|Is it thumbs up from you for Google+1?|
Stone Junction has long advocated social media integration as a fundamental part of the marketing mix. With the vast number of social media outlets available, deciding which to use and how can be daunting.
At the time of writing, Google+ is a bit of a disappointment. It’s currently operating on an invitation-only basis and in essence, it appears to be a combination of Facebook and Twitter with added privacy options.
The first seemingly new addition to the well established social network formula is Google Circles. This allows you to place contacts into subgroups based on your relationship with them - so you could have all the contacts from one company or industry in one Circle and another one with contacts from another company.
The real game changer though is Sparks, which is really a recommendation engine in all but name. Users choose their interests - sports, music and so on - and it recommends the highest rated results.
You may have have also noticed some colorful Google+1 buttons next to search results; these are the mechanism by which pages are recommended. If this gains momentum, it could become a serious force in almost every industry and will provide a tangible use for the +1 buttons.
The last few years have seen the services offered by Google increase greatly; however they do come at a cost. They have turned into disparate entities, difficult to consolidate. If Google can tie all their features together effectively through Google+ then the story might be different. We’re not saying it’s going to be a Facebook killer but it could be a serious contender.
So, is it worth the trouble of setting up an account for your business, or indeed your personal life? On the off-chance this turns out to be the next big thing, yes. If it doesn’t then, well, its not a huge amount of work to sign up for it.
If any of you have recieved an invitation for Google+, please do share your experiences. And, if you haven't, feel free to share your experience of being a bitter, friendless and lonely cyber networker ;-)
Photo courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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