Long story short: Google overhauled their Social Search network, added Twitter, Flickr and Quora results, and is throwing it into the search results.

The catch? You have to be signed in to see those social results. But then again, are you sure all your prospect and clients sign out of Google before searching?

So, lets say you finally want to play on the playground with the cool, hip and otherwise in kids. Where do you start? Here are a few tips to get you moving.

  1. If you havent done it yet, create a Google Profile. Why? Well, I cant swear to it, but it does seem to make it easier for Google to find all your social accounts " and isnt that the point
  2. Fill out your Google Profile correctly. This could be a tough one. For instance, it took my editor two days to figure out why her social activity wasnt public. Imagine having problems trying to turn privacy off
  3. Tune up your social network. If youre networking for business, you want to make sure your results show up in your followers, fans and subscribers results. Try to increase the number of the people in your network that closely match your ideal client persona.
  4. If you havent already, become a consistent poster. Your network can forgive the fact that you only post twice a week, for example, but its a lot harder for them to forget the times youve missed posts.
  5. Understand that you cant keep ignoring those annoying Google tools. Yes, FriendFeed, Buzz, Knol all those potential accounts now have a really good reason to be used. The great thing about most accounts like these is that you can link them all together. You only have to post on one platform for the post to show across the board.
  6. Which leads me to " make sure you link your accounts. If a social network allows you to link other accounts (and these are already public business accounts), dont miss the opportunity. This way, your followers on Buzz can also see youre using Twitter; anyone who sees your Klout score can also see that youre on Facebook, etc.
  7. Change your mindset about online privacy. Lay out what you want people to know and what you dont want people to know. If you want something to be private, dont have it online or dont link the account to your social circle.
  8. Engage your social circle. Not like Star Treks engage, but engage as in get to know these people. Every time you hop onto your chosen social networks, pretend youre at a party (sans booze). Talk to people; create friendships; share your ideas and knowledge.
  9. While youre schmoozling at this fantabulous, never-ending party, remember to stop talking occasionally and listen. Engaging people means having a conversation, and you cant have a conversation if youre the only one talking. What are your followers, fans and subscribers saying? Pay attention " you might learn something!
  10. Forget about spam. Dont use automated DMs, bots or other crappy toys. People arent following you, a (supposedly) human being, to get another robot. They want human interaction. A social circle full of bots will get you nowhere in your business. After all, bots dont buy.

So, what about it? Are you going to keep ignoring social with the attitude of Ive never needed it before, or are you going to hop into the never-ending party? "And, out of pure curiosity (sort of like the cant look away from a train wreck syndrome), I have to ask: If you arent using social and dont plan to " why not?