Google+ Social Network – Part of Your Business Strategy?

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Google created a bit of a media frenzy when they first launched Google+. They limited the number of invitations that they sent out. They also limited the amount of bandwidth that they made available. Getting an invitation wasn’t a guarantee that you’d be able to actually get in immediately. (I had images of trying to enter an exclusive nightclub and not being able to get past the bouncer.) Was this part of their plan to generate buzz and anticipation? Some of my favorite bloggers were tweeting and posting on Facebook that they were in and were offering invitations. It certainly appears to me that it was an effective marketing campaign.

The Buzz over Google+

I was very interested in receiving an invitation. Sure, there may have been a little of that I want to be the first kid on the block amongst my blogging friends to get in. Why not? Being able to tweet or post on Facebook and offer to pass out Google+ invitations did present an opportunity to get on people’s radar screens. After all, we do need to build awareness and good will don’t we?

Not all bloggers were anxiously waiting to join this new network. Many still haven’t joined and some people have no plans at all of participating. I’ve been reading lots of posts and comments that say we don’t need another social network and we’re spending enough (maybe too much) time already trying to manage all of the sites we’re on. I don’t argue with these sentiments at all. After all, if it’s not impacting our business in a positive way, should we be doing it?

A Business Strategy for Joining Google+

I firmly believe it all comes down to personal decisions and business strategy. What would be the benefit(s) to you to join Google+?  As for me, part of my business strategy is to build awareness of my consulting skills. It’s important to me to be knowledgeable about social networking. (After all, it’s one of the classes that I teach.) Another benefit to me is that by establishing my presence early, I may get noticed by some of the more popular and well known bloggers in my field. (I’ve written about the benefits of “Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More Traffic” before.)

My initial impression is that Google+ is helping me to build brand awareness. After being notified that they’re in my Google+ circle, some bloggers are putting me in their circles. Now, that alone is not going to help me drive traffic to my site. It’s up to me to develop and implement a strategy specific to this new social networking site (a.k.a. opportunity).

Let’s hear from you! What are your thoughts about Google+? Do you think it’s going to be another Facebook? Do you feel you’re maxed out on social networking? Are you on Google+ or want to be? (I’d be happy to invite you. Just use the contact form to send me your gmail account.) If you’re interested in learning more, here are 2 articles I’ve found that may give you some additional insight:

How to Get Started With Google+, Your Complete Guide (You’ll find lots of screenshots and detailed steps by Kristi Hines on her guest post for Social Media Examiner.)

Why Google’s New Second Generation Social Network Google+ Will Threaten Facebook (Jeff Bullas offers some insight into Google’s strategy for Google+.)

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Author: Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

66 thoughts on “Google+ Social Network – Part of Your Business Strategy?”

  1. H Sherry, back again. By the way, I haven’t got the time to check Google + carefully. Although I already got it. I think it’s also part of business strategy. It might be too early for me to say but I just guessed. Well, who knows, It might work, lol. By the way, keep up the good work.. Will come back always..

  2. Social Networking Sites are now very helpful to people especially to businesses and they can help even for marketing…This google+1 is another social site and I hope this can help too…

    1. Robin, I have to get back on Google+ because I believe there’s a lot of opportunity to network with businesses there. Earlier this month, I discovered that my circles and profile had disappeared. Since it is beta, I suspect it had something to do with not having a gmail account associated with my other Google accounts (because at the same time, I couldn’t access analytics, adwords etc.). If you’re on Google+, we should connect. I have to rebuild my circles! 🙂
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..How Did Kathy Ireland Build a Brand Worth Over 1 Billion Dollars?My Profile

  3. Great post on buzz surrounding Google+, Sherryl! Personally, I think it’s great to have another option besides Facebook. What makes it better is that it actually introduces new interactive features not currently found on other social networking sites. Hanging out, group web chat, creating social circles of common interest, these all seem exciting and functional. Plus, after seeing the video trailer, it all looks so streamlined and more mature than Facebook or Friendster. It does not re-write the book on social networking sites, but it re-packages it very nicely. I honestly think it will be beneficial for many businesses and bloggers to consider Google+, especially since Facebook is now spam infested and has reached its’ peak.

