Advantages of Google+

Google senior developer advocate Timothy Jordan started our first morning off with an informative session on the ins and outs of Google+. From +Hangouts to +Mobile, Jordan discussed how Google+ is the perfect tool to help you tell a story, and connect people on a meaningful and deeper level.

Following a brief overview of everything Google+ has to offer, Jordan outlined ways to use Google+ to improve our online presence.

Make your brand relevant. 
First things first: Create your Google+ page. Once you’ve done that, link your page to your website and ads (AdWords is a great tool for this). It’s important for your audience to see the g+ symbol on your other sites. It makes it easy and convenient for them to quickly transition over to your page.

Run successful hangouts. 
If you are doing more than just chatting it up with your friend from back home, it’s important to plan your program. Decide who the host will be, outline the show and choose your participant selection method. Also, don’t forget to promote the event through your other social media platforms as well as offline media.

Make better decisions. 
Start off by measuring impact of recommendations. A great tool to use for this is AdWords. Also, find out the value of your social media with reports in Google Analytics. Analytics gives you  a great breakdown of exactly who is viewing and sharing everything you produce from your website and social media.

You should also track engagements on posts. Monitor how many comments and re-posts you are getting. Take it a step further, and make a note of what kind of post you are posting. That way you can see if you get more responses or shares of a certain type of post. Next, use Ripples to identify influencers and watch posts in real time. This can allow you to better tailor your posts to your top influencers.

Grow your audience. 
Improve discoverability on search engines. Use plug-ins on your page, post often and be persistent. Post content people want to share. Integrate some multimedia into what you have to say. You can even ask your audience what they want to see and post accordingly.

Promoting your Google+ page through other channels is also a great way to grow your audience. We are all frequent users of multiple social media sites. Whether it’s Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram, try and make a conscious effort to promote and provide links to your Google+ page. You can also promote your Google+ page through any newsletters or blogs you are a part of.

Watch trends.
A growing trend is face-to-face conversations. Video chatting is a great way to feel like you’re with someone, even if they are a thousand miles away. Now through the use of +Hangouts, not only can you have a conversation with one or more people, but you can produce a live broadcast of the event.

Human connection is also a rising trend. Jordan showed us how photo-walks are a great way to connect with people in a way that has never been done before. By connecting your camera to the Internet, people can see a live feed of your pictures or videos. It is a great way for others to see the world through your eyes, even if your eyes are in an entirely different city.

Kate Wickwire
Director of Programming
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