By Alex Gladu, IWS Content Team
In honor of National Small Business Week last week, Google+ unveiled a brand new tool for small business owners, the Google+ Small Business Community. It’s part of Google’s social networking platform, Google+, and it brings new opportunities for small business owners to connect with each other and learn from experts.
Google dedicates the online community to “the dreamers, doers, shakers and makers.” Anyone with a Google+ profile can join the community, from small business owners to local-savvy consumers. Once on the page, users can read posts from other small business owners, who are introducing themselves to the community, asking questions and sharing their experiences.
The Google+ Small Business Community is managed by a team of moderators, who bring with them varied backgrounds in small business ownership, marketing and community building. The moderators lead discussions and posts about relevant topics. The Google team shares information with community members using hashtags #BizBits, #BizBytes and #Bizdom. Google+ automatically creates hashtags for all posts, even those created by small business owners, to help users find information more easily and identify the most popular discussion topics.
In addition to the online discussion forum, Google+ offers Helpouts, an instructional version of its popular Hangout system for virtual videoconferencing. The Helpouts allow small business owners to learn from experts in web design, bookkeeping, computer repair and many more useful skills. Many of these Helpout sessions are free of charge, although some charge a small fee. The Google experts that manage each Helpout session have bios and reviews in their profile so that users on the Small Business Community can find the individual with the specific information they need.
The Google Small Business Community is a fast-growing forum where small business owners can promote their businesses and learn the latest tools of the trade. Google knows what it takes to be a dreamer, a doer, a maker and a shaker, and now it’s bringing those resources to the small business community at large in an easy-to-use platform.
To sign up for Google+, go to www.plus.google.com and sign up with a valid Gmail address.