This article was first written for B2B Marketing Mag in August

Google plus has the potential to become the definitive social network, but it’s got a long long way to go. I think I must of read as many posts on google plus as there are early adopters of this new network, it been very interesting watching people give there opinions and future gazing into what maybe, do you remember back in 2003 when everyone thought myspace was going to be the definitive social network? It only took Facebook (recently valued at £37billion) two years to surpass myspace (recently sold for a mere £30million).

Proplus
Primarily google plus has found a very usable method to more closely align itself with your real life, some are calling it social 2.0 I’d rather call it about time! While I’m a firm believer of spreading your personal and professional life across all your networks to boost engagement. It’s important deliver different messages to different audiences, drive value for the audience and give them a reason talk to you, prior to google plus this experience could only be delivered over separate social networks, now it’s being delivered within one.

Google already has everything, with the amount of google apps such a docs, video chat, email (and the list goes on) it’s just a matter of time before this is all plugged into the system in some form of other, they really will be able to make this your one-stop-shop for total collaboration across so many different levels. Google plus is about everything on the web or soon will be, sharing, collaboration, apps, mobile.

When a plus is a minus
Google Plus currently has no facility for a business space such as Facebook pages or Linkedin groups (while writing this google have announced a business offering within 2 months). Incidentally Facebook did not deliver Pages until 3 years after they launched and they then had a user base of approximately 100million users, plus currently stands at 20million ish and there is much talk about how it will manage to get itself over the early adopter hump, and with only 20million users is that really enough of an audience for businesses to be talking to. Which brings me onto my next point, right now I feel everyone on this new site or the vast majority of people are either tech or marketing people talking about google plus, which essentially means to me that it has quite a bit of work to get this into the mass market.

+B2B
How is google plus going to fit into your marketing strategy, well there are some obvious things to do perhaps on a more tactical level right now, first off sign up to the network and start to put people in those circles (quite a handy segmentation tool) perhaps you wont just have family and business circles but also break down your business connections into areas of interests within your industry, allowing you to communicate specific relevant messages to drive in value.

Plus in it’s pure form, is not ready for business, Google openly admitted that, and is actually asking business’s not to set up a personal account as a business. Plus has the potential to be a great space for b2b interaction much in the same way Linkedin is, but it also comes with 100’s of other tools to help you collaborate with prospects and customers a like, Google are really pushing to be everything for everybody, I’m impressed with this effort, I just hope it does not end up in the same pile as Buzz and Wave. My advice get yourself an account and watch this space, apart from that, all the usual engagement rules apply! Oh and you can ‘circle me’ gplus.to/brandjoe.

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