When Google launched their newest product aimed to increase their competitiveness in the social arena, I, like I’m sure most other people in the recruiting industry, shuddered at the idea of keeping track of another social media outlet. After viewing a couple webinars and learning the basic ins and outs of Google+, it’s growing on me. Most social media experts (me excluded) will tell you that the biggest opportunity for you on Google+ is personal branding. So, with that said, I’ve included a basic (like, skimming the surface) map of Google+ and how you can use it to increase your opportunities.
Like Facebook and Twitter, Google+ allows you to post status updates. The difference with Google+ is that you can create “circles” with friends, colleagues, family, acquaintances, independent recruiters, etc. that can see your updates. So, depending on who you choose to share a particular update with, you can tailor your message.
This is Google+’s version of Facebook’s newsfeed. Your stream allows you to see a condensed list of what your Google+ connections are talking about. This stream is also broken down by your circles. It makes it easy to see what your family, colleagues, friends, etc. are posting. If you don’t care what your high school friends are posting, you can choose not to view that circle.
In my opinion, this is probably the best and most differentiating feature of Google+. Hangouts allow you to group video chat. Up to 10 people can join at once and Google+ is intuitive enough to change your view based on who is speaking. Hangouts are meant to be informal and connect you for a spontaneous conversation with a friend or colleague. Sure, we’ve all been using Skype, but Hangouts are the free version of Skype’s group video calling.
+1’s (plus ones) are similar to the Facebook “like” button. I’m sure you’ve seen the +1 button everywhere, but by using it you endorse articles, urls, links, brands, products, etc. We are now seeing articles that have been +1’ed showing up in Google search results along with a picture of individuals you are connected to on Google+ that have +1’d the search result. As an example, I searched for “recruiting” in the Google browser. For me, the 4th result is a page on NPA’s website. If you are connected to either of us on Google+, you will see that Dave Nerz and I have little pictures next to this article because we have +1’d NPA’s website. If you are not connected to either of us, or anyone who has liked NPA’s website, you won’t find NPA on the first page of your search results. So, this is where the personal branding comes in to play. If you are diligent about connecting with people in your industry and +1ing information relevant to your profession, your face may pop up next to an article you have endorsed. It’s important to keep your +1ing habits relevant to you particular industry in order to capitalize on this feature.
If you haven’t given it a try yet, I recommend exploring Google+. If you are using Google+, what are the features that you find most useful?