Google has integrated all of its free services; Gmail, YouTube, Chat, Google Search, Google Now, Google Maps, Google Calendar, Google Local. etc. within the umbrella of Google+. This may not seem like a big deal – until you look at seizing these opportunities as a competitive advantage.
If you’ve ignored Google+ as a serious tool for your business, I encourage you to read this post to the end. There are indisputable benefits that you cannot ignore if you are serious about building your business or brand.
After all, Google+ has grown faster than any other social platform to date; including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.
Whether you use Google accounts for personal use, business or both, it is important for you to understand how Google uses your data. Once you log into any Google account, you are logged into all, making it easier than ever for Google to collect and leverage data to sell advertising. This does not have to be a one-sided relationship. Google’s actions have created an integrated landscape that you can take advantage of, when you understand and approach the connection of accounts with a strategic approach.
When logged into ANY Google account, results on Google Search are personalized according to your history and profile. Users have some control over this within settings which include age, location and preference for how Google serves advertisements to each user. You will also see Google+ notifications in the top right corner of your browser when conducting a search, which Google hopes will keep you logged in throughout the day by integrating Gmail, Google+ notifications and more…
Everything you do on Google (photos, videos, +1’s, posts and reviews. etc.) are now collected and displayed under the Google profile. Which means each and every one of those activities now link back to the Google+ profile. So, it is more important than ever that you be “publishing” content, commenting and that it all links back to a Google profile that is optimized to accurately represent you and your goals.
Everyone you have ever communicated with (to or from) via your Gmail account is considered a connection. These contacts are Google+ Hangouts Offer Unique Benefits to Businesses and Brands of All Sizes More Than Meets the Eye Benefits of Google+ are subjective. And, just as anything else, most benefit those willing to take advantage of them. The most effective way to insure you enjoy full benefit of that new smartphone, television, tablet or automobile is to read the manual. Google+ Integration With Gmail Most people have a Gmail account – which has been automatically been transformed into a Google+ Profile by Google.
YouTube videos now appear on Google+ Profiles (refer to image above), and comments on videos, including those published by others, are more visibly connected to the Google+ Profile. This can be extremely beneficial in connecting with target audiences in new paths of engagement. Again, be sure to optimize video properly to enjoy full advantage of video integration in search engine results.
All Images shared or posted via a Google account are made public, unless opted out, making it easier than ever for images to appear in search engine results…especially when optimized properly.
Google reviews are now connected to the Google+ profile. This can be a plus, or a minus, depending on how you have used reviews in the past. When posting reviews in the future, keep in mind the visibility and connection to your brand as to not damage any good will established with audiences.
When you +1 a post using Google+, it is added to the Google+ profile – creating a visible path of what websites have been visited and what content you have liked and shared – to Google and other Google users. This can be highly beneficial when your audiences look to you for information – remember its perfectly OK (and HIGHLY recommended) to +1 your own posts and pages!
This is a great way to facilitate topic-specific engagement online. I created the Million Dollar Website Community on Google+ to support those who have purchased my book and book website with blog posts and hangouts with myself and guest experts I invite to address specific topics of interested in leveraging the website, SEO, social media, usability, conversion, etc. to achieve their goals.
You can promote online and offline (real-world) events on Google. This is a great way to create opportunities to engage specific audiences. You can open events to the public, or make them ‘invitation only’. Events are effective in promoting everything from webinars, hangouts, press announcements, fundraisers, parties or any other gathering – even if only virtual.
Google Hangouts can be public, private, or conducted “On Air”, which will produce a video that automatically posts to your YouTube channel. You can modify access once published…and edit the video, adding branding, etc. However, you want to know ahead of time what kind of hangout you intend to have before creating an Event and sending invitations. Learn more about Google Hangouts.
Your Google Calendar can be a useful tool in publicly displaying office hours, privately managing your daily schedule, or integrating with a commerce component to sell time (various WordPress plugins and other mechansims make this easier than ever) – it simply matters how you use it.
It is easier than ever to engage in chat with those in your network via chat. Chat is available from Gmail or Google+ profiles. You can manage how accessible you wish to be for chat in profile settings.
Google+ has an advantage to other social platforms as it is now intensely integrated with Google Search – which generates over 2/3 of all searches in the United States, and a dominate player globally. As I stress to coaching clients, attendees to conference sessions and training programs, assets are valuable when they help new customers find your brand. This requires optimization of everything from website pages and posts to video, social media profiles, shares and all related assets. It has been proven, time and time again, how the +1 of a post can put that content in the Google index in minutes (or seconds) after posting. It may not always be the case, but it is now. I encourage you to fully integrate Google+ share buttons (and don’t be shy about being the first to +1 ) the content you publish (posts, pages and video especially).
How to add Google+ Badges and Buttons to your website. Hint: if you log into your Google account before you visit this page it will begin to generate the code for you – and provide you options as to which account (if you manage more than one) you want to create code for – then simply copy and paste into your site as directed.
As with any other social media platform, it is imperative that you approach the integrated Google universe with a plan. And, always remember, all roads must lead home (your website). The more effective you are in bringing audiences to the website as the ultimate destination for your brand, the greater the benefits in search, authority and engagement with audiences.
Visit my Search Engine Watch post for tips on How to Calculate Social Media ROI.
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Rebecca Murtagh is a Human AI Evangelist, Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Author of CROWD SUCCESS® , Innovation coach, consultant and trainer. Rebecca leverages decades of experience working with Fortune 500, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, Mains Street, global brands and startup entrepreneurs to help executives, their teams, and entrepreneurs leverage Human AI to innovate faster and achieve sustainable success. Rebecca also helps virtual companies, remote talent and hybrid teams improve productivity, collaboration, creativity and job satisfaction for optimum performance and long-term success.