Google’s latest foray into social networking, Google Plus, or Google+, which “aims to make sharing on the web more like sharing in real life” is now out of beta and as of last week you don’t need an invitation to join.
But do you need to join anyway?
Are you maybe one of those people saying right now “Oh no! Not another social networking platform?! What with Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and blogging and the rest of it, I can’t keep up!”
Which would be a perfectly understandable reaction.
Or are you on the other hand a bit of an early adopter, already there and wondering what time and energy – if any – you should dedicate to this new social platform, from a business viewpoint?
After all, given that Google+ is not yet open to businesses to establish their presence there, why would you want to give your time and attention to this latest new, new thing when you no doubt have plenty of other things to focus on?
I don’t have simple answers to these questions and having spent a large slab of time in recent days experimenting with the platform and reading the thoughts and opinions of various pundits, I don’t believe anyone has truly bankable answers either.
But I believe the development is very significant for business and I believe business owners and freelancers would be well advised to get in now and learn the practicalities of how the platform works, against the day when the doors are opened for business accounts.
Chris Brogan, a very knowledgeable and considered man, has no doubt it’s time to get aboard, open a personal account and learn how the platform works. In his post Why Google Plus Will be the Next Big Thing for Your Business he writes:
Simply put, it’s important to take action on Google+ right now. I saw the benefits of this when I joined Twitter in October 2006. If you get in, get familiar, start growing connections and learn how to curate and share, you’ll be ahead of the game. It’s not usually my thing to make predictions, but I’m sticking with this one.
So in short, while Google+ is not yet fully open for business, it is open for learning, practising and getting ourselves set for when the doors are open for businesses to establish their own presence there.
I’m focusing on Google+ in my webinar tomorrow in the ninth of my current 12 month series of free webinars on social media strategy.
How to sign up for Google+
By the way, I know that for people new to the world of online social networking even the process of signing up for a new platform can be off-putting, so I put together a brief slideshow to demonstrate how to sign up, including how to get a gmail.com account – a pre-requisite for opening a Google+ account.
Something to share?
If you are already on Google+, it would be great to hear your early impressions, whether positive or negative.