  4. Jenny, It’s unfortunate that your social media marketing efforts haven’t produced the results that you are looking for. However, many small businesses are using social media in ways that benefit their businesses. Social media works best if you use it to build connections with potential customers and other businesses who have connections with the same target customer that you’re trying to reach. Did you have goals and a strategy in place?

    If you’re interested in an example of a small business that I believe is using social networking in the right way, check out It’s about my experience with Grasshopper, a B2B company that sells 800 numbers. Their business strategy includes “Ambassadors of Buzz”.
    Sherryl Perry recently posted..8 Reasons I Do NOT Follow Like or Connect on Social Networking SitesMy Profile

  5. Hey Sherryl i get confuse about Google plus before and after i read your post its enlighten up my mind and now i work easy, i even share to my friends about Google + and now they are working on it.thanks!

  6. Hi Sherryl,

    I have mixed feelings about Google +. My first thought was that we, as business owners, are in the middle of the battle of the social media networks and to some extent – I still think we are. I got an invite early on and had NO idea what to do with it – so I am just sort of rolling with the punches and seeing what happens. I tend to agree with Susan in that I don’t particularly need or want another social network that is not business-related. Time will tell………. I hope 🙂
    Julie Weishaar recently posted..Keeping up with the JonesMy Profile

    1. I think Google+ is very business oriented and has huge opportunities to engage with some of the social elite who are joining circles. Being an early adapter is giving me the chance to get in circles and be seen by bloggers who normally would never interact with me. My strategy is to build awareness on Google+ in hopes of getting on the radar screens of a few other bloggers who are recognized amongst my niche readers.

      I’ve written articles before about how Twitter has become my #1 source of referral traffic. That has been due in a large part to my efforts to tweet and RT for bloggers like @JohnAguiar. As of today, John Paul has 99,854 followers. When he RT’s one of my posts, I get new readers to my blog. Personally, I plan on spending less time on Facebook and a couple of other sites I’ve tried and I’m going to be channeling that energy into Google+. That strategy may or may not work for me. Time will tell. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..8 Reasons I Do NOT Follow Like or Connect on Social Networking SitesMy Profile

  7. Google plus is going to end up important for any business. As a business website owner, why would you not spend 15 minutes setting up an account. It has got to have some effect on search results.

  8. Hi there! Interesting things to think about as a new blogger. I just got my invite but already feel overwhelmed by Facebook and LinkedIn and I don’t even use twitter yet as I know I should. Balancing it all with my writing and three boys is a lot! Great extra resources. Thanks!! Lora

    1. Time is my biggest obstacle too Lora. Do you have Google Analytics installed on your blog? If you could get a handle on how much of your traffic is referral and which source is number one, it may help you decide where to spend your time. My number one source of referral traffic by far is Twitter. To me, Twitter is manageable. I set aside certain amounts of time throughout the day. Who I follow and what I tweet about is very strategic and it is a big source of new visitors to my site.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..8 Reasons I Do NOT Follow Like or Connect on Social Networking SitesMy Profile

  9. My article sources are varied. I only write about topics that I either have personal experience with or it’s something that I have just discovered and have researched. I had a list of about 7 or 8 articles that I believed to be knowledgeable and valuable resources. The two that I linked to (from Kristi Hines and Jeff Bullas) were representative to me. I linked to Kristi’s article because she writes great how-to’s and Jeff’s because it offered insight into Google+.
    Sherryl Perry recently posted..Google+ Social Network – Part of Your Business Strategy?My Profile

  10. Another social network, another minefield. That said, I look forward to Google’s entry into a market full of unfocussed and customer-unfriendly sites.

