Today marks the one year anniversary of the launch of Google+. On June 28, 2011 Google rolled out its social media platform Google+ to rival Facebook’s dominance in the social media category. However, one year later Google’s “next big thing” is being called a ghost town. 170 million people have signed up for Google+, compared to over 900 million people on Facebook. comScore released a report earlier this year showing users spent an average of 3.3 minutes on Google+ in the month of January, compared to 7.5 hours on Facebook in the same month. Another report by RJ Metrics showed that even among active users on Google+, their average time between posts was 12 days and 30% of people who post once never return to the social media platform again. In contrast, 53% of Facebook users and 33% of Twitter users engage with the platforms daily according to a report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
One of the ways nonprofit organizations can promote their cause through interactive media is by joining the Google+ community. Here you can talk to other nonprofits, share best practices for social media marketing and find new donors and volunteers. Follow these steps to create a thriving Google+ Page for your nonprofit organization.
First you will need a Google account and a personal Google+ profile, so open an account and log in. On your Google+ profile, select “Create a page” and fill out the details about your nonprofit including an introduction, contact information and website.
Now you’re ready to post updates for your nonprofit. Be sure to post frequently and to keep your profile fresh so that more people are likely to engage with your organization.
Create different circles for different audience members of your organization. For example, you can grow circles of volunteers, board members and donors. Encourage people to add your nonprofit to their circles so you can in turn add them to your circles.
Start a Hangout on Google+ where people can gather live to discuss topics your organization cares about. Let your followers know when you’ll be hanging out and what topic you will be discussing over video chat.
As with any social media platform, it’s necessary to monitor conversations for reputation management. Your followers will appreciate timely responses to their comments. Even if some of their comments are negative, they can always be steered towards a deeper conversation.
When you’re ready to share your Google+ page with more people, select “Spread the word.” This will allow you to share your page in a post with people from your personal Google+ profile.
Tell everyone including your donors, volunteers and clients about your Google+ page in your newsletters and on your website. Add a Google+ page to your website by grabbing HTML code here.
If you have any questions about setting up or managing your Google+ page, contact us at Blue Interactive Agency. We offer internet marketing solutions including social media marketing services, SEO strategy and link building for companies to increase their online visibility. Call us at 965-779-2801 to see how we can help.
Last week, we created a quick and dirty tutorial on how to navigate the new Facebook. This week, we’re turning our focus to Google+, as the newest social network expands its services to include search and many other new features; so many that it may be overwhelming to new and existing users. Google+ has advanced from a field trial, to Beta, and is now available to everyone. Today, we’re going to focus on the network’s search feature to help you understand how the proprietary search function operates, and how it shows results.
Google+ Search allows users to search for results both on Google Plus and the web. Results are a combination of: Google+ posts, including public posts and posts shared with you; People, including results from people suggestions; and Sparks, which shows the trending results from the web related to your search.
Located at the top of your Google+ page, the search bar works just like the search engine’s – it will offer auto-complete suggestions or allow you to search your own term(s). With Google+, searching “Blue Interactive Agency” will automatically show Blue’s Google+ profile (see image below). Once you hit enter, you will see combined results from Google+ Public posts and posts shared with you, all determined by your individual circles and shared public posts.
Once you hit enter for your search query, you will be able to filter your results under one of the 3 aforementioned filters. Here’s what you’ll get for each one:
People: Suggestions for Google Plus users, along with information about them (i.e. whether their account is verified, which of your circles they’re in and a button to add them to a circle if they’re not).
Google+ Posts: These results are from Google+ posts only. They can be public posts by anyone on the network, and/or limited posts from your circles. You can see the “Public” share setting next to the post date.
Sparks: Basically, this filter shows you if, when and where your search phrase was mentioned in the news or other recent story on the web. It’s kind of like built-in Google Alerts, customized to your individual search at one time.
You can also filter search results based on relevance (“best of) and time (“most recent”). If you want to share your results from any category, simply click “Share” under the result to post to your update and specify your personal privacy setting. You can also +1 any of the results.
Ever since Google launched its latest foray into the world of social networking in late June, it has become increasingly apparent that Facebook finally has a formidable competitor on its hands. While past attempts to penetrate the social networking market have crashed and burned (yes, we’re talking about you, Buzz), Google+ has been receiving more praise than criticism in recent weeks. Most news stories have focused on features and the growing popularity of Google+ for consumers, but what about businesses? Google+ Product Manager Christian Oestlien recently uploaded a YouTube video and post on Google+ to give us an update on the billion-dollar company’s upcoming plans for business profiles.
“How users communicate with each other is different from how they communicate with brands, and we want to create an optimal experience for both. We have a great team of engineers actively building an amazing Google+ experience for businesses, and we will have something to show the world later this year,” says Oestlien. Although Google is urging brands to hold off on creating profiles, many well-known brands have already joined the network, like Ford, Breaking News and Mashable. Google’s policy team will be actively working with these existing profile owners to shut down non-user profiles, while reinforcing that exciting developments are in the works. “It will include things like rich analytics and the ability to connect that identity to other parts of Google that businesses might use on a daily basis, like AdWords,” reports Oestlien.
As the company did with Google+ for consumers, it plans to launch a “small experiment with a few marketing partners” to test the business profiles over the next several months. While reading about Google’s plans for brand-oriented accounts is exciting, it’s a curious move on their part to not be prepared to support both social users and the company’s that follow them. It seems that in their urgency to establish a respectable presence in the online social networking community, they neglected to respect the importance of optimizing the Google+ experience for brands.
For now, companies will have to temper their excitement to get in on the latest buzz-worthy social site, but we’ll be hearing plenty about ongoing developments as we make our way into the latter part of the year. Google+ is sure to have a significant impact on interactive marketing, especially in the world of social media marketing. Coupling Google’s powerful search engine marketing with Google+ for businesses has the very real potential to pull advertisers from Facebook. It is sure to be a pivotal year for the world of social networking; will Facebook suffer the same fate of MySpace? We’ll just have to wait and see!