We hear it every day, “Everyone I know is on Facebook“ or “Google+ is boring…”.  Let me ask you this are you on social networks to be talking with friends, playing games or are you trying to build your business online?  Google is the leader when it comes to search, they work hard at making sure that searches get the results they need.  Google is integrating Google Plus across their various platforms, such as YouTube, Gmail, and Google Search. Give it a try!  Google Plus will help you with both referral traffic and search traffic. Will Facebook help you get listed in the Search results? Absolutely Not!

Learn more about the components of the Google+ platform below:

Google+ Stream

The Google+ Stream recently received a makeover with a new modern design that works seamlessly across mobile and desktop.  The makeover includes a multi-column layout, awesome-sized media and delightful animations.  Depending on your screen size and orientation you will see one, two or three columns of content.  The new design allows photos and videos to fill the entire width of the steam, making it easier to scroll through your stream.  Google+ added animations (sharebox will bounce, the menus slide and the cards flip and fade) so it’s not boring like Facebook.

Your posts in the Google+ Stream are also indexed by Google Search.  You will notice that on Google+ users make longer blog like posts so that they can be indexed by Google search.

Hash Tags

Google+ will now determine the content of your post and add tag(s) to your post automatically.  Click on the related tag and the card will flip to show you the related content.  You still have the ability to add in your own tags and remove the Google+ added tag.  Using a hashtag in Facebook is a waste of time because it will not show you related content like Google+ or Twitter.  A hashtag in Facebook simply becomes a text link.

Google+ Photos

Google+ Photos has an Auto Backup (aka Instand Upload) feature that will automatically backup photos to your free 15 GB of storage.  Google+ also created a photo studio in the clouds, eliminating the need for photo editing software.  This new Google+ feature automates the photo editing process by selecting the best photos from your photo uploads.  It will also weed out blurry photos, photos with bad exposure and duplicates. With the remaining photos, Google+ Photos can automatically color correct, remove noise, sharpen certain aspects of the image and soften skin within seconds. A new feature called “Awesome” will automatically detect whether a group of photos are part of a series and then create either an animated GIF or landscape panorama from them.  Will Facebook do that for you? No.

Google+ Hangouts App

Google+ launched a free stand-alone app of Hangouts that has the ability to combine text, photos and live video across your devices (Android, iOS and your computer).  This app allows you to make free one-on-one or group face-to-face video calls with up to 9 people.  Have fun and bring life to your conversation with photos and emoji.  Chat functionality that can be saved so you can swipe back and review the conversation. Can you do live video chats on Facebook? No.

Google+ Hangouts on Air

Google + Hangouts on Air (HOA) allows you to broadcast is a “watch only” mode to the public without requiring the viewers to participate in the Hangout.   The basic functionality is the same as a regular Hangout. You just need to make a few minor selections so that you can broadcast and record your Hangout on Air.  After the recording is finished, you can easily add it to YouTube for public viewing. Can you broadcast your message via live stream on Facebook? No!

Google+ Pages

Google+ Pages are the perfect solution for brands, companies or groups to create their Google+ presence.  When using Google+ as a page, you have access to every feature and function on Google+ that you have as a individual users, including Hangouts!  Google+ pages are owned by one person and ownership is transferable.  Do you have someone you want to give admin rights so they can help post content on your page? You can do that! Google+ pages allows up to 49 page managers.

Google+ Local and Google Search pull results from your Google+ page. It is important to optimize and completed your Google+ page profile, to ensure the results the users receives are accurate.  Does your Facebook Fan Page show up in search results or local?  Probably not.  Facebook does have “Nearby” on the Facebook Mobile app that is similar to Google+ local, but in my opinion the search results on a Google Search or Google+ Local Search provide more valuable content.

Google+ Events

Another type of post is an Event post.  You can set-up an event right from your Google+ stream by simply adding your Event title, time/date, location and details.  Using the Advanced options for Events, you can include Hangouts and Hangouts on Air along with some additional fields for more event details.  Events can also be added to Google Calendars automatically when a person says “Yes” I am coming to your event.  Does Facebook integrate with your calendar or live video stream? No!

Google+ Local 

Google+ Local has been integrated with Zagat’s 30-point scoring system to give users insight into a business before they visit.  Using Google+ Local users can see recommendations based on who they are socially connected to and your location.  As a user, you can publish reviews and photos of your favorite places so that others in your social circle can view your recommendation.  Google+ Local information shows up on the right column of a Google Search.  Does Facebook nearby show up in Search results? No.

Google+ Communities

Google+ Communities allows filtering and finding relevant conversations easier than ever. Think of these Google+ communities as ‘gathering places for your passions’. You can have chats, dialogue, events, share photos, and much more.  Members can add events and open Hangouts right from the page.  They can also share content to the community through their Google+ share box.  Just like in their stream, Google+ users can +1  and share content in the group.  You can create a Facebook group, but can you do a live Hangout with your Facebook group? No.

Do you agree?

If I had to choose between a Facebook page or a Google Plus page, I’d delete my Facebook page in a heartbeat. Luckily, I can have my cake (Facebook) and eat it too (Google+).   Are you taking Google Plus seriously or do you think it’s just another social media platform and you don’t have time for it? I’d love to hear your thoughts?