  11. Hi, Sherryl.

    I got my Google+ invite from Michele Welch and I was quite happy about it. Although I am still learning the ropes over there, I really feel that it has potential. 🙂 As to using it as part of my strategy for raising awareness of our company, well, I think I am going to do that or is even starting to do that. It just takes a while for me to process something new. In due time, I think, I am not that much in a hurry. 🙂

    Hope all is well with you, Sherryl. Cheers!

  12. I completely agree that the limited launch of Google+ was done in part to create a little excitement around the new service. Also, we saw what happened when Google dumped Buzz on everyone without warning and they’re probably doing everything they can to avoid that same disaster. Obviously the early adopters and internet marketers are going to be quick to jump on anything new, and while I personally have no interest in the new platform, I do see it serving one major purpose for the general user:

    We hear time and time again about how people are quickly becoming overwhelmed with Facebook and how difficult it has become to manage over time. Google+ could serve as a sort of “clean slate” for users, allowing them to essentially start over from scratch and really consider how friends, family and acquaintances are organized into these circles. But other than that, I would imagine the average user is probably very content wherever they’re at, but I suppose only time will tell.

    1. Thanks for offering your insight on Google+ Greg. It’s great to read everyone’s opinion. I appreciate the fact that Google is rolling this out slowly. Since it appears that most of the early invitations went to people who had already built a solid online presence, the people joining are (as you pointed out) early adopters and internet marketers. I love the fact that since I entered early in the game, some of the extremely popular bloggers who would probably not connect with me on other social networking sites are including me in their circles on Google+. I view this as a huge advantage. I’m already connecting with other bloggers who target my niche readers. I see opportunities to help promote each other and possibly collaborate in the future.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Steps to Protect Your WordPress Blog from HackersMy Profile

  13. I’ve heard so much about this new Google+ I was glad to have found your article. Great start for me on yet another social outlet! Or business, depending on how you prefer to use it.

  14. I don’t know how much time I will have for Google Plus. I will check it out when it is more public. I don’t expect to spend a lot of time with it, but since it is by Google I’ll wait and see how popular it ends up being.
    Ray recently posted..Upgrading to WordPress 3.2My Profile

  15. Sherryl,

    I personally haven’t given any thought to Google+ but after reading your article, I am going to check into it. I really am not looking forward to being involved in another social networking site, but if it will help my business, it is worth looking into.

    Thanks for the great article and good luck to you.


  16. My initial reaction to most new social networks is “oh no, not another one, no more time.” But when Google jumps in, and you get invites from people you really respect, you can’t ignore it. I think if they don’t go the Facebook route of letting people auto update from other networks or bring in apps, then they have a good shot at a community of people really interacting and building relationships!

    Thanks for including my SME article – writing that really helped me get to know the basics! 🙂
    Kristi Hines recently posted..Why I Am Attending Blog World Expo 2011 Plus a 20% Off Discount CodeMy Profile

    1. Thanks for writing your article Kristi. You have a natural talent for sharing information and I love your use of screenshots.

      I share your perspective that since this site has come from Google, there’s a lot of potential for this site to be very successful. The fact that they are controlling the invitations and letting business people do the initial inviting is promising. I’ve already been included in circles of some extremely prominent bloggers who I am honored to be associated with. Since sites like Twitter were already inundated before I joined, some of these bloggers would never notice me there. To me, joining now is a huge advantage.

      Thanks for dropping by!
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Steps to Protect Your WordPress Blog from HackersMy Profile

  17. Sherryl,

    Well, it looks like I better stop ignoring Google + and take a look at Kristi’s blog post so I can make a decision for myself. I am hoping it is quick and easy to do. Just don’t need another big learning curve on my plate right now.

  18. Hi, Sherryl.

    It’s been way too long since I’ve been here last. It’s been so hectic for me over here down under that I haven’t had time to visit the blogs I’ve added to my Reader. But, I have been hearing much about Google+ and to see you writing about it here makes me glad. Offers me a perspective on whether I should join in or not.

