Six Things to Love About GoogleFor starters, Google+ is for people, not for businesses, but don’t let that stop you from thinking ahead. In fact, what makes it great on a personal level will make it great for small businesses when that becomes an option. So, here are six reasons I personally love Google+ — I suspect they are the same reasons why you’ll find it helpful for your business. (For Google+ basics, check out our article “What Local Businesses Should Know Now About Google Plus.”)

  1. Signing up is a breeze. I kept putting it off because I expected a long, overly complicated process. But you can fill out as much or as little of your profile to start. It’s very intuitive.
  2. If you use a gmail account for your email, Google+ already knows who you correspond with via email. Creepy perhaps, but also helpful. Google+ suggests everyone you’ve ever written to as a potential Google Plus buddy, and you can then drag them into circles. In fact, I had forgotten I once corresponded with a prominent blogger many years ago, and now we’re both following each other on Google+.
  3. The circle construction is phenomenal. I have a longstanding policy that I’m not Facebook friends with co-workers or family. It’s not because I’m ashamed of anything I’ve posted on Facebook. It’s simply because I prefer a little separation in my worlds, and I see Facebook as a friend space. On Google Plus I have circles with their own streams dedicated to friends, family, coworkers and media professionals, so you can talk with all those groups … separately. I can post items and photos and indicate which circles will see them. For now, you could set up a circle devoted to professionals in your industry and/or customers and post whatever is relevant to just that circle – they won’t see any personal information you don’t want them to.
  4. You can edit posts. Let’s say you realized you made a typo as soon as you posted an update on Google+. You can edit it and select the option that won’t resend it into people’s streams.
  5. You can just drag photos from your computer to Google Plus. It’s so easy!
  6. You can disable Google+ emails detailing activities of your Google+ cohorts that clutter up your inbox . Instead, if you have gmail, there’s a discreet notification box in the righthand corner when you log in to gmail that tells you how many activities have occurred on Google+ since you last checked. In my case, I saw the today the number five because some friends added me to circles and one person +1ed (or “liked” in Facebook lingo) one of my posts. I was able to comment back on the post without leaving my gmail screen.

Granted, Google+ isn’t as bustling as Facebook and it’s probably not a space to pour a lot of time into at this point. But it wouldn’t hurt to stake your claim on a Google+ page, play around with it and get familiar. Then, when the onslaught comes, you’ll be ready.

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