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BeyondSocialMediaShow1My colleagues, Albert Maruggi and Dave Erickson and I are convinced that Google Plus is as important a platform for marketing, communications and news today as Twitter was in 2007 and Facebook was in 2006.

That’s why we’ve switched our Beyond Social Media Show from BlogTalk Radio to Google Plus Hangouts on Air, which you can also watch on the Beyond Social Media YouTube channel.

Google Plus offers features and benefits for brands that are unparalleled and we’ve been studying up so we can guide you. We think some of those benefits will be immediately obvious when you watch our Beyond Social Media Show hangouts and see the incredibly rich suite of features that Google Plus is giving brands for free – as in no charge, gratis.

You can watch the first Google Hangout on Air Episode of our Beyond Social Media Show here, subscribe to our Beyond Social Media YouTube channel here, and join our Beyond Social Media GooglePlus community here.

GooglePlus Bashers are legion – and wrong
I was practically tarred and feathered when I said Twitter was important for brands in 2007, and I hear plenty of negativity about what a “useless”failure” Google Plus is, especially in mainstream media.

But the naysayers are wrong. Google Plus is an extraordinarily rich platform for brands, and a sea change in Internet marketing.

Go ahead; tell me why I’m wrong. I’ll have the last laugh.

Google Plus is a game changer
Here’s what Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt has said can happen to you if you’re not active on GooglePlus:

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”

What that means is simple:
“Ignore Google+ and Google will ignore you.”

Before we look at the Google Plus platform – and it rocks – let’s look at the bottom line:

Google’s making us an offer we can’t refuse: Ignore Google+ and Google search will ignore you. You simply can’t afford to let that happen!

In other words, since Google+ is part of Google’s new search algorithm – and Google search is the largest, most respected search engine on the planet. Like it or not – and as you probably can tell, I love it – you need to use Google Plus if you want better search placement.

The fact is: Google Plus is one of the most powerful tools – ever – that you can use to promote your expertise, build a community, manage your contacts, find content to share, and promote your business.

Dear marketers, CMO, CEOs and agencies
GoToMeeting, say bye-bye. Your days of being useful to brands are numbered. Ditto Facebook. Ditto LinkedIn. It’s time to take another look at Google Plus. Call me. I’ll coach you.

“Nobody Uses Google+” Wrong!
Lest you believe those who say nobody uses Google Plus, (and it did have a slow start) consider this. Google+ is now the second largest social network – right behind Facebook, and gaining – with 500 million members, 135 million of whom are active monthly.

Google updates and upgrades the design and features of GooglePlus on an almost daily basis, making it easier to use than any other integrated suite of services.

HangoutsOnAirThe most exciting thing about the new features is the Google Hangout App which replaces what used to be called Google Talk. Some of the main features of the new Google Hangouts are:

* You can turn any conversation into a video call with up to 10 people.
* See when people are typing, or whether they have seen your message.
* Hangouts stay in sync across all your devices, and you get notifications just one. So if you’ve seen a message on your computer it won’t appear as a new message on your android

How much does it cost? Nothing. Nada. It’s gratis. No charge.