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Google+ Basics

March 5, 2013

Here are some tips and tricks to get you set up and running on Google+.  Google+ is a social media network that hasn’t built a following as large as networks like Facebook and Twitter. Our suggestion is to, at a minimum, get an account set up to save your name and to get yourself appearing in the search results for keywords that are important to you, so that it’s not just your competition that appears! Also, it doesn’t take much effort to have a social media management system like Hootsuite post to your Google+ Business Page when posting to others.

Google+ also has some unique features that Facebook can’t provide. One is the Communities feature, which allows you to make groups for particular interests. What is unique is that you can start or join these groups as a person or as a brand. Another unique feature is Hangouts, which allows you to have group meetings or discussions online. You could do a presentation on a new product to a group, record it, and then upload it to OneLoad for maximum exposure.

1. Use Photos

Similar to Facebook, you are able to upload a photo to be displayed with your post on Google+. This means you don’t have to link to an external source to show the photo.  Photos can be uploaded from your computer or your Google Drive. Photos can be uploaded individually or in an album. With Google+ you can rotate and/or edit your photos before you share. This is a great feature, as you don’t want to be that person or company that always shares sideways photos.

2. Vanity URL

If you would like a vanity URL and haven’t been approved by Google or don’t have enough followers there is a workaround. Go to gplus.to. Enter in the nickname, username, or company name you would like as well as your Google+ ID. This will provide you with a vanity URL gplus.to/username.

gplus.to

3. +1

What is a +1?

A +1 is similar to a “Like” on Facebook, “Like” on LinkedIn, or a “retweet” on Twitter.

You can find +1 buttons on Google as well as many other websites.

Here is an example of a +1 button on Google.

Google+ Button

To add the +1 button to your website visit http://bit.ly/10awHxh.

What happens when you click +1?

When you click +1 the content that you have “+1’d” is saved on your Google+ profile for those in your circles to see as something you’ve recommended. You can manage your +1s and control which content is public. Even if your +1’d content is private, those within your circles searches for something you’ve +1’d. For example: Let’s pretend Allison Johnson is in your circles as shown in the photo above. Even if her +1 content was private if you searched “San Francisco Food Bank” in Google it would show on Google that she clicked the +1 button for this.

What happens when someone clicks +1 on one of your posts?

When someone +1’s your post, they are sharing it with others and recommending your company, product, service, or advice (depending on the post). This is giving your post or website page a broader reach.

4. Tagging Friends or Companies on Google+

On Facebook or Twitter you would use the “@” symbol prior to typing out a name in order to tag a user in your status or posts. On Google+, you type “+” or “@” and then the person you would like to tag. If you type “+” or “@” and start typing out a name it will auto fill it for you.

5. Post to Google+ From Your Gmail Account

When you are checking your email and come across something you would like to share, you can share it directly from your Gmail account. In the top right hand corner click “+ Share”. You can also share your post with people who don’t have Google+ by entering their email address instead.

Google+ Gmail

6. Google+ Keyboard Shortcuts

There are a number of shortcuts that can be used on Google+. Here is a cheat sheet with some of the more commonly used ones below.

Google+ Shortcuts

Tell us – are you on Google+? Are there any brands that you follow that are doing a great job engaging on Google+? If you have any questions, please ask away in the comments below!

Need help with Google+ or getting beyond the basics on Google+? Contact us for your FREE social media services quote today!

Unit next time,

Alix
Miss Mediosa – Social Media Management

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