Google Plus is now the second-largest Social media site after Facebook with in excess of 359 million active users. Google Plus is, to some extent, still the new kid on the block compared to the other big names of Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. It has certainly learned from its competitors, and to a large extent is a mashup of features from the other top players in the market.
An alternative to Facebook
This week’s announcement of a raft of changes to the site continue to competitively position Google Plus as an alternative to Facebook. However, it does have a unique position and is significantly more than just a Facebook copy.
Where Facebook is a place to be with your friends, and LinkedIn is the Professional Network, Google Plus is the place to meet strangers with common interests. It does not yet have the casual conversations and random thoughts of Twitter, but seems to be a place for more crafted content. The variety of tools on offer can make it a confusing place for the newbie. From Circles, Hangouts, Communities, Events and all the new photo-sharing options, it is something for everyone or a jack of all trades.
Many of the features have subtleties that even a professional Social Media marketer will struggle to understand. However, the casual user is likely to be happy with its intuitive design and will use it to suit their purpose.
From a Social Recruiter point of view, Google Plus is a golden opportunity waiting to happen. It contains rich information on hundreds of millions of people. It can be searched and people can be easily contacted at any time.
Unfortunately, right now, it still appears to be significantly out-gunned by both LinkedIn and Twitter. Interesting as the new developments are, it has quite some way to go before the recruitment community embraces it as fully as they potentially could.
It is strange that, of all platforms, Google Plus is not that easy to effectively search. Recruiters want to find people with particular skills or job interests within a geographical area. The Search within Google Plus does not allow searches to specify specific fields to search, and so a recruiter is left with random keyword searching. Facebook’s new Graph Search wipes the floor with Google Plus. It’s such a pity that Google, of all companies, has dropped the ball with the search.
For the specialist recruiter with internet sourcing skills, it is possible to search Google Plus effectively. Ironically the most effective way to search Google Plus is by using Google’s normal internet search. In addition to this, there are other free tools that have been developed to help search the site. One of these is a search tool I developed myself through my company Intelligence Software. This is currently available on my blog page Searching Google Plus.
I recently ran a webinar to discuss how Google Plus works and how it can be effectively used by recruiters. The recording of the webinar is available here on my blog page www.intel-sw.com/blog/google-plus-for-recuiters
My next free recruitment webinar is on the 4th of June. I am delighted to be joined by Greg Savage to talk about the Future of Recruitment. It will be streamed live to my blog, please subscribe to my mailing list or connect with me and I will send you full details.