Many will read the title and think of it as a contradiction, but perhaps those are the same people who belong to the school of thought believing that Google+ is a failed attempt at social media. For the record: to date, Google+ has over 100 million active users who regularly share, +1 posts, comment and interact within the space; there are over 400 million users in total. The majority of people using the platform are doing so for business and more than likely realize the inherent potential of Google+ as a business tool. If you don't use it or see it as a valuable marketing tool, you may want to reconsider. Marketing to the Inner Circle One of the elements that differentiated Google+ from competitors was the addition of circles, used to distinguish between various groups of people. A novel idea if you look at the crux of it -- being able to target certain groups with specific information. From a marketing perspective, this makes it possible for you to send relevant information to those who are interested in it; targeting your advertising within a specific niche. While this seems like it's solving many problems, it also comes with its negative implications. By only posting to certain circles, you're not posting publicly, which limits your SEO efforts as this is only recognized in search when content is made public. So if the circles aren't as useful as they were intended to be, what is it exactly that makes Google+ an advantageous addition to your stable of social networks? The Plus Side to Google+ Google, Google, Google: Google+ is already at an advantage by having Google on its side. The search engine giant has created this platform as a means to consolidate a user's online experiences into one manageable space. As a business, if you're a prominent figure on the platform, you'll find it far easier to direct traffic to your sites as your Google+ profile will enhance your visibility within search. Simplicity: In addition to this, you can take advantage of its simplicity. Your social network is now integrated with your Gmail, as well as your Drive platform, calendar and other Google apps. Scheduled online meetings are made possible using your Google calendar and Hangouts, keeping all your essential business tools, including your reminders, in one easy-to-manage space. Brand pages: You can create brand pages on Google+ in exactly the same manner as you do on Facebook. Having a variety of interest groups within your business profile will offer those niche markets the opportunity to subscribe to the ones that are of interest to them. This manages the intended role of circles without extracting any value from your SEO efforts. Online events: Hosting industry related events is possible with the Hangouts feature -- these can be ongoing and scheduled in advance. Invite respected authorities to host your events and stimulate engagement within your circles, at the same time, benefiting from the social standing of your host. Where Does This Leave Us? Google+ is expanding onto the social scene from a practical perspective that makes sense for businesses. It appears that much thought has gone into how the platform can integrate seamlessly into business operations, while also standing out prominently within search and other areas of the web. Do you use Google+ for business purposes? What are the advantages to managing your social media efforts through this channel? Photo credit: andreabolder.com Bio: The following is a guest post by Katherine Stott of SEO, social media marketing and content marketing specialists -- Northcutt, based in Chicago.