Google+ for Business

By Art Zemon, special to

(Victor Valley)-Google+ burst onto the internet scene in early July with the next must-have set of tools from Google. Though the initial release is targeted at individuals, businesses can already make good use of these tools to enhance customer support and communicate more effectively, both internally and with the world at large.

Though dubbed as another social network by many pundits, Google+ is not simply a replacement for Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Google+ is an overarching brand name covering a broad range of changes by Google. By using Google+, you will find it as easy to share something on the internet as it is to share your business card with a prospective customer at lunch.

Google+ gives you “circles” which you can use for organizing your customers, prospects, employees, etc. When you want to post something, be it some words or a picture or a link to a web page, you choose exactly with whom you will share it. If you “send” a message to your employees then your customers will never even know that the message exists. It you tell your current customers about a special sale, the general public will not receive the “special notice.” Of course, you can also post something for the public to read. There is no need to narrowly target your messages unless you want to do so.

Free video chat, for up to ten people at a time, is a wonderful new feature of Google+. Just click the green “Start a hangout” button, invite a few select people (or open up the hangout to the public), and your video conference will be open for business. Your customers can call you on the telephone now. Imagine how much more personal the conversation could be if you were also hanging out on Google+, waiting for an incoming video call.

Google+ is completely free, as are many of Google’s other tools.

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