The Plus side of Google +
Why does Google+ work for business?
While for many people Facebook is the top social networking site, for others Google is the internet. That alone makes Google+ an important place to be. Everyone who has a Google account, now has a link at the top right of their Google page that notifies them to access their profile. Many websites now use the “+1” social sharing button to enable people to post content to their Google+ accounts. There are useful ways you can engage people on Google+ including with business pages and topic based-communities, But it also works because of the way it changes search and can drive traffic to your website.
One of the benefits of having a Google+ account even if you never use it is for the search engine benefit. Google+ helps Google to improve it’s search engine results pages through the information it’s able to collect from your social circle. Not only can Google see what you share with your friends that are most important to but also how you interact with them. It can promote search results that people from your circles have a +1’d for example, giving it that community feel.
Google+’s buttons appear in Google’s search results and can be embedded in websites. The +1 counter that is displayed on each button refers to the number of people who have +1’d that specific web page without visiting them.
To get started with Google+, the main things you need to do are :
Set up your Profile.
Your personal profile on Google+ is important, as it will help people determine if they think you are worth adding to their circles. First of all, add a header image. Two sections that are particularly useful for promoting yourself are Story (your biography) and links (including links to other social networks, your blog and business website). From your profile you can add updates as you would on other networks. These can include photos, videos events and links. Google+ allows you control over who sees your posts by using a feature unique to Google+ called circles.
Create a Community.
Pages are useful for building a following around your company or products. Companies help build brand loyalty and position you as an expert in a particular field. They are most effective if they focus on discussions around topics related to your business. Communities on Google+ are the equivalent to groups on Facebook or Linkedin and are a powerful way to reach a lot of people at once. There are two main ways to use them: join other communities and start your own.
1. Be selective.
Don’t just join as many communities as you can. Join those relevant to your topic area where you have something useful to contribute.
2. Post to the most appropriate category.
Communities come with categories built in, a bit like private discussions within the given community. You can view all the posts shared in a community or view them by category enabling discussions to be kept focused and relevant.
3. Comply with the guidelines.
Communities often have guidelines attached. It pays to follow these as you don’t annoy other members or be removed from the community. Some strictly forbid any self-promotion, while others encourage it, as long as you post to the right category.
4. Post from your home stream.
You can share posts with communities from your home stream/profile too, without even visiting the community you wish to post to. However, you can only post to one community at a time this way.
Start your own community.
1.If you start your own community, you can begin building your own list of members and don’t have to comply with someone else’s community guidelines. To get started just go to your communities tab and click the create community button.
2. Add your “About” text.
Tell us who the community is for, who is behind it, and include a link to your website for more information.
Looks at the guidelines for some of the communities you are a member of and adopt those that resinate with how you want your community to behave.
So that you can maintain their value, you can also add more moderators to your community. Moderators can add and edit categories remove posts or members and add additional moderators.
5. Use categories to organise discussions.
6. Invite people to join your community- but only when you have some content to give them a teaser of what to expect. Promote your community on your Google+ profile page, company page, on your blog and via your other social media channels.