Social networking: what can Google+ do for your self-catering business?

What is it?

Realising the value of social networking, Google’s latest dip into the market is its most complete offering yet – seeing massive sign-up figures over the last 12 months.  Recently, there has also been a big advertising push:

On the face of it, you might think Google+ isn’t massively different from Facebook in terms of the social networking opportunities.  However, a closer look suggests there are some real advantages – not least the fact you can organise “connections” (rather than friends) into “circles”.  This makes it much easier to keep up-to-date with the people and pages that matter to you and block out some of the clutter.  Where in Facebook you can “share” posts, in Google+ you can “+1” to pass on.

More recently, Google+ has rolled out business pages, although in order to set one up you do need to have a personal login.  Because it’s a Google product it has impact on your search engine ranking and, for that reason alone, cannot therefore be ignored.  As with our previous advice on social networking good, visual content is important.

Good bits?

You can set up a very simple business page which, if it gains exposure can really help your search engine ranking.  Because Google has so many other web-based applications (like Maps, Docs, Youtube and Picasa), integrating content from a variety of sources is easy.  Google are really pushing Google+ so it’s likely to be even more useful in the future.

Bad bits?

Although sign-up has been very strong (even outstripping Facebook’s growth in early numbers) people aren’t actually using it a lot at the moment.  At this stage, it’s mostly “early adopters” who are making most regular use.  However, new features and continuing developments suggest the amount of regular users are growing steadily and it looks destined for real success.

Takeaway points:

  • It’s already an important tool to help your Google ranking so worth getting on there
  • It will become much more important and popular
  • You’ll need a personal account before you can set up a Business page.

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