Understanding the New Google+ Platform

googleplus11(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – As Google+ continues to grow, many small business owners have begun to incorporate the platform into their social media strategy. If you are thinking about creating a Google+ page for your small business, consider the tips we discussed in an earlier post, as well as the tips in this post.

Recently, Google updated their social network with over 40 new features. In order for you to keep your Google+ page up to date it is essential to recognize the new changes. Not all of the new features are immediately recognizable, but here are the ones you should focus on as a small business owner:

New Layout – Instead of a singular stream of information, Google+ now enforces a ‘responsive design’ system. Google+ will either have one, two, or three columns displaying information depending on the size of the screen you’re viewing it on. This will alter the amount of content that can be viewed at one time. The responsive design also enables Google+ pages to be viewed best depending on the device used. For example, mobile phones will only have one column, tablets have two, and larger monitors will have three.

Content Display – Within the new Google+ columns, all content is displayed within a content box. This design is similar looking to Pinterest. The content boxes prominently display visual images in posts. The boxes also make it easier to skim content. Adjust your posts on Google+ accordingly by using visuals and content that can be digested easily enough for someone who browses through the feed.

Hashtags – Google+ now incorporates hashtags into posts in order to categorize content. When Google automatically adds a hashtag into your post it will be colored grey, if you add the hashtag manually it will be colored blue. When you click on the hashtags, Google+ will display similar content. Hashtags are beneficial to small business because they will make your profile more visible to users searching for certain content and expose your posts to a wider audience. For conversations or campaigns on Google+, ensure you are using hashtags to monitor engagement.

Photos – Sharing visuals on Google+ is now a more positive experience for both viewers and page owners with these new changes. The social network now auto-selects the best photos to be displayed. These updates will make your photos look more professional with extra sharpening tools, auto-enhancement, and collages.

Consistency – With the new updates, Google+ applications are now consistent across all platforms. This means that content is viewed the same on a mobile phone or tablet as it is seen on a computer. Consistency is good for your small business because you can encourage fans to view the content on all of their devices.

Hangouts – The app now makes hangouts more functional for video calls. With increased functionality you can use hangouts for team meetings, webinars, customer support, and business consultations.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/erikona

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