The Latest Social Media Craze: Google+

Social media plays a significant role in our lives today and it continues to evolve. Therefore, we have to be up to speed with its latest and greatest features and how to use them. In recent weeks, it seems that every technology news site has posted articles about Google+.

Google + was launched on June 28, 2011 and is now one of Facebook’s biggest competitors. Because businesses are using social media to brand themselves, it may be a good idea for you to look into setting up an account with Google+. The site is currently at capacity for new users, but you can sign up to be notified when new users are added.  However, if you know someone who is currently on the site you can be  invited to sign up. Upon receiving an invitation, you can set up a business profile to start networking.

If you’re wondering what Google+ is like, imagine Facebook, but with several different characteristics. One key component for Google+ is the invention of circles. The Mashable article, Google+: The Complete Guide, explains that circles allow you to categorize and group your friends. All you do is drag and drop friends into groups that you personally organize and categorize by name; you may have family, college friends and business partner circles. These circles let you share certain things within a specific group. If you have pictures, videos or interests that you want to keep separate from your work circle, you can choose to update these  only to your friends circle. If you want to share business statistics, you can privately submit them to just your work circle. This innovation lets you keep your personal and work life separate within the same social media site.

Google+ also has a feature called “hangouts” where you can connect with your circle via online video. PR firms are already talking about the idea of using this feature to set up online press conferences. It will eventually be available for cell phones. Though the concept of  video chatting isn’t new, what makes this feature unique is that you can connect via video with whichever circle you want and your entire circle can be a part of it.

Along with circles and hangouts you can make your profile as unique to yourself as you would like. You can personalize it by adding taglines of information about you, such as where you live, work and what you are interested in. Google+ also offers a stream, or newsfeed, with your circles’ updated activity. Also, Sparks is a feature that gives you recommendations for your interests and what you might like. Some other features include huddle, a group texting service and photos. Other activities such as games and questions will be available in the future.

Although Google+ has just launched and will inevitably need  to work out the kinks, it is definitely something for your company to look into. If the projection of users is correct, it will be matching Facebook’s fame in no time.  Keep in mind that this is another business networking tool that can help keep your company organized, especially with the circles feature. Even if your company isn’t ready to take on another social media site, at least watch and see how Google+ will expand and consider it in the future.

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