Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz around Google+. Some people are predicting that Google+ will give Facebook a run for their money; while others say that Google+ is no threat to Facebook. Either way businesses should be aware of how Google+ works and how they can use this new social platform to their benefit.
As it stands right now, Google+ is focused primarily on individual users. It seems they want to establish an audience of individual users before opening up their platform to businesses and marketers. However, Google+ recently allowed businesses to sign up for a corporate account beta. There was such an overwhelming response that Google will have to sift through the applications to determine which companies will actually get to participate in the beta. Outside of the corporate account beta, there is no word yet, as to when and how businesses will be able to market their products and/or services to individuals with a Google+ account.
Google+ is similar to Facebook because it allows users to share their thoughts, photos, videos, etc with friends. However, Google+ has circles which allows users to choose which group of friends and/or associates they want to share information with. For example: let’s say Jane is friends with her parents, her boss and her weekend buddies on Google +. Over the weekend she goes camping with her family. She can share all her pictures with her parents, along with any sentimental thoughts, and not include her bosses or her weekend buddies. On the same note, she can send her weekend buddies a goofy picture of her and her mom, along with a note that says, “you know how my mom is” without her parents or her boss knowing. This could be a true benefit for advertisers, once Google+ opens up the door to them. If a person has more than one circle of friends, then this could mean that there are greater opportunities for advertisers to segment their message. Other features on Google+ such as Hangouts, Sparks and Huddle may also present an open door for marketers and businesses to reach Google+ users.
Right now, there’s a lot of speculation about what to expect from Google+, especially since it is still in beta. As Google+ unfolds, it should be interesting to see how companies and marketers can use this social platform to reach their target audience.