The right stuff.
Back in June 2011, Facebook and other social networking sites had to move over for the new kid on the block – Google+. The social networking site opened with an invitation only phase which created a sort of posh club that people wanted to be at; similar to the “Apple Effect.” Then in September, it opened up to the public.
The Web site offers features like “Circles,” “Hangouts,” and “Stream.” “Circles” allows users to organize their contacts into groups for sharing. Google gives default “Circles” options of Friends, Family, Acquaintances, and Following, and even though followers can see who you have in your “Circles,” they can’t view the names of those “Circles.” This serves the function of being able to post something to a particular “Circle” of friends, a feature Facebook doesn’t offer. “Hangouts” are virtual places to facilitate a video chat of up to 10 people. “Hangouts” are available on the mobile app, and broadcast can be recorded for later viewing.
*Cool Fact – Aired on January 30, 2012, President Obama gave the first ever virtual interview about the State of the Union through “Hangouts.”
“Stream,” which is similar to Facebook’s News Feed, allows users to see updates from those in their “Circles.” You can also filter the “Stream” with post from specific “Circles.”
Here is Google+ by the numbers:
- 90 million active users, which are projected to be 400 million by the end of 2012
- 71% users are male
- 35% of users are 25-34-year-old demographic
- 13% users are adult, which are projected to be 22% by the end of 2012
Google+ is poised to be the 2nd most popular social networking site by the end of 2012, and they have already integrated ideas that have helped make Facebook popular by adding social shares with the “+1” icon. But, unlike Facebook, Google+ does not allow any non-human entity own a page. So that means your company’s CEO can have a Google+ account but not the company itself. Although this policy could change in the future.
Google+ is a great and effective way to continue the conversation with your audience. You can be proactive, like the President was, and find new, creative ways to reach them. This is the perfect balance of being able to communicate both professionally and socially all in one hub.