You thought you were safe. All the angles covered, all social networks satisfied. You had your Social Media strategy in place and nominated your favourite social network in which to deploy it.
Enter Google+. Things changed, again. Google+ has achieved 20 million users in just 3 weeks.
First of all, take a deep breath. No-one has found the business value of Google+ for SME’s yet, not even your competitors. We are currently in a discovery period, think of it like the first date. We’re checking each other out and trying to find out if we’re compatible. In business terms, we are currently learning about this new network so we can find the business value in it.
If you come upon this post wanting to find out what Google+ is, there are couple of good links in the conclusion*. This post’s real objective, however is to give you 3 suggestions for getting yourself up to speed on Google+
Make up your own mind about Google+
There is nothing like being hands-on. At the end of the day, social networks are personal. When I train businesses, I find out that everyone has his favourite social network based on personal taste. You can’t decide if you like a network based on what others are saying, you have to dip your toes in and find what you like or don’t like.
Join Google+ following this link (you have to have/create a Google account) and play with it
Follow influencers and thought leaders and see how they use Google+
They’re out there; they already have huge followers in other social networks and they’re the first ones to fully immerse themselves in Google+. Following them will help you tap into their and their followers’ collective wisdom. Their feeds are where the most interesting discussions about Google + take place. Just by following them, you can tap into this collective wisdom first hand and these feeds can act as a filter that helps to shape your views on Google+
Read the industry publications and find out how the general public is using Google+
Google+ is heavily used by early adopters and mostly geeks so far. As with most things Google, there is extensive media coverage. Media is a great way to become familiar with a topic. It introduces different perspectives and examples on how other people are using Google+. Media is great at storytelling and some of the stories on Google+ may inspire you to use it or help you to completely remove it from your life.
Both are better results than being totally indifferent to it.
Here are 3 different publications, 2 of them are overseas because more articles are written overseas on similar topics. You will find the Australian website (Sydney Morning Herald’s) also frequently references these publications.
It’s early days still
It is still early days when it comes to making a final assessment on the impact of Google+ and its business value for SMEs, but some of the following suggestions will help you to stay up to date with Google+ – you may even be the first to discover new tricks and outgun your competitors.
*For how-to tutorials on getting started, here are some great presentations
Feel free to connect on Google+, here is the link to my profile