Google+ is a social networking platform owned by Google. It comes integrated with every google account and is a great way to join communities with similar interests and share information using posts and videos. From a business standpoint, you can use this to find the right kind of groups that your business would target and you can directly interact with your audience.
Unlike other social media platforms, Google+ offers a lot of different features all in one. With Google hangouts, events, circles and communities you can reach your audience in many different ways all through the same medium. On top of this, being active on your google+ account will in turn boost your SERP ranking which isn’t possible with other social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Circles – In here you can share information about your business with different groups throughout Google+
Posts – This is how you can update people on your business.
Hangouts – You can have video and group chats with up to 10 people, with the ability to share files.
Events – A great way to let people know about your events, in which they can easily add it to their Google calendar.
First of all, you will want to create a personal profile for Google+. This is an individual’s account so everything you post on here is private as default. The more information you add here the easier it will be for people to get in contact with you and understand your interests. This account should be for anyone to contact you directly, anything you want to post about your business publicly should be on your Google+ business page.
To create your profile follow these steps:
- Create a new Gmail account. It is best to create a new one for your business that you can then give other people access to in future.
- Open Google+
- On the left-hand side, you will see the navigation menu. Click “Join Google+”
4. Fill out the info and click “create profile”.
5. Head to the “about me” section of your profile and you can add in the rest of the information.
The business page is where you would add your Google maps listing. This is managed in a separate dashboard called “Google My Business”.
The steps here are pretty simple and once you’ve filled out all the necessary information, you can begin using the google+ business page. One of the main features that this page has that your personal profile has is the customer reviews section. This is a great way to gain trust for business and you can interact with your customers by replying to their reviews.
Now your profile is set up, you’ll see more options available on the left-hand side navigation.
Home – A list of posts from other people that are based on your interests.
Collections – These are posts that have been grouped together under certain categories. You can follow collections to keep up to date with certain people and topics.
Communities – This is a group of people that have got together due to having similar interests, you can join these to share your own information or create your own.
Profile – Here is where we can further edit the Google+ account with photos etc.
People – You can view your followers and who you are following from this tab, it’s a good indication on which people you can begin chats and communities with.
Events – This section allows you to create events, which you can then invite people to. These invite will automatically appear in their email calendars
Notifications – You’ll be notified about any activity to do with your Google+ account.
Settings – Everything to do with your account privacy is in here, from who can view your posts to enabling comments is all in your settings tab. You can also share your location from this area.
Feedback – You can send feedback to Google to help them improve the service
Help – It’s worth checking out this area if you find yourself needing help to understand an aspect of Google+.
Creating circles is a good way to share information to the right people. Everyone within a circle can write posts, upload images and videos etc which can be used for a number of different reasons. For example, you may want to set one up for a family so they can share photos about their holidays. You could also set up a circle for colleagues in a workplace to help them communicate which each other a lot easier.
To add someone to a circle, follow these steps.
- Head to the people tab.
- Go to your following section and click on the add circle button at the bottom of the screen.
- Name your circle and click create
- Now click on any of the people you want to follow to add them to your circle.
You can also remove people from your circle easily by clicking on their profile and unchecking the circle that they are in.
This page helps you sent out invites for an event you have coming up. If the people you are inviting to the event are using Gmail, then your event will slot into their calendar instantly.
It’s possible to add everyone from one of your circles and communities with a few clicks. You can also set the visibility of the event to be public meaning that anyone can search for your event and find out the info.
Those who’ve been invited have the ability to let you know whether they’ll be able to attend the event. Once someone has confirmed they are going to attend they can add photos and videos which will be shared amongst the other attendees. If you decide to make any changes to your event such as the time and date etc, Google events will then notify those invited by email.
Hangouts is a feature on Google+ that allows you to chat with people using text and video chats similar to those on other social media platforms. Hangouts allow for you to chat with up to 10 people at the same time, with the ability to share files with each other such as photos and videos.
“Hangouts on Air” is the ability to make a live video feed similar to Facebook and Youtube live streaming. This feature requires you to have a youtube account to use it, which can easily be created with the same Google account. Once the video is finished, you can then go in and edit it, and upload onto youtube.
Using Hangouts for your business is a great way to keep constant communication between your colleagues.
Creating a Post
Creating a post is just like creating one on Facebook, you can have a mixture of text and images which will then appear on your profile. Sharing your post will cause it to appear on their homepage news feed. Any posts that you create will be open to comments, likes and shares unless you choose otherwise in the settings area of Google+.
- It’s very easy to create a post, first open up your Google+ and select the option that says “What’s new with you?” straight from the google+ home page.
- Write your post, you can use both images and text in here and you can paste text from other areas into it. With this kind of work, you need to work harder than most.
- Choose who will be able to see your post with privacy settings. As a default, your post will be set to public but you can change this to only people within your circles or just you alone.
- Click on the right-hand corner to either allow or disable people commenting on or sharing your post
- You can use some of the other features in the post if you’d like, such as posting your current location, inserting a link or creating an online poll.
- Click on the “post” button (This option is also available to whoever you tagged in the post).
Once your post is live you can make changes to it at any time and you can easily delete it with a few clicks.
The notifications tab in Google+ will let you know about anything related to your post, circles, groups etc. You can set up this alert on your email address so that your phone can let you know that some activity has taken place. First I reckon that you should work it out. This kind of thing can come in especially handy if someone posts something that is considered offensive as you can choose to just remove the content straight away and block the user.
To change what kind of notifications you get, head to the “Settings” tab. In here is where you can choose which actions you receive email alerts for. As you can see above, if you expand any of the main categories you can enable/disable each of the options.
On top of this, you can be notified of not only your own posts but other peoples that are within the same circles as you. This allows you to constantly be in the loop as much as or as little as you want.
Deleting your Account
In the case that you want to delete your Google account, you have to head to the settings section. Now bare in mind that if you choose to do this, all of your accounts data including any posts you’ve made will be deleted permanently.
To remove your account:
- Head to the “Settings” tab
- Scroll down to the bottom and click on “Delete your Google+ Profile“
- This will bring up a window asking you to enter your password.
- Once you’ve done this you’ll have one last chance to read over what will happen when the account is deleted.
- Click “Delete”
Google+ is a social platform that is a little different from the rest, while it may not be quite as popular as other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter it still has its place for businesses especially. The integration with Google places etc makes this a must have for any business looking to increase their presence online. The ability to interact with your audience and customers directly makes it a great avenue to advertise and promote your business.