Why do people resist change?  No one really knows.  However, there are a few things we do know.  People are comfortable with what they know, and very uncomfortable with something new or something they don’t understand.  This mentality stifles innovation, and slows down progress in any major kind of department.

Looking at this through the social media lens, it is very easy to see why Google+ has seen such dramatic resistance.  Google+ entered the social media market at the peak of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  People had no way of describing Google+ as its own entity, so they did the only thing they could think of; compare it to other existing social networks.  It was seen as a fight toward Facebook for fans, not as professional as LinkedIn, and too content heavy for Twitter.  In the social media world, people only know what they are shown, and it is incredibly difficult to explain concepts we don’t even know we want yet.  Over the last year, Google+ has started to show its true colors; not as a social network, but as an integration with search and social.

Remember when Bing collaborated with Facebook to get social suggestions?  Google is looking to do that on an entire new level.  Making a Google+ account adds a place for a business, as well as reviews on the spot.  It compiles reviews from other sites, and marks on Google Maps where the business is.  It then allows you to talk to people about whatever you need.  Have an interest in something mainstream or something so eclectic that barely anyone knows about it?  Join a circle and message them, or even join a hangout where you can talk in real time.  Hangouts can even be used to record a long conversation, have it posted to YouTube, and have the conversation ready to be shared.

Small businesses fare well from Google+, but big businesses are even jumping on board and endorsing it.  Dorie Clark, CEO of Clark Strategic Communications and writer for the Forbes website, endorses Google+ as the next generation of social media; fusing search and social to create a one stop location for any potential need. Google+ offers other kinds of engagement found in few places.  Linda Sherman, the past CEO of ClubMed quoted “Google+ can give you access to influencers who might not notice you elsewhere…There is a nice spirit of camaraderie that people seldom feel with well-established platforms. Source” Three time entrepreneur Dave Llorens even vowed to stake his reputation that Google+ will prevail Source

What is stopping you from using Google+?  With it being from Google, it can only help your search rankings, and it is free to use.  Take five minutes, go to https://plus.google.com and set up your profile.  You will be happily surprised how easy it is to use, and make your mark in the growing thought leadership realm on Google.