Update: Google Plus was dissolved in 2015 because it wasn’t meeting the customers needs/wants and experienced 2 data breaches that really led to the shut down. Check out this website “Killed by Google“, to see what else they’ve tried and killed.

– original story from 2014…

Google Plus (aka G+ or Google +) is one of the newer social media kids on the block and a lot of businesses are wondering if they need to play in that sandbox as well. So what is Google+ all about?

Google+ is a pretty big place to network. Its platform is like a combination of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn but it’s important to understand that even though there are similarities, G+ does not work like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and must be treated quite uniquely.

G+ is comprised of ‘social layers’ that people are using every day. These layers include Gmail, Search, YouTube, Calendars, Hangout, and more. Not to mention that Google+ is driven by Google – the number 1 search engine in the world.

So, should you be using Google+? According to Google, there are over 300 million active users but I think it’s important to recognize that that number could be quite skewed. Google is a pretty powerful entity to be dealing with and they have a lot of motivational behavioural power over users. Here’s my personal  experience …

I’ve had a personal gmail account, that I don’t use too often, for several years. I logged into it a few weeks ago and was forced to create a Google+ profile before I could access my gmail. Now, this kind of force irritates me like crazy and made me realize the power that is Google; and how their user statistics for people actually engaged in Google+ are likely padded.

Having said that, Google+ is a social media force to be reckoned with and the networking is pretty awesome. People from all over the world engage with my questions, in communities and on my timeline more readily than that of Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.  Facebook is about people, LinkedIn is business networking, Google+ is about people, topics, networking and communication – phenomenal communication.

Their platform is truly layered and has a lot to offer, the interaction is global and the attitudes are real. I think the real question is, why wouldn’t you use G+?

This article was such a big hit back in the day! It was featured in the Brighter Business Empower Magazine, and Andrea was interviewed on Blog Talk Radio to talk about it in more length!