Understanding the Value of Google Plus:
Google + adds a social layer for your search experience with Google and is a hub for all of the main free services that Google offers. While Facebook is just a social media platform built from the ground up, Google is the main information resource on the Web. Google+ interfaces fully with your Google search experience to give you more personalized information when searching. Google+ is like the personal hub for all of Google’s core resources and they keep giving you more and more business resources as an incentive to join Google Plus.
Signing Up for Google Plus:
Where do you start? By getting or using your personal Gmail account and signing up for a Google Plus Personal Profile by going to http://local.google.com and click “Put your business on Google Maps”. Another way is to go to: http://Google.com/places and click “Get started for free”. See my video: http://bit.ly/googleplussignupvideo and text version: http://bit.ly/googleplussignuptext
Connecting to people:
After you’ve signed up, the next thing you need to do is locate some people and add them to Circles. This is how you organize people that you connect to on Google Plus. You want to make sure to add a photo and public description so people can find you. When you find someone you then add them to a circle you created and they will be notified to decide if they want to add you back to a circle. They won’t know the name of the circle you added them to, just as you will not know what name they added you to. You get notifications in the upper right corner of the screen found as a red box with a number in it. The number represents the number of unread messages.
When you group people into these circles you are creating groups that you can share relevant content with. For example, your spouse may not be interested in your conversations you have with people at work. So when you share something or start a conversation, only include your Co-worker’s circle. The rest of your circles will not know that that conversation exists. Video on how to find and add someone to a Circle: http://bit.ly/findingpeopleingoogleplus
Getting your Business on the Map with Google Plus Local (which used to be Google Places):
Google Plus Local and Google Plus Business Pages are useful tools that can help your business show up better in local search results.
Google Places is now Google + Local, an upgrade introduced by Google in 2012. Google redesigned the Google Places page to look more like a Google Plus page, and renamed it Google Plus Local, ultimately to combine your Google Map listing (Google Places) with the social connection of your Google Plus page.
I recommend setting up or claiming your Google Plus Local page first so you may show up on Google directories, and use this same Gmail account to do it. See my video for setting up a Google+ Local page if you have no listing in Google Maps: http://bit.ly/googlepluslocalsetup and http://bit.ly/googlepluselocal2.
With Google Plus, businesses can now create social pages on Google Plus, called Google Plus for Business — they are comparable to Facebook business Pages. You set this up from your Google Plus personal page. If you then verify the address, Google may link it to your Google Plus Local page. If linked it will let you have your review, pictures, YouTube channel, and posts all in the same place. Here is a link to an example of where that occurred. Notice the review, posts and big picture vs. just map at the top: http://bit.ly/bigmillgpluspage. Video on how to set up a Google+ business page: http://bit.ly/googleplusbusinesspage.
Hangout is a way to have video chats with up to 10 people:
Try having a Hangout. Hangouts allow you to have group video conversations with people in your circles, or simply have a private video call with one person. There is even a screen sharing feature so that you can show people your screen while you are talking to them, or have them show you theirs. You can also have what are called “hangouts on-air” that broadcast over YouTube and are recorded on YouTube at the same time. This opens up the possibility for everyone with a Google Plus access, a microphone and web camera to broadcast live to the world. https://plus.google.com/u/0/hangouts
This is like LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups and a bit like on-line forums that have been around for years. For some reason Google did not integrate Google’s own Groups into Google Plus but created something new. It is a place to discuss similar topics with other Google plus members. You can have a public or private community and set up “categories” for sub discussions in the communities. I have set up a number of communities, as anyone can, called Q&A for Small Businesses. Join this one and say Hi: http://bit.ly/qana4smallbusiness Also I have a community called Google+ for small businesses: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/111888324672910373642
Google Authorship – if you want to be known as an expert in your field:
Google Authorship is what gets peoples’ faces to show up when you search about some information on-line. It is a way to let Google know you are contributing to one WordPress blog or many so your posts will be organized together. The basic concept is that you will add the web URL of your blog to your Google Plus profile and then a web link in your blog pointing back to your Google Plus personal profile. This can only be set up from your Google Plus personal profile, not your Google Plus business page. A link to Google Help on how to set it up: https://plus.google.com/authorship
Be active: +1 things you find interesting. Make comments if you have a thought to share. Do this within the Google+ interface and on all other websites where you see a +1 button. Share that content with the relevant circles and contribute to communities.
Google Chrome has more apps that work with Google Plus:
Switch to Google Chrome, there are a number of great apps you can add on to enhance your Google+ experience as well as a number of other cool feature.
Get the Google App for Android or iPhone and use it:
Download the Google+ app to your Android or iPhone. If you have an android phone and take pictures, feel free to turn on auto upload but disable auto publishing your photos. You can go back later to share them with relevant circles. Unfortunately, the iPhone app does not allow auto-upload. In the app, check out the Messenger feature. This will allow you to chat with those in your circles while you are away from your desk.
See my latest blog post on ProNetworkingOnLine.com for more tips on using Google Plus and the mind-map:
Learn more! Join Martin Brossman, Greg Hyer by looking us up on Google + by name. Martin Brossman at: Brossmanongp.com
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Martin Brossman 919 847-4757, Martin@CoachingSupport.com ProNetworkingOnLine.com (919) 847-4757
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