Author's note: This blog was published in March of 2012. Google+ was sunsetted in 2019.

Here we go again... another social media platform that everyone is saying is the next big thing. So why should you invest time in this "latest and greatest" product from Google called Google+?

Ball with Social Media Icons

Similar to adding a friend on Facebook, Google+ lets you connect to people by placing them in what they call circles, which are basically descriptions of your social connection with that person. Each business you’re affiliated with can have their own circle, and each member of the certain business is added to their company circles accordingly. Customers can have their own circle as well, which can prove to be an important circle to have; customers provide feedback, and feedback helps the company know how they’re doing.

By providing what they call a +1 button, Google+ allows you to add pertinent information to your site, and then allows you to share this information with key people in your circles, or whole circles themselves. This is a great way to reach out and send information or files that your affiliates might need in a mass way, or send out promotional information to your customers.

Extra Tools on Google+

Google+ also provides what they call a stream. This is very similar to a Facebook newsfeed. Here, you’re able to see what other people are posting, whether it be text, pictures, videos, or links. This is a fast way to provoke a conversation about any topic or event, and relay any relevant information as well.

Hangouts on Google+ are a way for businesses to hold conferences together, even if they’re not all in the same place. It is like Skype, or other forms of video chat, but it allows more than two people to be talking at any given time. This can prove beneficial for business if instances occur while people are out or town, or merely out of the office, and can also be seen as a great forum for Q & A with customers.

The Huddle feature on Google+ allows companies to send out a mass memo, similar to emailing, but instead of sending six individual emails, it sends one notification, and all six people will be able to respond in the same place. If, for instance, an important meeting got bumped up to two o’clock instead of three, then forming a huddle group and communicating to them is a fast and effective way to spread that information, all at one time.

All of these tools are also a great way to share information with your customers, and answer any questions or concerns that they may have. Remember, Google+ is interactive, so it’s a great way to obtain customer feedback. Google+ is a great way to attract new customers, not to mention help old or returning customers find your site. Just by creating a Google+ site, the chances that your site moves up on the search engine list is incredible; you’ll be getting more traffic, and you’ll be getting it fast.

Should I or Shouldn't I?

While it seems like a gigantic pain to manage yet another social media profile, be mindful that Google, the undeniable leader in the search world, is the driving force behind Google+. Could your Google Plus profile contribute to your credibility with Google and improve the SERPs for your website?

[Related Article: How does Google Plus Affect SEO]

Yes, your business may already have a Facebook or a Twitter account, so it’s plausible that some people may find adding yet another social media outlet redundant, but shouldn’t a company try to reach out to as many people as possible? Not everyone who has a Google+ page has a Facebook or vice versa, so by opening up your market area, your business may be able to gain a significant amount interest. It’s easy to see why Google+ would be valuable for a company to have by their use of Hangouts, Huddles, and +1’s, so why not make a Google+ profile for you company today? It just may be the boost your company needs to get out there and show the world what you’ve got.