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Google+ Is Now Open To Businesses

posted on 11/21/2011

By Nick Bragg, Deputy Editor of Sanitary Maintenance

Back in July I blogged about Google launching its very own social networking site named Google+. At that time Google+ didn’t allow businesses to join. Well, the wait is now over. Earlier this month Google officially rolled out Google+ Business pages (click here to add Sanitary Maintenance’s page to your circle).

Many of you might be saying, “We already have pages for our business on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, why should we join another social media network?”

On the surface, Google+ may seem like it’s just another Facebook, but with a fraction of the user base. But dig a bit deeper and users will find that there are some unique components that companies can tap into before writing Google+ off.

I’ve been a user of Google+ for a few months and what I find separates it from Facebook is that it is driven more by professional and industry-specific content. Because of this, companies have the ability to create a much more direct and personal relationship with their customers/audience.

One unique function Google+ has over Facebook and other social networking sites is its “Hangouts” feature. Hangouts, otherwise known as live video chats, allow businesses to engage in discussions with customers and receive immediate feedback on their products or services. For jan/san distributors, the Hangouts function can be used as a place for “face-to-face” customer support and sales via their computer or mobile device rather than traveling to a customer’s location or conversing over the telephone. Distributors can also host a Hangout with several customers at one time (up to 10 people can use it at once), making the tool’s potential limitless.

While Google+ Business pages are still in its infancy stage, Google promises more features to be introduced in the coming months. So far several industry manufacturers, distributors and end users have gotten a leg up on their competition by creating their own pages.

Do you have a Google+ page for your business? If so, how are you engaging your audience? If not, why did you decide against using Google+?