At the basic Networking 101 level, we all learned that getting our names out and developing relationships was the name of the game. For job searches, LinkedIn was and is a great tool. When keeping more closely in touch with your top shelf leads, Twitter remains both popular and efficient and Facebook, well, it has the numbers. But with the recent, highly controversial addition of Google Plus as a search factor for the dominant query engine, now is a good time to shift much of your social media focus to Google+. As a strategic networking move, engaging on Google+ can help better broadcast who you are and what you do, but it can also create those conditions that lead to a bit of helpful serendipity.
Though admittedly speculative, the timing of Google’s use of its own social networking platform and on-going Federal Trade Commission (FTC) anti-trust hearings is unlikely a coincidence. Understanding a possible end-game for Google’s move is relevant to the reasoning behind networking professionals joining and engaging on Google+. Essentially, while Google certainly hasn’t improved search results for Google account holders, including those using Gmail, Maps and Docs, the strategy has resulted in hurried recommendations by marketing gurus to use Google+ for the search benefits, however temporary. The end-game? Google seems to be using the ploy to boost account numbers on Google+. As the number of users reaches a critical mass in the future, search results using social signals from a much larger base of users will produce better search results. Here’s why and how this makes connecting on Google+ a particularly effective strategy.
The rise of authority:
One trend in both search engine optimization (SEO) is the rise of author authority. Social influencers have long led the way in driving the issues being discussed on social media and now that sway is affecting search results. By re prioritizing your time resources for your own networking, focusing on Google+ can fast-track your status as an influencer as you engage with known industry leaders in your “circles, the key, of course, it to engage meaningfully with those leaders, a time-tested part of effective networking.
A door opener:
For your career, getting noticed is the outcome you want to generate through your networking efforts. Positive notoriety from your status as a reliable influencer can open doors and using Google+ to accelerate that process by taking advantage of what might be a short window of opportunity, (see FTC hearings).
Recruiters have not overlooked the power of social authority in their quest for talent. Whether you’re fond of Google’s advantage given to its own account users or not, an opportunity is an opportunity.
For advancing your own credentials as an integrated part of your career networking plan, plugging into other social influencers on Google+ can prove very rewarding. If you’re looking for a particular grad school criteria or help gaining admittance to a desirable business program as you seek to add a masters degree to your resume, not to mention social media profiles, showing up in search inquiries is not to be underestimated.
While your objective for adjusting your professional networking focus to Google+ is career oriented, the possibilities Google+ offers regardless of its search benefits are unique. Moving from speculative to subjective, the social interaction on Google+ is viewed by many as night and day from other social networking sites where quality is concerned. While your tangible benefits have a great chance of materializing through this time-sensitive tactic, you might just end up connected to some really great people who are committed to meaningfully engaging with you.