- You have family and/or friends: Sure, you can stay in touch with email & Facebook. You can call & video chat with Skype, one-on-one. G+ allows you to connect, face-to-face, via Hangouts with up to 10 people at one time. Little Julie can talk to Aunt Jane in Jersey, Uncle Ted in Tulsa, cousin Carrie in Kansas – and more – all at once. Hangout with your study group, your fantasy football league, your band-mates… G+ is proximity.
- You have a business 1: Consider first the reach of Google on a basic level. Customers & clients are posting reviews of your products & services, you need to respond quickly. You want to protect your brand, and by incorporating G+ into your social media/online strategy, you can do just that. G+ is control
- You have a business 2: Take the reach of Google on a basic level, now add in the integration with Maps and the G+ specific connection Local. With over 115 million smartphone users in the US alone, traveling around their cities, looking for goods and services, having a Google+ page tied instantly to their queries is a weapon you can’t afford to neglect. G+ is local.
- You Tweet: G+ gives you a way to instantly share quick observations, much like Twitter but without the character limitations. Also, when people respond, reply or reshare, it doesn’t get lost in the noise. G+ is conversational.
- You Facebook: G+ is more open – and more controlled. You can add anyone to your “Circles“, without approval, but unless they share something publicly or with you, you won’t see it. Though Facebook has “Lists” (which it seems few people know about), G+ makes the sharing of certain posts with certain groups more clear, and more convenient. Circles for photographers, circle for moms, circle for science fiction fans…whatever your interests. G+ is discerning.
- You blog: G+ is a great way to share your posts with millions of people, and you can easily target your market or blanket them all. If you need material, G+ can give you quick insight into what people are talking about – in more detail than Twitter. Really stuck for a topic? Search through Google+ for keywords pertaining to your blog. You’ll find conversations, pictures, videos, graphics & entire circles of people discussing things you can flesh-out. Those same people will likely click through when you post a link to your finished post. G+ is informative.
- You use other Google apps: GMail, You Tube, Maps… – G+ is a social layer that covers and unites them all. Quick discovery, instant sharing. G+ is efficient.
- You post pictures: G+ has become very popular in the world of photography for a reason, the display of shared pictures is superior. Tweetpic, Instagram, Flickr…all fine for what they are, but less flexible and functional than G+. Add the very active, extensive community of musicians & artists and you’ll agree that G+ is beautiful.
- You have hobbies: Pick an interest, hobby, pastime, or intellectual pursuit, and you are likely to find several Circles covering the topic. Better than just an online book club, knitting circle or hackerspace – Plus gives you an active community, most likely with regular Hangouts. Find mentors, tutorials, tips…customers. G+ is passion
- You have gatherings: Sometimes referred to as “Hangouts in real life”, create your parties, picnics, wine tastings, t-ball games, jam sessions, etc as a Google+ Event. Simplify your invites and RSVPs, give your guests an easy reference with driving directions. And, for the memories, guests can enter “Party Mode”, allowing the photos & videos they capture on their phones to be instantly uploaded to the Event’s page. Keep the archive private for the attendees, open it up for those who couldn’t attend to share in the fun, or make it public so everyone knows what they missed. Create regular events for your business, and allow potential customers to see the archived events pages. Make Mom & Dad’s anniversary party a Plus event, and family far and wide can see them cut the cake. G+ is celebration
Certainly not a complete list, but enough reasons to get you started. Do you have a reason to add? If you aren’t on Plus, why not?
Here is a playlist of videos to help you get started: New Google+ User: Google+ Videos
UPDATE: Guy Kawasaki and 10 Experts Chime in on the Value of Google Plus – and How You Can Start to Leverage It
UPDATE: Just found this, Top 5 Reasons Google+ is Awesome
I didn’t even factor in the G+ app, but it is great. I would say my #1 would be Hangouts – but he presents a good case.