    As somebody who is offering not just graphic and web design to my clients but also social media marketing needs, I think it is just apt for me to check this Google+ out. That way, I will be able to tell my clients to join in the fun or to just stick to Twitter and Facebook.

    So, thanks for this, Sherryl. Gives me food for thought. Hope all is well in your end. 🙂

    1. Hi Wes,
      I’m glad you found the time to drop by! I missed you. 🙂 I can certainly relate to being maxed out and not having the time to visit as many blogs as you’d like.

      There has been a lot written on Google+. Rather than another how-to, I thought I’d start up a conversation and get a feel for who is and is not joining and why. Let me know if you need an invitation.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Ambassador of Buzz -Social Networking Done RightMy Profile

  19. Yes I think Google plus is really gonna rock, got huge features than Facebook but when it will be released.

  20. I’m still on the fence, only because there’s already so much to do and very little time to do it. But what I hear is that it’s innovative in the way that facebook should be. In that respect, it makes me curious. I’ll do a little more research.
    Dennis Salvatier recently posted..Crowdsourcing Won’t Help YouMy Profile

  21. (The way you describe the process of being accepted into Google+, you make it sound like not just some nightclub, but Studio 54…)

    So, I guess the Orkut social network site is no longer Google’s answer to Facebook?

  22. Hi, Sherryl,
    I guess Google plus is a great way for building strategy in businessing, although I am not much into it…still not a user. Call me old fashioned, but I try to avoid as much as I can from social networks, as they can be time consuming and I still prefer having some life on my own. However, I am aware of what google plus has to offer and I agree it can cover for your consulting skills. We all need to acknowledge what are the benefits of it.

  23. Hi Sherryl,

    I have decided not to join and the reason is simple. As it only lets you use personal accounts at the moment I will wait until the business pages come out because I want to build my brand. I can see some merits if people are building a business using their name and if they need to be up on the latest tactic.

    A question for you. The ones that you want to get noticed by are they influencers of your current or potential customers? Just a thought on brand awareness and exposure. They are important only if the right people take notice.

    Will small business owners or customers who have a Facebook presence move across or join another networking site I am not sure, especially as a number of small businesses have a Facebook page and never network there any more.
    Susan Oakes recently posted..Know Your Customer Mix to Increase SalesMy Profile

    1. Hi Susan,
      The bloggers, entrepreneurs and business owners that I primarily network with online either share my target clients or are potential customers. Additionally, I learn from many of them and there is also the possibility of future collaborative efforts with some of them.

      As for Facebook, I’m connected with a couple of people who are doing quite well with their Facebook “fan” pages. I’m convinced that for certain professions such as authors, that is the place to be now. Personally, I have never devoted the resources to my FB fan page to build up a real following. I have my blog set to automatically post to it but I do not engage with my readers there. I think Google has such a powerful presence amongst businesses that there’s a lot of potential for Google+ to be come “the” social networking site for business. We’ll have to wait and see.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Steps to Protect Your WordPress Blog from HackersMy Profile

  24. Nice thoughts Sherryl,
    I personally wouldn’t like to have so many social networking accounts. But as an Internet Marketer we are obliged to know them as to be competent and flexible to our dear clients.

  25. What are your thoughts about Google+? > I love it and I think that early adopters may benefit form it in the near future 🙂

    Do you think it’s going to be another Facebook? > OMG, I certainly hope that it does not, lol. My sentiments while reading some posts lately, is that FB has too much noise and this is probably what I like best about Google+.. clean and less noise, for now at least. Hopefully it will stay that way 🙂

    Do you feel you’re maxed out on social networking? Are you on Google+ or want to be? > Nope? Anything that can help establish brand awareness and provide exposure is always welcome in my books. I do know that Google wants to separate waters, user profile from business, which to me is already a great move. Again, let’s see how this plays along… Am I in? On yeah, lol.
    DiTesco recently posted..Google Social Network, Google+ Real-Life SharingMy Profile

  26. I believe Google+ will impact search in ways we have not yet imagined. This, to me, is why Google+ is so exciting. Maybe strong Google+ users will receive higher Google social authority rankings. Who knows, it may replace FB – I would like that. Google has definitely earned all the buzz they’re getting.

