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Google+: Features other social channels don’t have, and why you should try it

I know, I thought the same thing you’re probably thinking. Why should I create an account on yet another social channel? And why should I use more of my precious time figuring it out? Aren’t Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and [insert the name of any other of the innumerable social sites here] enough?  Well, maybe not.

Google+ is another social channel, but has features that others don’t that can help you connect with customers, peers and industry leaders. For example, you can create a circle of contacts and communicate directly with those circles, unless you make your posts ‘public’. Contact segmentation at its finest. If you’re wondering about the ‘circle’ equivalent on other social channels, think ‘follower/following’.

Your sister (who you’ve put in your ‘Family’ circle) may not care about the latest virtualization certification you’ve earned, but those in your ‘Virtualization Jedi’ circle will! Your dear sis won’t receive that update because you haven’t shared it with your Family circle. Eureka! Finally you can hone your social sharing to your true audience.

Here’s a shot of some of the circles I use:


You could create a circle for your company’s area of focus so you can stay on top of the latest news.

Hangouts. This is one of my favorites! These are video chats and there are two types. One is private and can have up to 10 participants (including yourself). The other is called ‘Hangouts on Air’. There isn’t a limit on the number that can watch, but they won’t all be on camera. You can select a panel of people on camera, have a discussion and broadcast it. This also has a chat function where the audience can interact. The best feature is that you record them as YouTube videos and use for marketing material that can be promoted across your other vehicles. Think customer success stories or product feature discussions.

Below is a sample of what you see when you do a hangout.



My colleague Matt Stephenson (@PackMatt73 on Twitter, or Matthew Stephenson on G+ - pictured above) shared this great source for hangout tips. Check it out if you want to learn more:

Actually reach your followers. Those that choose to circle you will receive all of the updates you choose to share with them. That’s not the case with Facebook.

Connect with those who share your interests, even if you don’t know them. Those 200 friends on Facebook may not share your passion for trending IT developments, but you can find and ‘circle’ 200 people on Google+ who do. Just go to ‘Explore’ on the left nav and search for your interests. From there, knowledge is easily shared and great conversations can happen.


I’ve barely scratched the surface with all the great info on Google+. If you want to learn more, just Google it for more resources than you can imagine. After all, that’s another benefit of this channel – it’s fed by Google, the master of all data!

What now? If you don’t have a Google+ account, get started. Once you’re all set up, circle Symantec, then join us for our first hangout on January 16 at 9am PT/12pm ET – titled, “Cut the FUD…Debunking the common misconceptions about Backup Exec 2012”. Check back here for the link on the 16th and you can watch and submit your questions. See you then!