By now, you've likely heard some buzz around Google's latest big release called Google Plus. Maybe you've already gotten an invite and tested it out. If not, you should. I'm going to talk about why and how this new social network can be useful in your real estate business and go over a few basics of the road. Why oh why do we need yet another social network?
This of course is the first question that comes to mind anytime someone invites you to a new "Facebook" of sorts. The short answer for why Google Plus is worth your time is this: It's easy to use, takes seconds to set up and gives you the flexibility you've been longing for to segment your professional and personal social networking in a meaningful way.
OK, so how to get an invite if you don’t already have one?
The best way is to simply put the word out on Facebook and Twitter. Let your existing network know that you haven't gotten an invite yet and are looking for one. Chances are high that someone in your circle has gotten in and can send you an invite.
What's it all about?
The fundamental difference between Google Plus and the others before it is privacy. Google Plus is based on the Google Circles feature, which enables you to share and view content to and from specifically defined groups of people – and no one else. So if you want to share new listings or local housing news with your group of interested local buyers, then your cousins in Minnesota don't have to be burdened with your irrelevant posts. Likewise, your professional contacts won't have to see the pics from your summer family reunion.
How is this any different from Facebook's list feature? Very very different. First, there's ease of use. Google Circles is simple drag and drop. As soon as you get set up, you start creating your circles and simply sort your contacts into their respective groups. Second, there's the segmentation of viewing content from these groups. So you're not getting professional news and marketing tips alongside updates from your family members.
It's easy to get fatigued by social media and resist the urge to jump on the next big thing that ends up being nothing at all (remember Google Wave?). But Google Plus really shows promise to be the best social web tool of all – especially for those of us who've found our personal and professional lives blending, finding it hard to keep up with all the content we want to keep up with due to this very blending.
Reach out and get your invite and start test-driving Google Plus today!