What’s Google+ and Can it Help Your Online Brand?

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a huge increase in social networking usage from a variety of users, from students to large corporations. Tons of new platforms are popping up daily – and, as you probably already know, the latest addition to the social networking family is Google+. But what exactly is its purpose and can it help you and your online brand?

Google+, the newest brainchild from its namesake, is a social platform that essentially merges all your activity into one site. Think of it as a rolled together version of all the popular networks, like Twitter and Facebook. With Google+, users can: 

  • Create a profile, including adding photo and video
  • Arrange their networks into Circles or small groups
  • Engage in video chatting with Hangouts
  • Meet up with friends in chat rooms in Google+’s Huddles
  • Show off and share your interests in multiple categories with Sparks, and more

Though it’s probably only the tip of the iceberg for Google+, it’s rising popularity in such a short period time proves that the platform is not going anywhere soon, even with reports of traffic declining

So, can Google+ actually help boost your online brand? Absolutely, especially if you use all its features to your advantage. 

As with any social network, it’s important to complete your profile in full before you start spreading word of your Google+ platform. Apart from the usual information, you can include places you’ve lived in the world, “bragging rights,” and +1’s, which are what you’ve liked on the Web using Google’s +1 button. Further, think about linking back to your other social sites so you can create a more concrete brand. You can also chose which Circles you want to display on your profile as well, which could be convenient when you want to keep certain parts of your life private.

Next, try to find people you admire, like influencers or mentors, and add them to a separate Circle. Why separate? Circles are designed to make your Google+ experience easier by helping you organise your network. When you check out your stream of updates, you can chose to see what a certain Circle is talking about, posting, questions they have, etc. This makes commenting and interacting with your networks much easier. 

Lastly, just having a presence on a popular social networking site can do wonders for your brand. As with the others, update and maintain your Google+ profile regularly. Above all, don’t just create an account and never take advantage of it. It can be a great resource if you use it to it’s full potential. Your brand will probably look better if you do so. 

Are you using Google+? What tips do you suggest for new users who want to improve their online brands? 

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