If you’re not using Google+, you should be.

It’s probably not the first name that springs to mind when thinking of social media sites, but Google+ is one that you should be considering. Of course Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest are enjoying huge success and those names have become very prevalent. However Google Plus is a surprisingly powerful social media tool and one that your business should be utilising.

Why? That’s the question, and the reason, that’s stopped many businesses from jumping on board with Google Plus. It’s important to realise that there are some very compelling arguments in favour of using Google’s social media service. In fact this service has huge cache within social media marketing strategies.

In good company

There is a large user base for Google Plus numbering more than 540 million. These are active users and Google’s social media user base increases every day. This site is worth considering on those numbers alone. Everyone’s been using Facebook for years and it really is the social media behemoth. This may be the reason that many users aren’t hopping across to Google Plus. But nothing lasts forever, and Facebook has been around for some time. Businesses would do well to remember MySpace, a site that was hugely popular until it wasn’t.

Google Plus, with its increase in web traffic, is the social media site of the future. A business that ignores Google Plus is making a costly mistake. Early adoption of new services always provides a business with an advantage: becoming established before its competitors. Remember that Google Plus users are often technology lovers and early adopters themselves, so there is a ready made, tailored environment for your business prior to implementation.

Your customers are already using Google Plus so you may as well connect with them there too, and do it sooner rather than later, your competitors probably have already done so.

Google+ hangouts

Apple’s Facetime has been a successful addition to its services, Skype has been hugely successful as a VoIP application, and now there’s Google’s Hangouts feature. This service provides free live video conferencing and users can add as many as 10 people to the conversation.

This has marked benefits for a business as it can reach out to customers, dealers, vendors, and social media contacts, all at once and all in the same place. This can all be done with no monetary cost to the business other than the time it takes to conduct. A business can also partake and contribute to a Hangout initiated by other Google Plus users allowing a business to communicate with thought leaders in its specific niche.

The Google connection

Google is the heart of a huge amount of search traffic and it pays to connect with this tech behemoth. Whilst not supported by hard, concrete evidence, anecdotal accounts suggest that profiles on the Google service get indexed quicker on Google. This can increase your brands authorship rating and it means that any searches that relate to your business will bring your website in at a higher place on the Google search results.

Couple this with the fact that Google+ business pages are beginning to show up on search engine results pages and you’ve got a number of reasons to work on Google+ integration in relation to your business. Establishing a presence on Google+ helps with the overall integration of Google’s services into your web browsing experience. Youtube, Google search, and a number of other sites and online tools all work hand in hand with Google+ accounts. Take advantage of this homogenization and use Google+ as your control centre for all of your other social accounts.

Good things to say

Google+ has a review function that shows up in search results allowing potential clients to be influenced by positive reviews. This can obviously increase revenue and it allows your business some free advertising. Remember, you don’t pay for a Google+ account, it’s free.

The other great thing about the review feature is that it holds businesses to account. Google is a huge source of internet traffic and businesses need to be delivering a good service to receive positive comments from customers. There is no better advertisement than a review written by a happy customer and Google+ facilitates that customer writing and sharing those thoughts. You can also integrate Google Maps into your business page and make it much easier for users to find you in real life. The increase in smartphone use means that often people will be accessing your Google+ page whilst on the go. Make it easier for them, and you’ll benefit in the long run.

Google+ Ripples

There are loads of exciting features on Google+ but there’s one feature that stands out as advantageous to businesses specifically. The Ripple feature allows users to view a data visualisation graph, which lets users see how their content has been shared through a quick glance. This allows a business to identify it’s most enthusiastic and influential followers. Ripple is also fun to use and even if not to your business’ advantage, it’s still worth having a play around with.

Google+ is where your customers already are, and will be soon enough. Add your business to the ever-increasing Google+ ranks and use its new, sometimes innovative, approach to social media to your advantage. Joining this site can show that you’re future bound and it will increase your search engine ranking.

Google+ has a wealth of information that you can utilise, apply, and ultimately find beneficial to your business. If you’re not using it already: you should. Google+ is one of the most powerful, and growing, social media sites online.