    1. It’s great to hear your positive take on Google+ Catherine. The fact that Google+ so closely followed their new Panda algorithms and the fact that they’ve promised to weigh in social impact leads me to believe that Google+ will have an impact. I would like to see Google+ replace FB at least as a place where businesses connect. I’d be very happy to just use FB for my personal connections.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Google Panda and Website Load TimesMy Profile

  27. Am sure you are right about Google +, Sherryl.

    Got a message from Google a couple of days ago saying they would invite me soon. Then they asked for my gmail address – I filled it in and they said it doesn’t exist. So I filled in another email address.

    Can’t help wondering how Google can claim a gmail address that I have had for about 6 years doesn’t exist. Makes me wonder how capable Google really are?

    Anyway, I will wait and see what happens with Google+ Do we really need another social media network that, from what I understand, basically will compete with Facebook? Not sure.

    1. If it was a Gmail account that is using the Google Apps service (such as receiving mail for your domain name), then there is a known bug about that.

      1. Catarina, I have never been completely happy with Facebook and I really haven’t invested the time that I probably should have on my Fan page. Even the term “fan” irks me. I honestly think that Facebook caters more to individuals (who they treat as consumers) and larger businesses with deep pockets who want to advertise with them. As a small business owner, I don’t believe Facebook addresses our needs. I have higher expectations for Google.

        Bruce, thanks. I hadn’t heard of that happening before.
        Sherryl Perry recently posted..6 Reasons to NOT Build a WebsiteMy Profile

      1. Hi Sherryl,

        Someone shared a How to Google Plus on Google+ the other day that is worth checking out.

        I do hope everyone keeps in mind that Google has far too much control over what we do or do not see online already. I wrote about that in my post about the Farmer Panda update and the few stores Google Shopping offers compared to the many small businesses that sites that directly compete with Google Shopping like TheFind and ShopWiki give us. They were heavily penalized in that update. I put a link to that data in the regular Website field in this comment.

        Few realize that Google has the power to put any small business that is reliant on paid or organic search traffic OUT of business and the new changes are making it far worse. For some searches there is continual churn on page one which means those sites that used to rank for that search will not see consistent traffic ever again.

        I’ve seen comments made on posts more than a year old with no new visible activity ranking high on page one for people’s names. Imagine how that will affect what appears on brand searches. Even if someone argues that maybe someone linked to that old post, should an old comment like that ever land on page 1?
        Gail Gardner recently posted..Google Results Image: Paid Versus Organic ListingsMy Profile

        1. Thanks for the link to Jane’s post Gail. It may be of help for some of my readers.

          You raise a valid point about the control that Google has over search results. It should concern all small businesses. The large companies with deep pockets certainly have an advantage. I for one do not rely on having my sites found in the organic searches. Without the budget to hire an SEO firm, I optimize as much as I can but SEO is definitely not my primary focus. A big part of my strategy revolves around my social networking efforts.

          I’d be interested in hearing if you run PPC ads with Google or any other site.
          Sherryl Perry recently posted..Google Panda and Website Load TimesMy Profile

        2. “I’ve seen comments made on posts more than a year old with no new visible activity ranking high on page one for people’s names. Imagine how that will affect what appears on brand searches. Even if someone argues that maybe someone linked to that old post, should an old comment like that ever land on page 1?”

          Is this just an off the cuff remark? Youve seen this? I cant believe that surely, eh Sherryl. If it is the case id like to see an example of it. Would probably be worth trying to analyse it if yo ask me. See whats really going on.

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