Google Plus (plus.google.com) is a relatively new social network targeted squarely at stealing some of Facebook's thunder. While at this point Google Plus only contains a fraction of the number of users that Facebook offers, businesses and individuals looking to expand their online social networks should definitely consider setting up a profile and begin exploring this growing network.
This is not Google's first attempt at competing with Facebook. Remember Google Buzz? How about Google Wave? These were Google's first two (failed) attempts at social networks. While these networks ultimately did not succeed, Google has learned from them and, in my opinion, is building a strong competitor to Facebook with Google+.
Here are three strong reasons why you should set up your Google+ profile now:
Google integrates your posts, shares and likes (called +1's) into your Google searches and your network's Google searches. This means that when you or the people you connect with do a Google search, the results include your Google+ interactions. What better way to create top of mind awareness than to show up in your social network's search results?
Google+ now offers Business Pages. Similar to Facebook Fan Pages, you can make posts on behalf of your business page. I won't get into extensive details in this article, but In some ways, you can establish more interactive connections with your page's followers on Google+ than Facebook.
Google+ profiles show up in Google search results. Naturally, since Google owns Google+, Google wants to leverage their powerful search engine to give them a leg up on Facebook. Of course, your Facebook Fan Page should show up in Google search results as well, but expect much tighter integration between Google's own products. In any case, setting up a Business Page on Google Plus is just one more place to establish a business presence in the social media, providing another listing in search results, plus another place to create a valuable backlink for your website.
While it's still very early in the game, expect Google+ to gain increasing popularly over the next few months. At the very least, you should set up an account and start exploring, and also set up a business page to establish your business presence on this new network.
Alternative Marketing Connections specializes in saving small businesses time and frustration by setting up their social media accounts, Google Places and other directory pages, and managing their social media accounts to keep them current and engaging.