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Writing and Grammar are Important, Especially in a Virtual World

by David T. Bruce

Most of us would never consider going to a job interview wearing less than our Sunday best. Our hair would be properly groomed, our teeth would be brushed and our oratory skills would be as polished as our résumés. What we wear as business professionals matters, because people draw conclusions and form first impressions about us based on how we look and how we promote ourselves.

Perhaps an advantage of working in front of a computer screen or from a handheld device is that you don’t have to put on a front if you are having a bad hair day. An advantage of working from home and building virtual professional relationships is that your clients and co-workers don’t have to know that you are working in your sweats or pajamas. On the Internet, clothes don’t make the man or woman. You can make your first impression based on your credentials, your résumé.

Another powerful way to make a good first impression – or not – is in the way that you use language. Simply put: Words are your wardrobe. As your résumé communicates your experience, your choice and use of words reflects your professionalism, your voice and your personality. Consider the number of business letters, blogs, emails and tweets that you post, each highlighting these attributes. Poor grammar and sentence structure, as well as communiqués sprinkled with spelling and proofreading errors, communicate either a language deficit or a lack of attention to detail, leaving the reader with a bad first impression of your skills and ultimately of you as a professional.

Poor grammar is indeed a communication crisis that becomes evident when we speak and when we write. And improving grammar certainly doesn’t mean that writing needs to become snobbish and long-winded. On the contrary, in many instances, writing can be improved by using smaller words and shorter sentences.

Given the immediacy of social media and the expediency in which communication is delivered, the benefit of taking time to write, edit and proofread professionally becomes fundamental. Review your grammar rules and review your writing before sending, posting or tweeting.

Will Rogers said that “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression,” and in the virtual business realm of the Internet, that chance has global implications and may  instantaneously become extinct with a click or a swipe. Conceivably, you might not get a first chance to make any impression. So make your impression count.

Why You Need Google Plus Now

Getting Started on Google Plus

If you’re not already there, it’s time to jump in with both feet and make a splash. Google Plus leads to better visibility, and it’s becoming a now-or-never opportunity. Between Google’s customized search results that land you ahead of the competition for people who have you in their circles to the better ranking you can achieve using the author ranking function, you can streamline your social media marketing effort by focusing on strengthening your Google plus presence. While the Google authorship program is in its infancy, it is positioned to help both individuals and businesses achieve rapid, credible visibility that rewards quality content.

Leveraging Google Plus

From sharing links and images to building circles of followers to hosting chats, Google+ is trying to create a one-stop social media hub for businesses and individuals. When used in conjunction with other Google tools like calendar and documents, you can leverage the power of Google to make stronger connections and generate buzz that perpetuates additional visibility. Google makes it easy to share specific content with specific audiences, allowing you to quickly and easily direct communications to specific groups. You may have a circle comprised of clients, another of contractors, and another for leads, then direct specific content to each of those three groups, all while growing your visibility and increasing your digital footprint using the powerhouse that fuels the largest search engine.

Content Is King, but Social Media Is Its Faithful Servant

Good content is only good if people know it exists, and Google+ is making it easier than ever to make sure your content is visible. Whether you’re focused on capturing a local segment or trying to position yourself as a global leader, Google+ offers you the ability to vet the most influential users in your industry, monitor competition, and analyze the viralability of your content.

Ultimately, Google+ tries to be a less stiff LinkedIn and a more professional Facebook with a viral video element thrown in for good measure. It may seem like a headache to add yet another social media platform to your efforts, but if Google stock prices are any indication, this is one company you want to get friendly with.


Google Stock Value Tops $800: Google Plus Just Got More Relevant

Google stock prices broke new ground, exceeding $800 for the first time last week. Analysts predict that Google is primed for continued growth, and part of that growth will likely be thanks to Google+, which had a 9400% increase in followers in the last year.

The stock gain is a significant milestone for Google, as the company experienced so many challenges since tipping the $700 scale in 2007. (In fact, the rocky road to 800 brought about a major shakeup in company leadership.) The Google stock value increase is being credited to the leadership of Larry Page, who took over as CEO for Eric Schmidt in 2011. Since Page took over, the stock has been increasing steadily, well above the S&P benchmark.

For Google, the stock valuation is mostly sentiment; the company tried last year to split its stock only to wind up on trial after shareholders alleged that the split would leave too much control with Page and cofounder Sergey Brin. That trial won’t be resolved any time soon, but analysts predict that the Google stock price increase is yet another indication of Google’s predicted continued success.

Google continues to be both a thorn in the side of Facebook, as well as a foil to it. Facebook’s IPO was considered one of the biggest in U.S. history; their stock was initially offered at $38 per share, but has since dropped 25 percent. Google’s IPO in 2004 saw a initial stock price of $85 – a price they’ve never dipped below. Google already dominates the search engine market, and with Page at the helm, the company has been steadily streamlining services and creating what is now considered a growing contender in the social media market, with Google+.

This news makes it more important than ever to be visible on Google+. Learn why you need Google+ now.