The best managers in the world know that half of the battle to victory is assembling the right team and utilizing the various strengths of each member. The same can be said of social media outlets: while they all serve the same basic function of bringing people together, they each have something different to offer to the process.
We are aware of the benefits of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, but Google+ has an extra hidden bonus that is often overlooked: the ability to improve your standing on Google's most famous product, the search engine. By creating and maintaining a Google+ profile, your brand (company, blog, etc.) benefits in at least two specific ways: increased visibility on Google's search pages and an ultimate organizational system tailored to connect you with the world around you.
Using Google+ For Your BusinessThere is no denying that as far as online search engines go, Google is light years ahead of the competition. Indeed, when people are looking for an answer for literallyanything, the most common answer is: "Just Google it." (To be fair, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, I am sure "Just Bing it!" is the next big thing.) The point is that the Google search is here to stay, and good luck gaining exposure for your company if you are not standing out in the rankings. Although the key to improving your ranking is multifaceted and highly speculated, I maintain that Google is not above a little self-promotion and may give preferential treatment to a link containing the Google brand, so it certainly couldn't hurt to have Google's little "g+" stamp of approval accompanying your web-link.
There is a factual benefit that comes with your Google+ profile: a picture next to your link. When you establish your Google+ profile and link it to your website or blog, you attain "Google Authorship" status, complete with a thumbnail picture of you that accompanies your link. Not only does this give people a face to connect to your brand and your message, thereby making you more relatable and personable, but it also gives you credibility in the sea of online anonymity. This means that every time you contribute content or post something, your photo-link pops up on Google's radar and stands out in a search.
It's true. Given a page full of data, the human eye is naturally drawn to something that stands out. In this case, if you have a link accompanied by a smiling headshot photo, someone searching for your keywords is that much more likely to focus on yours, which means more clicks for your web-link, which means higher rankings in the search pages anyway. Your link draws attention and your Google ranking rises: win-win.
Stay in the Loop – literallyThe second stand-out benefit to utilizing your Google+ profile is a more cohesive and comprehensive organizational scheme for your contacts. Google+ allows you to cast a wider and neater net through its creation of "circles." These circles provide greater potential for networking and more efficiency once you have your network established; this process is two-fold.
First, Google+ allows you to connect with those people and entities you might not have access to with other social media outlets. For example, Facebook's system provides you a great way to maintain relationships with your "friends" or those you already know. And where Google is king of the search, Facebook is king of the social networking memberships. However, if there's a discussion in progress among those with whom you are not friends, you are pretty much out of the loop. But with Google+, you are able to take part in any discussion you want simply by joining that circle. In this way, Google+ gives you an avenue of networking and connection that you do not have otherwise. Thus, you may have more options through Google+ than via Facebook for expanding your contacts and spreading the word about your brand.
Second, Google+ gives you a way to organize your circles, and related messages, differently than other social sites. Consider the following: Twitter is great for posting thoughts and pics that can be seen by anyone, including your "Followers." And Pinterest is THE place to show your style to the world. But with them, you cannot pick and choose what you say to whom. Google+ has created a method by which you can share different things with different groups rather than mass messages to everyone – organize your contacts into separate circles, using whatever criteria you like, and simply send a message to those connections within that certain circle.
While the greatest advantage of using Google+ is undoubtedly the rise in search rank potential, it also allows greater freedom in expressing yourself because you can do so in categories: you no longer have to share sensitive social material with your mom or your boss, both of whom are your "Friends" and "Followers," if you choose not to.