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Google Plus & Your Social Media Strategy

A Recap of Jon Parks’ TIMA Luncheon Presentation

Google Plus is now the second most popular social network in the world with almost 360 million active members (according to Global Web Index Facebook has 751 and Twitter has 288 active members). A few months ago, many people, including social media experts, had written Google Plus off, but now they’re seeing the implications Google Plus is having on search results.

At the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association (TIMA) Luncheon this month, Founder of Dijital Farm and ASPE-ROI Instructor Jon Parks presented some interesting insights about what Google Plus is, how it’s evolving, and how a business can capitalize by using it. He also hosted a Google Hang Out so others across the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina, and anybody else around the world, could join. Founder and Event Media Director Nikol Murphy from Talking Moose Media also contributed to the presentation. Below is a brief recap of Jon’s main points.

  • Google Plus is a social network created by Google (though they won’t call it that) created in 2011. It’s part of the Google “ecosystem” that is a layer of social on top of their search, maps and Android functions.
  • There are three elementsto Google Plus:
    • Personal Profiles, which displays personal information about members.
    • Business Pages, which allows businesses to engage and share information. Multiple managers are allowed (like it is on Facebook). This is where there are implications for SEO and Google searches.
    • Communities, which allows people who share common interests to interact with one another. This aspect is about six months old and is similar to a LinkedIn Group. It also gives the founders and active members of the community an authority on that topic.
    • The layout has changed and now is layed out in cards, sililar to the Android mobile platform. The Home button on the left has several options, and there’s a top navigation that shows your circles (ones of your choice).
    • There are different types of communities – public and private. Public communities are open to everybody. Some require approval from the community owner to participate, but content is open to view. Private communities can either be searchable, but with hidden content, or unsearchable, where you have to be invited to join. The latter is great for interacting with business clients.
    • About This Community is a section within the community that describes its purpose. This section is searchable by Google. Again, another feature Facebook can’t compete with.
    • Hang Out on Air (HOA) is the “killer app.” Not only can you broadcast live, have multiple participants and reach a large audience, you can save it and post it to YouTube, allowing the broadcast to live on, giving you relevant content for all your distribution channels.
    • Google Plus is changing search on Google. The difference between a global search and the Search Plus Your World feature in Google is astonishing. We all know Google personalizes our searches, but now you can include your personal interests you preselected in Google Plus, something Facebook cannot do.
    • Google Authorship is still a bit murky and unclear. It’s a way for Google to recognize and verify that you are the author of specific content and associate that content with you in searches.

Jon also left attendees with three action items to do immediately:

  1. Create an account. If you don’t have connections, he and Nikol will introduce you to a couple of their circles.
  2. Get involved in a community. Join one that you are interested in with people who share your passion. That’s how you grow your presence, and you will start interacting.
  3. Conduct a Hang Out on Air. There are always hang outs happening. Search for one and join in, see what it’s all about, and then conduct your own. It’s a great way to brand your company, give you authority and leadership on your expertise, and it gives you video-rich content to share later.

For more information about Google Plus, join us for “How Do I Use Google Plus,” a web seminar that will be presented by Google Plus expert Mark Traphagen on August 14, 2013. Want to learn more about ASPE-ROI’s marketing training and services – click here.

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