Friday, June 20, 2014

Is Google+ Where You Should Be?

It’s been awhile since we’ve talked about Google+. As Facebook loses the interest of many users, Google+ appears to keep growing. For me, the visibility value of time spent on Google+ is far better than the same keystrokes or time on Facebook. From a pure business perspective, you might find that Google+ is the place to be.

Think about your interactions on both platforms. Most people tend to spend a lot of time “talking” to the same people or groups of people on Facebook. What do you do on Google+? It’s not the same is it? Typically, you’re not sharing pictures of your kids and pets. Maybe that’s the secret to increasing your visibility. Go where people don’t know you!

Many of you have developed your Google+ pages but have never really used them. Think about the potential when you interact on a social platform that’s connected to the world’s largest search engine (Google) and the world’s second largest search engine (YouTube). Here’s some tips on how you can build your presence on this interconnected social platform:

  • Determine your objective – build your personal profile (build trust and authority) or develop and promote a brand page. There is quite a bit of overlap with the two, because you can’t do one without the other.
  • Take a month to develop relationships. Engage with others, share and +1 posts and build those individuals into Circles. It’s tough, but refrain from posting your own content too soon.
  • Claim your Google Authorship in your profile page. This important step connects you to the sites where you contribute. You can see more about this in a previous post on Indies Unlimited.
  • Tag it! When you set up your profile picture of yourself, make sure you tag it!
The potential for Circles on Google+ is enormous. As you build relationships, you have the ability to create content/event related Circles. For example, if you have two covers that you’re trying to decide between, we typically will go to our favorite Facebook group and ask them what they like the best. You’ll get lots of helpful advice from a closed group of “friends” that we always converse with. It’s not a bad method, and we usually get great feedback.

What if you took the same question to Google+? You can tap into a huge number of people through Google groups. Maybe you’re down to your final two science fiction book covers and you want to see what kind of input you would get from a science community. Bam, you can instantly feed your post to thousands of people in that group and get far different feedback than you would from a “book” group on Facebook. You could test your book covers in any number of communities and develop feedback—science fiction, space, astronomy—you get the picture.

Now, you have Circle power at your fingertips!

Here’s the way to leverage Circles—as people respond, you place them in a newly created Circle (name it whatever you like) and now you can communicate directly to those folks. Send a message out to them when you have your final product thanking them for their help.

If you need more info on Circles and the basics of Google+, you can see Rich Meyer’s post here or my earlier post here. As the commercialization of Facebook continues, Google+ keeps growing in popularity and impact. Now might be a good time to shift some of your keystrokes to this platform.

A version of this post was published on Indies Unlimited by Jim Devitt.  is the author of the #1 Kindle Bestselling Young Adult novel, The Card and So This is Christmas. He's also a healthcare consultant specializing in helping healthcare companies and practices develop a social media marketing platform, and maximize cash flow. You can find him posting weekly to Indies Unlimited and occasionally as a contributor on Yahoo!

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