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TheStreet Open House

Why Google+ Is Essential for Your Business

Stocks in this article: GOOG

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Your business has a Facebook page, you've finally gotten the hang of tweeting and now comes another social media site your business must have a presence on: Google+. You're probably wondering, among other things, when you'll have time to monitor all these sites.

It may be true Google's (GOOG) social media site, which is sort of a combination of Facebook and Twitter, seems unnecessary, especially since the site hasn't gotten much traction with users. But experts say now is the time for businesses to get comfortable with using Google+, because it will become an important piece of the search puzzle.

Google+ hasn't exactly caught on with users. You should be on it anyway, digital media expert Jason Hennessey warns.

It's even for local businesses that might not think Google+ can offer them much.

Jason Hennessey, CEO of Everspark Interactive, a digital marketing agency, says it's equally as important that they use the site, because the level of interactivity on Google+ will become a signal to Google. The more a local business engages with Google+ (both by posting and allowing users to "check in"), the more likely Google is to pull up that business during a user's searches.

What's so great about Google+?

Hennessey: Six months ago Google had an exclusive contract with Twitter, which was providing them with a real-time feed. That was a big deal.

So say you search for Kim Kardashian. You're not seeing all the real-time buzz that's happening about Kim Kardashian like you used to see when Twitter had the contract with Google. Google+ has its own real-time news feed to replace the real-time search feature. They haven't actually brought it in the search pages yet ... this is something that is right around the corner. They will implement a real-time news feed almost like a Twitter feed that will be part of the search.

So why should businesses care?

Hennessey: As a journalist, at the end of the day the whole reason why you're posting on a social media site is so that you can be the first to break different stories. When you're talking about small business or local restaurant, it provides you a larger audience without a whole lot of effort. So essentially you can follow something that is buzzing and you as a small business have the ability to compete with the mega-companies and large brands out there and get followers and fans. You're basically maximizing the same audience.

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