focus on and which ones you should reassess and revise as needed.
Ripples is essentially giving you an evaluation on how your posts are being spread, and if they aren’t getting the effect you want, then you really need to start reconsidering your branding strategy.
The new Google+ “What’s Hot” Feature shows all the most popular information around Google+ to the users. It can be found in two places in your Google+: on a stream on the left side of your page, and underneath your new posts.
Though some have complained that this new feature still needs tweaking, as people are getting a lot of useless information such as ridiculous gifs and unfunny jokes, direct sellers who are interested in brand exposure can actually benefit from this. Of course, most are suggesting that there should be a great filter for this feature, so that people can really see what they’re interested in and filter out what they don’t like.
There are huge hopes that Google+ can make this feature better for its users, so that persons and brands alike can really take advantage of it and put out some excellent content.
Google Apps availability
Another new feature is that Google+ is now available with Google Apps. People who use Google Apps now have access to the features that are available in Google+, such as sharing with your circles, and sharing publicly with everyone in your organisation.
Direct sellers can take advantage of this by sharing valuable information to their circles and organisation. The integration is still in the works, however, but people are really looking forward to using the tools together.
Google+ becoming Google
Perhaps the most significant upcoming change in Google+ is the fact that it is soon going to become part of everything that Google is, from the search engine and advertising, to Chrome and YouTube. It seems that what you do in Google+ will soon become your online identity in the Google universe.
What does this mean for direct sellers and other personal brands? Well, since it seems that all the Google sites will soon be one integrated service, then it’s really important that you ensure that your Google+ profile represents your brand well. It’s also critical that you only post information that you really want people to know; otherwise, data that you may have wanted kept private or friends only may soon appear in the Google Search Engines.
Google+ may also soon be an important factor in ranking in the Google Search Engine, so you really need to ensure that you optimise your profile. You want to establish an excellent online identity, since it can really help spread the word about your brand and engage your audience. But always be careful what you put out there for the world to see, since this affects your online reputation.
As a direct seller, make sure that you understand these Google+ additions very well so you can use them to your advantage. Managing your online reputation has never been so critical in today’s competitive world.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog and is also the CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks – a boutique word of mouth marketing firm. She helps create connection, credibility, community and cha-ching through mobile marketing and social commerce around your brand. She is co-founder of #brandchat – a weekly twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding.