Google+ is a relative newcomer in the social media arena but according to Justine Smith, PR Director at KISS Public Relations, businesses of all sizes cannot afford to ignore this new platform. “Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all great at engaging with audiences but Google+ is taking social media to the next level,” explains Justine. “The most important driver for people using Google+ is integration. Google will build Google+ social networking features and a wide variety of tools into virtually all of its existing online services including its core products – such as Gmail and YouTube ensuring the platform’s staying power. The company is also investing resources into changing the way people share information on the web and the Google team is proactively responding to user feedback and suggestions on their Google+ page, suggesting that more updates are in the pipeline.” Search is another key differentiator according to Justine. “Introduced in September 2011, Google announced it was bringing its full search product to Google+, significantly improving user’s ability to find things within the new social network. Users are now able to search not just people, but also topics, relevant posts and content from around the web. Google will also be able to provide more personalised search results for users by tapping into content from Google+, for example photos, news and comments that are posted on the network. “This offers organisations from blue chip multinationals and public sector organisations to small start-ups and charities with huge opportunities for engaging and influencing. Incorporating interesting and lively video content, special offers and promotions, and regular updates will also help to create successful Google+ pages. Another way that businesses using Google+ can benefit is by connecting their Google+ account with their Google AdWords account. Research has proven time and time again that people respect recommendations, especially from family and friends. Therefore it’s essential brands show how many +1 their ads receive, prompting searchers to either +1 the ad or click the link”. She continued, “One of the best things about Google+ is its simplicity and ease of use. Here at KISS Public Relations we have seen a lot of interest from clients keen for us to set up a Google+ page. There is a huge growth in social publishing; pushing beyond the standard press release and looking for additional ways and means to engage with key audiences. The ability to offer up something to audiences that is unique and unpredictable is the most successful way to engage. Ensuring that your Google+ pages are on message and integrated with the rest of your business’s social media, branding, advertising and PR is critical.” Visit KISS Communications on Google+.