Today, I’m happy to bring you a guest post from colleague Michael Spadaro of Profound Cloud, a fantastic IT consultancy in New York. Michael is a cloud computing expert with a particularly deep knowledge of Google Apps consulting, so I’ll let him take it from here.
Incorporating Google Plus into Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Google Plus is an oft-misunderstood social media platform. The key to unlocking the potential of Google+ is to avoid treating it as yet another social network like Facebook or LinkedIn, and learn about the unique tools it offers to help you engage with your audience. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Host Interactive Webinars Using Hangout On Air
The Hangouts feature of Google+ has developed into an impressive and shockingly cost-effective group video conferencing solution. Hangouts on Air broadcasts your conference to a live stream while also recording it for later use. While most webinars are limited to static slides and the voice of one or two presenters, Hangouts on Air allows participants to join in the conversation using real-time audio and video. It’s ideal for panel discussions and Q&A focused presentations.
For a bit of help getting started, see BetterCloud’s blog post on How to Host a Hangout on Air.
Setup Authorship for Your Blog
Google’s “authorship” feature links articles and blog posts you’ve written to your Google+ profile when they appear in search engine results. Your profile picture is also displayed alongside the article, which makes for a nice attention grabber:
Enabling Google authorship can be a bit tricky, so you’ll want to involve your web designer or social media consultant to help you if you’re queezy about the process.
Get Reviewed by Your Delighted Customers
Google+ allows you to feature reviews from your customers. Positive online reviews can be a game-changer (even if they are a double-edged sword), especially for local brick-and-mortar establishments. Similar to authorship, reviews can work wonders for your search engine results since they appear right alongside your website:
Plan an Event
Another underutilized feature of Google+ is the ability to plan and promote events. This functionality is fairly similar to planning events on Facebook, except with a cleaner, more professional-looking interface. The events you create also integrate very well into Google Calendar, so your invitees that are using Gmail or Google Apps for Business will appreciate that your event is automatically placed in their calendar when they RSVP.
Get your Whole Team Involved in the Conversation
One of the most compelling aspects of Google Plus is that it is already included in Google Apps for Business, Non-Profit, and Education. If you’re using Google Apps for e-mail and collaboration, that makes it easy to empower your entire team to use and benefit from Google Plus. If you’d like to learn more about the mobility, collaboration, and social power of the Google Apps platform, Profound Cloud can help you get started.