People often misunderstand Google Plus, thinking that it is merely Google’s attempt at creating their equivalent of Facebook. However there is far more to Google Plus than you might at first think. Google Plus delivers a wide range of features and functions, which provide a depth that is in many ways beyond that provided by Facebook. In addition, the tools which Google Plus provides are extremely useful to marketers. The one major drawback is that it is not especially easy for new users of the platform to understand many of the features which Google Plus provides.
To help both new and old users of Google Plus get to grips with some of these features and to utilise them as part of their marketing activities on the platform, we have provided a list of tips.
- Google Plus Embedded Posts: This is a feature which enables users of the platform to put their Google Plus posts directly onto their blog. Whenever a user posts something on Google Plus, at some point it will become lost in the news stream. However utilising Google Plus Embedded Posts enables users to resurrect these posts, as more people will be able to view this content when it is included in part of a recent blog post. Furthermore, the Google Plus posts which users add to their site are then able to accumulate +1s (the Google Plus equivalent of Facebook likes) and shares from visitors to the site.
- Google Plus Auto Awesome: This tool allows users to create GIF like animated videos, which can be created from photos and/or videos which a user has on their phone, or those which they have uploaded onto their Google Plus profile. The best part of this feature is that users do not have to create the video themselves. A user simply uploads onto Google Plus and then waits for a couple of minutes until the video has been made. To make a video is simple, download the Google Plus app onto a mobile device, then enable the Auto Backup, Auto Awesome and Auto Enhance settings.
- +Post ads: This feature enables users to amplify their content in order to increase the amount of conversations it creates on the platform. +Post ads create ads which have been based on a variety of Google Plus posts, these ads are then deployed across the whole of Google’s ad network. This feature is excellent for encouraging users of the platform to comment, join a hangout, +1 or to follow you beyond the context of the advertisement. Essentially viewers of a +Post ad do not necessarily have to be using Google Plus to interact with you and your content from the ad.
- Make use of pictures: Simply put, nothing grabs people’s attention on social media like high quality and attractive images. In this respect Google Plus has an advantage over other platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, this is because images uploaded onto Google Plus are not limited to particular resolutions and sizes. In addition, Google Plus does not resize or crop an image which has been uploaded. This allows users of the platform to take full advantage of these features by adding large amounts of uncropped and untouched visual images to their Google Plus page.
On the topic of pictures, it is a little known fact that Google Plus allows its users to use their account to store pictures from their phones. Google Plus can be used as reliable online storage for phone images, allowing users to then delete them in order to create free space on their devices. Once a user has uploaded their images onto Google Plus they are then able to enhance them, edit them or to add them to image galleries. Then users can choose to share their uploaded images with their Circles.
- Google Plus Circles: this feature allows a user to sort their audience into a number of segments around specific categories. To demonstrate, a business could create one Circle for shareholders where business-related information is shared, then the same business could create another Circle for subscribers and potential customers, where information on the latest promotions is stored.
- Format posts: This process helps users to determine which parts of a post are important. To demonstrate a user could highlight the keywords on their posts to create added emphasis by adding a “*” before and after the text in order to make it bold. In addition, a “_” can be used in order to make text italic. Utilising these formatting tools means that users are more easily able to skim read posts and discern keywords which are of relevance to them.
- Hashtag relevance: Hashtags can be utilised on Google Plus. However it is important to ensure that the right ones are used in order to ensure that the right target audience is reached. Similar to Twitter, Google Plus also has its own set of trending hashtags, this means that marketers are then able to make use of trending topics which relate to their business to improve their results.
- YouTube integration: This is an excellent way in which a page is able to reach a far wider audience than is provided by their Circles. YouTube videos can be posted into Google Plus posts. This posting method can provide twofold engagement, this is because comments which users leave on the Google Plus posts will also be posted onto the comments section of the YouTube video.
Due to the overwhelming number of functions which can be integrated with Google Plus, Google have created a social media platform which is almost completely unique. The platform provides businesses and marketers with a number of ways in which they are able to promote themselves and engage with new customers. Modern social media marketing is much more than the sporadic posting of ads across platforms. To be successful, companies need to create an online presence and drive meaningful interactions through this presence to their customers. Google Plus presents an excellent platform on which to do this.