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Ever since Vic Gundotra, former Google VP and Google+ leader, quit last month, many have wondered what the future holds for the social media platform.

Fact is, most folks don’t care much for Google+ simply because the mighty G tends to trick us into joining up every chance they get. Don’t get me wrong, Google+ has its perks: I used it to spam tech circles like a champ, spitting out bitly links like it was going out of style. They were informative blog posts, I swear!

Jokes aside, clients and individuals shouldn’t overlook Google+ because it has provenG+posts itself to be a useful social tool for bloggers, local businesses, and search marketers looking to build a little street cred.

In my experience, simply sharing a relevant blog post on a trending topic can yield positive results, especially when folks are searching for the topic you wrote about. But that’s no secret – it’s the mighty G’s way of telling us (or manipulating us) to use their products.

So, throw in some hash-tags, pen some creative copy (100 characters or less), link to great content and SPAM, SPAM, SPAM baby! Okay, maybe leave out the spam part and just focus on the content and building meaningful relationships and you will not only establish a following, but also reach more circles than you originally thought possible. So next time you have a conversation with a co-worker, friend, client, or family member about how much Google+ sucks, consider the following positive attributes:

  • Hash tags are searchable: post a bitly link to a blog you wrote, hash tag it appropriately and attract more interested readers through the SERPS.
  • YouTube integration allows you to record a hangout and upload it straight to your account – perfect for product descriptions or tutorials.
  • Mobile App integration improves user experience across iOS and Android devices – users don’t have to jump from app to app when searching.
  • Playing the G-game ultimately allows the individual, whether associated with a brand or not, to establish authority – or trust within a community of followers.

Of course, no blog post about a Google product would be complete without mentioning the negative attributes:

  • Inability to comment on YouTube videos without signing up for Google+.
  • If you don’t want a Google+, simply singing into your gmail account prompts an invite to “complete your profile”.
  • Poor UX interface that hasn’t evolved (seriously Google, step it up).
  • Google+ pages created for local business before they themselves put up a page have cluttered up the interwebs and caused confusion amongst search users.
  • The weird look you catch from friends and loved ones when you tell them to check you out on G+.

 youtube

For the brand or individual, reaching new audiences has never been easier. However, the forceful nature of practically tricking users to complete a Google+ profile when all they want to do is post a comment on YouTube is a bit ridiculous. In the meantime, you can take solace in the fact that you don’t have to participate on G+ just because you’re rocking like five Gmail accounts.

 

Special thanks to Trevor and the Social Media team for letting me pick their brains for moment. 

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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 5/2/2014
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