Google+ is here to stay, so it’s time you figure out if it’s right for you or your clients. Google+ helps with organic Google search results, and Google.com attracts over 1 billion unique visitors per month, making it the web’s most visited website. It has a lot of similarities to facebook fan pages, but it also has features Mark Zuckerburg would kill for. The similarities are that you can customize your profile with a logo, link back to your website and get page updates via email. Example of sample Google+ page here:
The big difference between Google+ and facebook is the targeting of information. Targeting means that your followers can be sorted into groups (called circles), so information can be shared with only certain groups of followers/circles.
• TARGETING via “circles”— You can choose to share information via circles or public. Circles info is only shared with people in that circle. If they aren’t in your circle, then they can’t see it. “Public” is visible to anyone who’s added you to a circle, as well as on your public profile.
• PROFILE VISIBILITY — Choose visibility settings for specific profile sections. Profile information can be made public, private or in-between.
• MEASUREMENT — Google+ allows us to measure how your page is doing, and learn more on how your followers’ interactions affect your business and brand. Google+ also offers ways to improve the page.
EXTRA INFO –
• Google recommends directing customers to your Google+ page with a Google+ badge on website. This also extends organic search in Google results.
• Sparks is a great feature that is similar to Google Reader, except it brings content automatically based on user interests. Google+ will provide content to related articles, videos, photos, etc. based on the keywords that you search, or in this case ‘spark’
• The Hangout feature in Google+ are virtual rooms where people can video chat with people in their circles.
• Instant Upload lets you snap a photo on your Android phone and it’s automatically uploaded to Google+, but is unfortunately not available for iPhone users.
• Public profiles can decide if they want to be indexed by search engines. This helps you be as visible as you want to be.
• Anyone can follow a page and put a page into their own circle – there is no way to stop people from following your company or adding your company to their own circle. However, these people can only see information the company wants them to see. So when the company makes updates, they choose if they want them to be public, meaning anyone can see, or make them private – only to certain circles. The private information and subsequent comments are protected within that circle.
• Pages choose what page followers go into what circles. So when they update information they can choose which groups of people or circles will be given the updated information. They can also view their page from each of those circles to confirm that the correct information is there.
• You can also lock a comment so it cannot be shared or commented on. When you lock a post, people you’ve shared your post with will no longer be able to re-share it with others.
• You can also disable comments.
• You receive an email of new comments and are notified of new activity on your page by a red box by your name – that looks like this :
• You can add people easily by name if they are on Google+. If they aren’t, you can put in their email to add them and they get an invitation to join. They can choose to join Google+ or have page updates via email inbox.
• When updates are sent out – the page chooses if they want to send info to people outside Google+.
Google+ does provide some valuable features that facebook just can’t match, yet. True, not a ton of people are on Google+ so far, but give it time. Google isn’t going anywhere and if you need the ability to target information, than Google+ is probably what you’ve been waiting for.
This post was contributed by Rachel Hutman, Clearpoint Agency Account Executive