Can Google+ Really Help Your Business?

Not too long ago Google introduced Google+ in an effort to take on Facebook and Twitter in the social networking war – and given the fact that over 20 million people have already started using this feature since it was introduced last June, there’s a good chance it will continue to gain ground and popularity among web users. I personally haven’t seen the shift happen yet – we still tend to focus on Facebook to interact with our “fans”. But what is Google+ and how will it affect the ranking of your company’s web site – if at all – and more importantly, your company’s reputation?

Google is attempting to combine the most popular features of Facebook and Twitter into a centralized social hub where users have the ability to share content with specific groups of people called “circles.” As users build these circles, they’ll be able to see web sites that members of their circles have +1’d (is that a verb?). There’s also a group video chat feature called “Hangouts,” and a user-defined topical news feed similar to Twitter’s hashtag called “Sparks.” While positive (or even negative) reviews from users online have always been viewed through the lens of skepticism, Google+ will add a level of validation to those reviews since you only see the +1’s from people in your circles.

While it’s still too early to tell how Google+ will affect your company’s SEO, it’s safe to assume that Google will reward web sites that get lots of +1s because of the web’s evolution to become more “social” and user driven.

The bottom line to all of this (and a key ingredient to any company’s success online OR offline) is good old fashioned customer service. These days it’s easy for any disgruntled customer to post a negative comment online. And once it’s posted, it’s practically written in indelible ink. Get enough negative reviews and your reputation will definitely take a hit. Additionally, it’s important that you monitor your company’s reputation online and encourage happy clients to post positive comments about you. Social Networking sites are an great way to interact with your customers. It allows you the opportunity to engage with your clients while being completely transparent.  By providing a “public cheering” area as well as a “public venting” area, you have the opportunity to publicly display how amazing your customer service is by dealing with issues right before their eyes.

If you haven’t already, join our facebook group at www.facebook.com/planetcpu – We’re recently setup our Google+ Business Page – make sure to join us here as well!  We highly recommend you do the same for your business!

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