While you’ve been toiling away at keeping your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, website and blog up-to-date, the sleeping giant Google+ has been stirring to life. It’s OK if you haven’t taken the time to familiarize with this behemoth yet — for awhile it seemed like the idea would never catch on. However, now that it’s officially the second-largest social network (after Facebook), it’s time to start making this powerful tool work for you.

We’ll explain why it’s important to use Google+ marketing.

  1. Google+ is literally designed with you in mind. You know how it often seems like Facebook has a mind of its own? It promotes topics you don’t necessarily care about and puts your news feed in no discernible order (or an order that changes every few months when they tweak the algorithm or display)? Well, Google+ was created with a primary goal of serving user experience. The changes and improvements that roll out aren’t self-serving and they aren’t about selling ads. They’re about getting you the fastest, most accurate content and helping you connect with the people who are most relevant to your pursuits.
  2. It’s sort of like a social search engine. This means that you get the best of Google’s top-caliber SEO rankings and personalization, but you also connect with what your friends and family are doing and seeing online. Instead of everyone just being “friends,” however, you create circles (more on this later) that keep your life nice and tidy — the way its usefully divided in real life, with your parents, your co-workers and your high school friends rarely showing up to the same party. Because you’re a different person around each of those groups, and you interact with them in specific ways. Plus, hey, that would just be awkward dinner conversation.
  3. But you don’t have to take Google+ at its word. It isn’t trying to dictate what it thinks you’ll like and analyze you to death (you have your shrink for that). Instead, it likes to suggest Web content based on the items that your community has previously shown interest in and ranked. When users click the +1 on a website, they’re basically endorsing it for you. And then those pages show up higher when you’re surfing the ‘net. That saves you a lot of time wading through pages that technically match your search terms but don’t actually meet your needs. On the flip side, you can also get your readers to endorse your website through Google+ so that it will show up more prominently for everyone else who your content is designed to serve, communicate with or even sell to.

Check back next week for three more Google+ marketing tips in Part 2.