Google plus is a multilingual social networking platform that allows people to connect, share their information and make friends. Launched in 2011, it has over 500 million users.
At Google+, users are provided with tools such as profiles, circles, hangouts and sparks that are aimed at creating information centered on personal interests and friends. Before Google+, Google attempted to provide 3 other social networks some of which were subsequently unfruitful and retired. These are Orkut (Still active under Google Brazil) Google friend Connect and Google buzz.
Pages for Google+
One of the most potent tools on the social networking site is Google+ pages for businesses. This feature allows companies to create their page and fill all the necessary information, share the information they want out and even create updates that can attract the much needed buzz. Referred to as a brands home on Google plus, brands go on the Google+ page and create their page, filling out the “About” section and including a website so that customers can find them.
The next step is to add social extensions to the page, allowing people who recommend the page. Social extensions link these recommendations to a business ad words campaigns, and shows them together with the ads allowing businesses to enjoy a higher click through rate. Google+ also allows businesses to see who their influencers are in real time and trace the posts by the business using ripples.
Google plus hangout
The ideal place for friends and personal pages, hangouts allow people to create circles of friends and video chat, IM chat, watch YouTube videos together or conduct a group video chat and broadcast this chat to YouTube and reach a wide audience. Google+ hangouts also become strong work centers where people can share presentations through screen shares to a hangout. Additionally, YouTube videos that are placed on YouTube through Google+ are immediately indexed, allowing them to appear in search engine result pages.
The benefits of using Google plus are many and include:
Better social organization
Google+ offers users an intuitive way to add their friends to different groups naturally referred to as circles. Circles make it easier to have better secrecy and privacy for the information put on the social site.
Better traffic from Google+
With the +1 button, websites receive more traffic from Google+ and can benefit from more interest from customers and hopefully higher conversions.
Heavy integration with Google search
This is probably one of the greatest ways to benefit from a Google+ account. With the fact that the Google+ icon is now part of every Google search result, points to the benefit that businesses can have in spreading the word out.