One of the best ways for a small business to get on the map is to have the CEO and/or other key members of the executive team establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry. A perfect example of this is the fact that you are reading this story on Small Business Trends. The small business experts who contribute to this site are hoping that their insights will pique your interest and encourage you to find out more about them and their businesses.
Thought leaders have myriad online avenues in which to broadcast their expertise and, hopefully, use those broadcasts to generate business. With the advent of social media, small business owners and experts now use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube (among other social media platforms) to get the word out.
Recently, Google introduced Google+, the search engine giant’s entry into the world of social media. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Google+ has a cornucopia of features and has been catching on like wildfire.
You may ask yourself, with all of the other social media platforms out there, do I have the time or inclination to get involved with yet another time-eating networking site? Is it worth my time as a thought leader to spread myself out even thinner?
My answer to that is simple and emphatic: YES!
The Google Brand
Let’s start with the obvious. If Google+ is the giant search engine’s social media platform, you know that it is destined to be a major player in the social networking world. In less than two months, Google+ has registered over 25 million members and has a demographic more attractive to businesses than Facebook. Over one-third of Facebook users already have a Google+ account.
If you do the simple math, it’s clear that Google+ is already taking visitor time away from Facebook. While Google+ is miles away from catching up to the scope of Facebook, don’t underestimate its ability to catch up.
Remember when people thought it would be folly to challenge MySpace?
The Google+ Basics
Google+ has tried to take the best features from all of the major social media platforms. For a full overview of the features, check out Google’s tour of the features.
Google+ gives you the opportunity to create a personal profile, where you can provide fairly detailed information on your work, family, interests and expertise. These profiles are completely searchable and, by using the appropriate keywords, can help a thought leader to reach a wider audience.
Once thought leaders have created their profiles, they have the opportunity to share their knowledge by posting content and links to content on their profile page. The content is fully searchable and will lead potential followers, customers and clients to your work. Unlike Twitter, there is no character limit to the content you can post. Google+ makes it simple to upload links, photographs, videos and slides.
Google+ includes a feature that can help to broadcast a thought leader’s content to a wide audience. When people see the content you’ve posted, they can use the “+1” function to endorse the content and forward it on. In other words, if a thought leader’s content is given a “+1,” that content is then broadcast to everyone who follows the person who liked your content.
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