Many of you have inquired about the hot new social networking platform, “Google+”. Is it just like Facebook? Will it be around a year from now? Should I use Google+ for personal branding? I brought in an expert to answer questions about this new tool!
Guest Blog Post
By Deb Krier, The SociaLight
In June 2011, Google launched its foray into the world of social media. Named simply Google+, this is actually Google’s third (some even say fourth) attempt to have a presence in the social media realm. With 800 million people already on Facebook, 135 million on LinkedIn and over 200 million on Twitter, one has to wonder why Google is even trying this…and more importantly, why we, as potential users, should care!
One word: BRANDING! Google is still the #1 search engine and will probably remain so for quite some time. When someone searches in Google, the top results tend to come from its own properties (Google Profiles, YouTube and so on). So, by being on Google+, your information will come up higher in a search.
Now, I know you’re probably thinking “One more social media site? I don’t have time for the ones I’m on now!”
I understand…and I feel your pain! I’ve been on Google+ since July and I have to admit that my favorite is still Facebook. However, I also recognize the importance of having a presence on Google+ due to those three big words: Search Engine Optimization—or SEO for short.
It’s easy to get started on Google+. You just have to have a gmail account. You are required to use your own name, which of course you want to do for branding purposes!
From there, it’s easy to get started—and you’ll probably see many similarities to other social media sites. You can write a brief description—a headline—about yourself. Give this some thought to really make sure you have great keywords. In website terms, the headline is your meta description…make it count!
The introduction is a great place to “introduce yourself” to everyone who views your profile. Again, fill it with rich keywords, telling a brief story about why someone should want to connect with you.
You can add links to your other social media sites as well as your website. Profiles can have five photos (in addition to a primary photo) and you can fill in as much…or as little…additional information as you want to.
Businesses can also have Google+ pages. They don’t have as much functionality—yet—as personal pages, but it’s a good idea to set up your business page, even if all you’re doing is providing a brief amount of info and directing readers to your website.
Google+ has a couple of other neat features including Hangout where up to 10 people can video chat directly through Google+. Great for friends, family…and business associates. You can also edit posts at any point after you’ve written them and you can include some basic formatting including italics and bold.
I don’t post on Google+ as often as I do on Facebook, but I do try to post at least once a day. One key thing to remember in posting is to have great keywords because Google will index your public posts and they’re searchable!
Even if you don’t want to jump headfirst into Google+, it’s a good idea to have at least a basic presence there. As I said, it comes back to branding—and it’s vital to have your information, in the way you want it to appear—on the biggest search engine on the Internet.
Thoughts? Comments? Please feel free to respond below!