Google Plus, although much newer and less popular than Facebook, offers some excellent social media marketing features. It gives good 'google juice' or SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to your links. Google Plus appears to be the next big thing in social media marketing - in my view it is the social media platform that has better facilities than Facebook and has not yet been invaded by teens! The video conferencing facility 'Google Hangouts' is, in my opinion, better than Skype.
This article is all about how to use Google Plus and why I think that you should use Google Plus for Business. It starts with the basics, including how to set up a google account and how to share a status update. I then go on to explain some of the top features including Google Hangouts and Communities.
How to set up a Google Plus Account
You will need to have a google email to have a Google+ account. Go to the Google Plus Homepage and sign in with your google account (gmail, googlemail or the one you use for your You Tube Account). If you don't have one, you wll need to create an account.
Enter you name and add a profile picture. You simply follow the steps on the screen and then you will automatically be taken to your google plus account.
Update your status on Google Plus - How to share information, use #hashtags and +mentions
Click on the Home icon (the top icon in the left hand side menu) and you will see your news feed. Share your status or information by clicking in the speech bubble and writing something that you want to share with others. You can use #hashtags on Google Plus to make a topic easily searchable. In my status update below, you can see that I have hashtagged #squidoolens (this article was originally written on Squidoo before it closed down) and #googleplus so that people searching for information on these topics will find me!
When you share a status on Google Plus, you can choose who you share it with, such as people in one of your circles. If you want everyone to be able to see your status update if they want to, you must remember to make it public. See the green box with the world symbol at the bottom of your status update - leave it there to keep your status public!
If you want to mention someone else in your status updates + mention them by preceding their name with the + sign. For example, mention me by saying +Amy Trumpeter and I will see that you are mentioning me, hopefully to share my lens! It works the same way as an @mention on Twitter. The @sign also works in Google Plus, but the official way to mention someone on Google Plus is a +mention.
When reading other people's statuses in your newsfeed, you can comment on their posts. You can also +1 which is giving them approval, similar to a Facebook 'like'.
Guy Kawasaki - What the Plus?
Guy Kawasaki presents a compelling argument as to why Google+ is the hottest social media platform with the best features. Easy to read and very understandable. 'What the Plus?' is also available as a kindle edition.
Using Google Plus for Research
One of the great things about social media is that so much information is available to you at the touch of a button. Social Media is great for research, whether you use it for business or personal reasons.
Looking at the Google Plus menu on the left hand side of your screen, click the 3rd Icon from the top - Explore. This will allow you to see what's hot and what's trending (what people are talking about on Google Plus).
Try using the Google Plus Search bar
If you type a topic into the top search bar and press enter, you will be shown all of the Google+ up to date posts about that topic. For example, try typing in business and see what comes up - you will be presented with the latest status updates on business news.
Which social media platform do you prefer?
Which do you prefer, Google+ or Facebook?
Google Plus Hangouts
Google plus hangouts are a great way to have personal video chats and business conference calls, and in my opinion, it is better than skype. To start a hangout, either click start a hangout in the top right of your screen, or go to the bottom of your left hand menu and click more, then click hangouts. There will be a red button at the top of your screen saying start a hangout. You can also see hangouts that other people are having!
This is a great introduction to using google plus for business.
Google Plus Communities
Google Plus communities are great for connecting with others to share similar interests. Google Plus communities are also a great way to use Google Plus for Business.
If you are interested in finding out more about Google+ or social media for business, you can contact me at Elephant Digital.
If you want a simple and easy step by step guide, Google Plus for Dummies is the one to go for!