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This Is How We Do It: Google+

 

This Is How We Do It: Google+

At Sense Worldwide we’re always searching for new ways to connect better. Whilst currently being a small company based in London we’re often spread across the world on project work, or collaborating with our global networks The Sense Network and Chorus+Echo. There are many different apps, programs and devices to help with this, but nothing that really pulls everything together as smoothly as we’d like.

After dabbling with this for a while we’ve now pulled together a few points on how to make best of use of Google+ as a company wanting to; collaborate without physical presence, extend our networks and share and consume knowledge and trends with thought leading individuals. We’re also experimenting with using Google+ as an intranet to share information within teams, the company and external team members, such as selected Sense Network members.

The below information aims to introduce you to Google+, the differences between it and other social media sites, how to set up your profile to maximise the chance of appearing in online searches and the overall benefits of using Google+. These guides are based on information researched for the team at Sense Worldwide, but we like to share the knowledge and training we have internally with anyone who might benefit, we hope this is of use to you.

The differences between Google+ and Facebook

Summed up nicely by Jaana Nyström on Google+ Helper:
“Facebook helps you to keep in touch with the people you already know, Google+ helps you to get in touch with the people you want to know.”

Google+
– Sharing content to give it more credibility in Google’s search rankings
– connecting with individuals, groups or communities with similar interests.
– providing and consuming influential content.

Facebook
– sharing personal updates e.g. status updates, pictures of your cat etc.
– connecting with friends, family and people you’ve met

How to get started

1. Upload a profile photo
This can be professional but it’s not necessary, just make sure you’re recognisable for others to identify you. You might use the same photo as Linkedin or other social profiles for consistency.

2. You should also change your cover photo
In my opinion it’s quite difficult to get this right. It has a two-part photo, which means you see a thin section of a photo at first but the full picture is revealed when you scroll up, so choose photos that will look interesting from both views. If you want to understand the template and be creative with the photo you can check out the dimensions put together by Stephan Hovnanian – here.

3. Fill out your profile information
Include keywords in your ‘Story’ section, according to some sources including these in your ‘introduction’ and ’employment’ sections will help you show up in search results for those keywords.

Also bear in mind your ‘mini profile’ this is what appears when someone hovers over your name. They see a little box like the below image.

Google+ Mini Profile

You can be creative about what you fill in to optimise the ‘takeaway’ anyone gets from viewing you without clicking on your profile. I’d suggest:

– Tagline: Role and specialism
– Employment: Company website first, then company name (if you want) and keywords to help you feature in searches.
– Education and location if you wish.

You can prevent any of them appearing by not filling them in, or changing the privacy settings for each section.

4. Add links to other profiles
Here you can add links to your Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and other social sites. This is good if you have a Youtube channel or Slideshare where you might share relevant content for your audience.

You can also share links to the sites you regularly contribute to.

OK, so now you’re set up here’s a few of the benefits:

Grow your connections through Circles
You can create circles around anything, if you don’t know where to start just create a circle around a hobby and find people interested in the same thing, then add them to the circle. You can then create circles for professional interests, brands etc. Circles help you to share content with the relevant audience, you might not want to share content with everyone, make it relevant to them, or you could be un-followed.

You can grow your connections through Find People (a G+ area) or external sources such as Find People on Plus. Once you follow someone of interest check out others in their circles, likelihood is they’ve got connections you’d be interested in too.

Use Google+ as a blog
There’s a 100k character limit on each post, so they’re not as restricted as Facebook or Twitter. This content will be linked to you and will benefit your Author rank and indexed in search engines.

You can also mention people by using @ and tag topics with # like Facebook & Twitter. Unlike other social media platforms you can format your posts with the following styles:

Styling Text In Google+

Join/create Communities
You can create or join communities around things you’re interested in, these provide areas for you to share and consume content from others with the same interests, they can be private – beneficial for companies, or public to grow a community around a topic.

Live Video Conferences
Try out Google Hangouts, which are live video conferences again you can have these as private or allow an unlimited audience to watch. You can use this to catch up with friends/acquaintances, get to know new contacts, do interviews or hold meetings overseas.

Sharing Google Documents
You can also now easily share documents, presentations and videos from Google Drive with your connections on Google+.

Last few things to say, you might want to just have a flick through your settings and check over what’s ticked and how you’d like things to appear/what you’d like to appear and to whom. You can also restrict the number of email notifications as this is currently set to notify you on pretty much everything. Check all of this out in your settings. If you’ve now got the new Gmail Inbox these notifications will appear in your ‘social’ folder.

If you do take to this like a duck to water here’s some tips on how to grow your presence from Razor Social.

There are changes happening all the time and I will do my best to update you, but one of the things you might want to look into is ‘Google Authorship’, this is how you can build your credibility through content creation and attribution.

If you need any help at all please let me know, I’ll do my best to help.

We’d also love to hear how you use Google+, let us know about any tips or tricks you have in the comments below.

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