Have you familiarized yourself with Google+ already? The majority of early adopters surely have. Although there were no clear expectations of this network, it looks like Facebook has found its equal in Google+. The relatively young social network created by Google last year has received a lot of media attention. The current profile design is obviously inspired by Facebook’s profile pages, however Facebook recently launched its Timeline design. Some might say this was a result of Facebook wanting to differ from Google+.

Like with every other social network, you need to sign up for Google+ before you can open an account. After doing this, you can start exploring the possibilities. Where to start? First things first: you have to upload a profile picture or an avatar, if you will. This could be a professional headshot or a regular picture as long as it’s representable. Next, you can add information about yourself in the “About” section. If you’re familiar with other existing social networks, you probably already have an idea of what to put in this section, but in case you’re not, you can briefly describe who you are and what you do. This section is basically just a short biography.

Because you’re completely new to Google+, it’s very important to experiment with it. I can explain a few of the basic features to help you get started and let you work the rest of your magic.

–          Circles: this feature allows you to categorize all your contacts into different circles. This means that you can share your update postings with the circles you have personally selected. Circles you exclude will not be able to view your posts. This can be very convenient when you need to quickly share relevant information with a specific department of your company. Use the “Find people” feature to find other interesting Google+ users.

–          Hangouts: you can use this integrated real-time video chat service to interact with other Google+ users. These could include your staff members or clients. If you have been looking for a way to enhance customer service, Hangouts provides a very cost-effective solution—since it’s completely free!

Apart from these features, Google+ offers options that are similar to Facebook. For example, you have the option to share update feeds (with selected circles) and upload photos to your page or profile. Google+ also has its own analytics tool, which is called Ripples. This tool simply shows you how viral your content is. It provides information about who is sharing your content with their own circles and the users in those circles. People often refer to these findings as the “Ripple effect.”

Once you’ve set up a decent Google+ page, you have to promote it. Here are a few tips on how to do so:

–          You can add the “+1” button to your company website.

–          You can use your email list to encourage people to add you to their circles or “+1” your page.

–          Use the “Spread the word” feature to share your page with your personal Google+ profile   contacts.

–          Use other social networks to promote your page.

In short, using Google+ will benefit your SEO. This makes sense, because it’s Google’s creation. One final tip: make sure you understand Google+ by using your personal profile before applying what you’ve learned to your business profile. Hope you enjoy the perks of Google+! Feel free to leave a comment.