Not another social media channel! That is what I hear whenever I bring up Google +. Most people ask me, “why do we need another one? Isn’t Facebook and Twitter enough?” (add onto that Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and LinkedIn and you have one full plate!)
Google + is very easy to learn how to use. Once you understand how circles work, you can begin using it with ease. It is really just about sharing information with the exact group of people you want.
Why you need to learn how to use Google +
Because Google rules the stinking world. Ok, seriously – because Google tied G+ into searches. So now when you promote your stuff on Google + it will come up higher in search results. Plus, Google owns it and they are promoting it fiercely on new Android based phones. You need to learn Google + because it will grow and learning now puts you ahead of the social media game and even more marketable to brands and companies.
I created a video tutorial that walks you through a bunch of aspects of Google +. For those of you that cannot watch the video, I am typing all the info here too. But if you have never explored G+ before and are overwhelmed by it, find time to watch my video. It is 8 minutes long and takes you through almost all of the ins and outs of it.
To create a custom URL:
Go to Gplus.To and follow the directions.
Every Google + account has a custom string of 12 numbers. G+ itself does not allow for personalizing the URL, so you have to use a URL shortener like Gplus.to or bit.ly. This is actually a smart move for Google. For example, if you create a G+ page for MamaDweeb and someday change the name to DweebBloggers you can easily change the name of that page in Google + and go to Gplus.to to change the URL – all without losing a single follower.
Is there a way to get your posts automatically posted to Google+?
No. This is the biggest downfall of Google +. Everything must happen manually.
I joined and now I keep getting notified of foreign men following me. What do I do?
Don’t freak out, this is a good thing. Whenever someone adds you to their circles, whatever you post to “the public” goes into every single person’s stream if they put you in a circle. Bloggers, if you are promoting a blog post or product, then being in more circles is a very good thing.
How can I turn off posts from hyper posters?
Create a circle called, “hyper posters.” Then, on the right hand side, view only all your other circles and exclude the hyper posters. Or, even easier, don’t circle them at all. It is totally ok for you not to circle someone. Just because you are in someone’s circle does not mean you have to put them in yours.
These are so much fun! You can video chat with a bunch of your friends at the same time. This is also wonderful for holding virtual meetings if you cannot meet in person. There are options in the top of the screen – you can mute your mic and/or disable your webcam and use the chat feature only if you need. This can work as a free online conference call, it can bring families and friends together face-to-face and so much more. Get some friends together and try it out.
Tip: When you begin the hangout, choose which circle you are allowing to see you hanging out. If you choose “public,” then anyone, anywhere, can see your video.
How do I keep up with people that add me to their circles?
As people add you to their circles, you will receive email notifications. I simply delete them without opening them. Check this out:
In your Google + nav bar, click the red number. Then, click “Added you to their circles.” That is when the screenshot above appears. You can view every single person that added you to their circles, click/view their profiles and hover over their name to add them to your circles. Easy!
Do people actually gain followers and active users via G+, or is it another place that people ignore you?
Every social network has a different audience. I will tackle more of this question in a future post where I compare/contrast the benefits of each social network. Suffice it to say that if your goal is to increase your reach and influence and become more marketable to brands, then learning how to use Google + is a valuable asset. You can most certainly reach an entirely new audience with G+, introduce them to your blog and increase readership. Totally possible. But with every network, it takes time. If you don’t spend time on the site, your return will be lower. And we only have so much time in a day.
How do I engage with others so I promote my posts?
Start to chat about your involvement on G+ with your current Facebook and/or twitter followers. Write a post about it. Spread the word that you are on G+ so people add you to their circles. Then, use it! Go on G+ and peruse your stream. Circle people so your stream is more diverse.
Remember: A branded page cannot circle people unless they circle your brand first. So create a personal G+ account and use that to encourage people to circle your brand’s page.
Then interact. Comment on people’s posts. Post funny photos that people share. Then, begin to promote your posts. Maybe post one of your funniest posts or one that is attracting a lot of discussion in the comments. Talk about that feature in your G+ post.
It is a very fun social network that is going to attract a lot more followers very quickly. While it is not 100% necessary to use it today, eventually, like twitter, it will be a valuable tool used widely around the world.