5 reasons why Google+ can help you communicate at work

If anyone wants to REALLY understand Google+ they REALLY need to stop thinking about it as just another social network. There is much more to Google+ than that. And if you’re not convinced to Google+ yet, listen to this very interesting podcast on SocialMediaExaminer.com. In this podcast +Michael Stelzner interviews +Jesse Stay, the author of Google+ for Dummies and Google+ Marketing for Dummies. Jesse has a very holistic approach to the platform. He explains how Google+ creates CRM experience for anyone using any of Google products such as Gmail, Google Events, Google Calendar, YouTube, and more.

“Google+ is like a glue that connects all Google products together, socially.”

Apart from its social features, its effect on search engine ranking, and integration with other Google products, Google+ can be an easy-to-use, efficient, and collaborative tool for any business, big or small.

I’ve recently initiated a discussion on (guess where?) Google+, as it is interesting for moi! to know what tools people use to communicate at their workplace, especially if it involves long-distance relations. Is it Skype, TeamViewer or any other software? The overall consensus was that people find it much easier to use Google+ for meetings etc. than any other communication/screen sharing tools, among which Yahoo Messanger were also mentioned. Some were even actively using Google+ hangouts for interviewing potential employees, and some were emphasising the usefulness of recording the hangout and not having to make notes during meeting – how cool is that? However, not all that liked it, used it.

As a relatively new product, Google+ has a still long way to go to be adopted as a communication tool at workplaces. This is mostly due to the lack of understanding of what this platform actually is, and due to the long-established platforms, such as Skype, that are already embedded in organisational processes.

In addition, I also came across security concerns over Google potentially recording the hangouts for a ‘review’. I could not  find any sources that confirm this, however, one can not single out Google when it comes to security concerns if Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and recently Skype, all at one point or another faced similar accusations. According to BBC News, Skype has recently been requested by several campaign groups to produce a transparency report to reveal how confidential the conversations on Skype actually are. As Google, Twitter and other online media companies already provide such reports, as it stands, Skype should be more of a concern when it comes to security issues. Google+ 1 : 0 Skype?

So, here are the 5 reasons why Google+ can really make your life easier at work especially if you’re having to deal with long-distance meetings or if you work from home.

1. Google+ hangouts

Google+ hangouts allow video conference for up to 10 people. The participants can join the hangout from either a PC, tablet or a mobile. If someone is unable to video conference, they can join by a regular telephone dial.

During the hangout you can share the screen with all participants. For comparison, Skype only allows you to share the screen between two people.

2. Integration with Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, and more…


With Google+ account you can see all your active contacts in the left-hand side column of your Gmail account and start a chat, voice call, or a hangout from within Gmail. Google Apps such as Google Drive, YouTube, and more are integrated into hangouts. Participants can give presentations and edit documents together. You can schedule a hangout in Google calendar which also allows you to sync the events with your phone.
Watching YouTube video together can begin during hangout or you can start a hangout from within YouTube.

3. Google+ circles


Circles have already been widely discussed on the web. They allow you to create different groups of people with whom you choose to share different content, and have different relationships. This makes separating work and personal contacts easy. And of course, you can always have a separate Google account for work only. However, what’s most important in the context of work related communication using Google+ is controlled sharing. You can not only determine whom you want to share the content with but also restrict that person from re-sharing it externally.
 

4. Google+ premium features for companies

 
These optional premium features allow companies to determine Google+ settings by default. With Google+ premium features you can restrict sharing posts outside of your organisation by default, as well as restrict hangouts to your organisation only. Also, you can start hangouts for up to 15 people instead of 10. 

Please note: Currently if you restrict sharing posts by default, the users won’t be able to access their Google+ Mobile App. You can learn more about that here.

5. Google+ allows you to do more than Skype

 
By simply comparing features of the two platforms Google+ is a clear winner. 
 
 
 
Google+ combines all features that otherwise are spread across multiple platforms. Why using one tool to speak to meeting participants and another for everyone to be able to view the screen?If, like me, you are or would like to be Google+ ‘evangelist’, you can download this small presentation I’ve prepared with key points on Google+ for business.


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

 


References:Google+ for your business
About Google+ Premium features
Sharing restrictions for Goole Apps users
Microsoft’s Skype pressured to offer privacy reports, BBC News
Social Media Examiner: Google+ Marketing: Why Marketers Should Not Overlook Google+

Comments (2)

  1. I am totally agreed with the above reasons of connecting people with each other and even to make all product together in single bowl …

    • Thank you Pragnesh! I guess it’s all about user experience, and how easy it is to use such intuitive platforms as Google+. Especially when comparing with Skype, to which there seems to be nothing more than a habit people are used to.

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