The Ghost Says Boo!


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By Carl Weiss


How to Connect Your Youtube and Google Plus!
How to Connect Your Youtube and Google Plus! (Photo credit: brianDhawkins)
Less than a month after media pundits declared that Google+ was nothing more than a virtual ghost town, Google fired back claiming it has more than 100 million active users.  While this number still pales in comparison with Facebook's reported 955 million user base, this is still nothing to sneeze about.  In fact, for a number of small business owners G+ is the go to site when it comes to doing business online.  Let me count the ways.

In the first place, G+ was not created in a vacuum.  It was designed by looking at the other social nets and taking the best and leaving the rest.  It was also built from the ground up to be able to integrate such things as photos, video and other multimedia components into your posts with ease.  No more cutting and pasting links.  Some of the other features that I find useful:

1. Are All of Your Posts Picture Perfect?


One of the factors that most people downplay on social networks is the ability to edit a post after the fact. Let's face it, nobody is perfect.  If  you have ever posted to Twitter or Facebook and belatedly realized that you had erred in creating the copy, it isn't possible to go back and correct the gaffe. On G+ all you have to do to edit a post after the fact is, click on the arrow to the right of the post which spawns a drop down, that enables you to edit, delete or lock the post.

2. Free Event Broadcasting

If you have an event that you would like to announce, one of G+ newest features allows you to schedule and broadcast any event to your audience.  Creating an event is simplicity itself. Click on the events tab on the menu at left and follow the drop downs. Better still is the fact that once broadcast the event will be synced with your Google Calendar.  Since Events are searchable by any Google+ user, this feature alone could help you build your audience much better than on Facebook, where only your friends will be permitted to view events that you have created.



3. Can You Say Free "Video Conferencing"?

Hangouts
Hangouts (Photo credit: AJC1)
One of the most useful built-in features of G+ is Hangouts, which is a free videoconferencing facility that allows you and up to 8 friends to video chat and screen share all at the click of a mouse.  Personally, I find that Hangouts is a great way to interface with clients and prospects.  It saves on windshield time and provides the kind of live interface that most other companies charge money to use.  The connections are crisp and clear, the video stream is the next best thing to being there.  If you have more than 8 people with which you'd like to hangout, there is also a feature called "Hangouts on Air" that is a virtual video broadcast station that will allow you to be seen and heard by thousands if need be. 

4. Going Mobile


Google Plus

Google Plus (Photo credit: ivanpw)

Google has also developed a number of mobile apps that not only take their social network for a spin, but also create a number of opportunities for savvy business people.  Hangouts for one is available as a mobile app. This means that neither you nor your clients and prospects need to be chained to the desk in order to teleconference.  The Events App not only will update your circles as to your upcoming event, but in "Party Mode" it also allows guests to show their photos and videos, which makes them much more likely to participate.

5. Google+ and all of its Brand Pages' Post are Fully Searchable!

Google+  post are searchable. If you’re a business and your want to generate traffic, search presence and add to your search ranking, G+ is the way to go. Facebook post are not searchable and many other social nets limit their post search ability. Google is the search leader and own G+. Where do you think they like to look for juice post about your product? It not Facebook, or LinkedIn, (it could be Twitter),  but I would bet a dime to a dollar that they like their own properties the best of all. To top it off, Google+ is gaining a lot of industry support. Aggregation software giants like Hoot suite and Hub Spot now offer support for it. This make it much easier for a business to schedule it’s posts.
Google Plus Circles - Pros and Cons
Google Plus Circles - Pros and Cons (Photo credit: Squidooer)

6. Who Counts the Beans at FB Anyway?

Oh yeah, and when it comes to the vaunted 900 million users touted by Facebook, that also includes more than 83 million fake, duplicate and feline profiles in the mix. Besides, it's quality and not quantity that counts when you are trying to build a following that is eager to interact with you. Google could count it 400+million Gmail users instead to prefers to tout real numbers that you can count on.

A recent Business2Community post declared, "Earlier this month Facebook updated their regulatory filing which now states that 8.7 percent of its 955 million monthly active users are actually duplicate or fake accounts.  Moreover, duplicate accounts make up 4.8 percent - equivalent to 45.8 million accounts."

When it comes to choosing and using a social network to build a business, it's all a matter of personal taste. All I can say is that for my money, I'd much rather work with a ghost than a cat any day.

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Since 1995, Carl Weiss has been helping clients succeed online.  He owns and operates several online marketing businesses, including Working the Web to Win and Jacksonville Video Production. He also co-hosts the weekly radio show, "Working the Web to Win," every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on BlogTalkRadio.com.

4 comments:

  1. People are scared of change, I feel it will take some time for them to warm up to Google+ but when they do it will be the next big thing.

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  2. Ok..I'm convinced. Google+ is a way to go. While I won't ignore other social networks, I know enough about Google to know that pays to play in their sandbox too...even if they get a little testy from time to time. Thanks guys for the compelling reasons to stay connected.

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  3. I thought the 100 million would include the gmail users. Google + really is growing and soon will be a force to be reckoned with. I like all the different features Google + offers.

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  4. Subscribers do NOT show up when using Google plus and youtube channel and gmail

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