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Book Review: Google+ for Business, by Chris Brogan

I've always been a little bit lukewarm on Google+, even though I've really come to appreciate most of Google's other products and services. I even use an Android, not an iPhone. So I was really looking forward to reading this book, because maybe there was something I was missing. As it turns out, I was missing a lot. In this book, Chris Brogan had an answer for each of my questions, and a few answers to questions I hadn't even asked yet.

Why invest the time managing yet another social network? Brogan thinks that Google+ is the next big thing, and after reading his case for getting involved, and thinking, really thinking, about his discussion regarding the opportunities that exist there, I have to admit that I'm much more convinced. More than just convinced, actually. I was excited.

Probably one of the most difficult tasks, though, is actually recognizing opportunities. Luckily, Chris Brogan seems to be gifted in this area, and has spelled out quite a few ways one could use Google+, saving me the headache of coming up with some of these ideas by myself. Everything from customer service, contests, collaboration, referrals, and the normal social media sharing and engagement activities are touched upon here. After such a great head start, I had a few more ideas come to mind while reading the rest of the book. Those ideas alone are worth more than the price on the cover.

However, while thinking about great business opportunity is nice and daydreamy, the real question looms: how can I translate these ideas into actionable items? So it was a really nice surprise that the very next chapter, called “A Day in the Life,” focused on what you might actually do on Google+ in a given day. This was a simple but significant chapter, showing how different personas might approach Google+ depending on their own goals. Brogan is careful to point out that there is no right or wrong way to use it, and suggests that you should adopt your own approach based on your own brand, voice, and goals.

Equally important, but probably easily missed, is a short chapter in the middle on content stretegy. This was fascinating (to me), and had some mini-studies on how some people use Google+, like Scott Monty (Ford) and Jennifer Cisney (Kodak). Right after the mini-studies, he goes into what can best be described as a brainstorming session for what might work for different types of business owners. Genius.

The rest of the book is exactly what you’d expect, with minimal filler. There are sections on growing your audience, finding the balance between personal and professional sharing, and even a bit on actual sales. But all-in-all, this book is absolutely chock full of Chris Brogan, and for that alone it’s worth a read. So many times I caught myself thinking "hmm... I hadn't thought of it that way before." I know from personal experience that when I start seeing other perspectives, my ideas overflow. If you’re like that too, I think you’ll benefit from this book, and I hope to see you (and Chris) on Google+.

**Social Media Club members (Open/Pro/SMB/Corporate) are welcome to participate in a free webinar hosted by Social Media Club featuring Chris Brogan, Author of Google+ for Business on Thursday, May 31st at 2pm EDT. Register here!**

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