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Google+, a social networking site that focuses on targeted sharing, has grown at a steady pace to over 170 million users since its launch a year ago. This growth could have more B2B companies using Google+ as part of their social media strategy. Why? Although not immediately apparent, Google+ can be a great platform to generate leads and grow sales in a business to business environment – if used correctly.

Part of using Google+ correctly though, involves having a true understanding of the social media platform. Google+ operates differently than the others, and the trick to using it correctly involves understanding how it’s different. Only then can you leverage its tools and features to generate sales leads and ultimately, yield a high return on your social media efforts.

Whereas Facebook tends to be ideal for content that is short, this infographic highlights how Google+ lends itself well to longer posts, making it ideal for B2B.

Three Google+ tools for business:

1) Google+ Circles: A great tool to generate sales leads, circles allow you to share targeted messages with key audiences. You can create circles for different parts of your business (i.e. customers, business leads, past customers, business partners, employees) and add followers to each circle accordingly. Then, you can share targeted information with each circle. By interacting with your circles in strategic ways, you may be able to turn some of those prospects into customers.

2) Google+ Your World: Owned by the largest search engine, Google+ can be a great tool for SEO. Content your customers “like” (i.e. clicking the +1 button) will appear in their followers’ search results when they search for similar things. By providing targeted content worthy of sharing, you can help others find your business easier and faster. In the long run, this can cultivate more brand exposure for your company and in turn, generate sales.

3) Google+ Local Business Page: A recent addition, Google+ Local allows users to discover, share and review local information about your business. Since this feature is integrated across other Google products, your page will appear in Google Search and Google Maps, making it extremely easy for prospects to find you.

Compared to other social networking sites, Google+ is still in its infancy, and some may be reluctant to try it. If Google+ continues to grow at this rate though, it may be better for your business to jump on the bandwagon now, and reap the benefits earlier rather than later.

What do you think?