September 13, 2012
Google Plus is a social networking site launched by Google in 2011. It now has approximately 250 million users and is growing in popularity. Google Plus is similar to Facebook but yet different in several ways. One major difference is that you can organize your friends and followers into separate “Circles” so you can post appropriate messages to the right people. It is not just one mass posting.
With its many features and differences, Google Plus can seem a bit complicated and confusing so below are ten tips to help you use Google Plus to its maximum efficiency.
1. Profile – As always, take advantage of your profile area. You want to establish your personal identity but also connect your personal profile with your business. Instead of using your company logo for your avatar, use a picture of yourself. This will establish you as an actual person and give you a head start for building the relationships needed for your online business. Showcase what your business can do for people in the “About” section. Highlight your business but keep your personal identity evident as well.
2. Hangouts – This is one feature that separates Google Plus from Facebook and other social networking sites. The Hangouts feature allows you to connect, by video, with up to ten people at one time. This is great for meetings, training, demonstrations, webinars, e-classes, etc. Use this tool with creativity and grow your business.
3. Categorize with Circles – Another advantage of using Google Plus is their “Circles” feature. This allows you to categorize your followers, which in turn allows you to send the appropriate messages to the appropriate groups of people. No more mass posting and sending irrelevant messages to people. You can separate your followers into customers, family, trainees, etc. This is another way that Google Plus has come out ahead for networking.
4. Sparks – Yet another great feature of Google Plus is Sparks. This handy tool lets you enter a keyword and an alert will be sent to you whenever any content on this subject is posted. This is a great way to search for, and find relevant and interesting content to share.
5. Shorten Your URL – Be sure to shorten your URL as you probably won’t want to use the default link Google assigns to you. To do this, you can go to gplus.to and choose the nickname for your URL. I use my company name but some people prefer to use their actual name.
6. Invite People to Your Circles – In your account you will see a suggestion list, provided by Google, of people to invite to your circles. Make a habit of going through these suggestions and inviting different people to the appropriate circle. More people than not will accept your invitation and it helps in building an effective network.
7. Drag and Drop – You can easily drag and drop photos, links, videos, etc. from your desktop to your Google Plus comment box. This allows you much creativity to create memorable and unique posts.
8. Google Notifications Window – This feature is helpful because it allows you to comment right in the window. You do not have to click over to a website to share a comment. You can also scroll through to see older and/or newer notifications. This can be a great timesaver.
9. Check Your Google Plus Settings – There are many notification options available to you. You can opt to get notified when someone mentions you or adds you to their circle. There are several options available to you so be sure to check all the ones that apply.
10. Use Mashable – Mashable is a news source that will keep you abreast of all Google’s features, updates, and other digital social media news as well. This will allow you to make the most of your Google Plus and social media tactics.
Although Google Plus is not yet the powerhouse that Facebook is, it has many outstanding features and uses that could make it a very effective component in your social networking agenda.
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