Google+ came onto the scene in September of 2011 in order to organize your friends list. “How many of your Facebook ‘friends’ are actually your real-life friends at this present moment in time? Google+ was promising functionality to be able to segment your online contacts into groups according to the nature of your relationship” (Tyte, 88). The idea behind it was simple, a way to break up your friends list into smaller groups of people so that different people could get different information. Not only are circles a great way to keep family members from seeing embarrassing photos, but it was also a helpful tool for people in PR.
Google has made it easier for PR people to get into contact with journalists because journalists’ profiles are linked to their articles, meaning that a PR person can easily add them to a circle and connect with them. It is the easiest form of Networking available at only the touch of a button; and with Google hangouts, it is even easier to contact them about stories or have face-to-face meetings.
Brands haven’t been very big on Google+ just yet, but PR practitioners as well as businesses can see the value of having a Google+ business page. “For traditional searches, Google+ pages will show up in the SERPs like any other page and will not be weighted any more different than any other page, to comply with anti-trust regulations. However, when a user searches with a “+” in front of a business’ name, they will go directly to that business’ Google+ page, and will not see any other search results” (Solis, 2011). This has become more helpful in making Google+ brand pages more accessible to the general public and more cost efficient as well because Google+ pages will be better advertised by Google search engines than the Facebook pages.
So, while it hasn’t quite caught on to Twitter or Facebook’s success in the social media scene, Google+ has the potential to greatly help PR practitioners as well as businesses.
Tyte, Dan. (2012). Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.