Google Plus is a social network just like Facebook or Twitter… in fact it has many similarities with those two services that we’ll talk about in a minute. But know this going in…. best practices still apply the same as they do on Facebook, Twitter, email or even in personal interaction with your fans. Share fresh, relevant, engaging, interesting content and then respond and interact with your community to build your relationship with them. That’s the goal here. Build relationships to get people to support your team. If you’re a business owner,… you want to build a relationship with your prospects and your customers. People like to do business with their friends. And people like to support teams with whom they have a relationship. That’s human nature. Don’t make social networking something other than that.
OVERVIEW (Part 1 of 3)
Google+ is similar in a lot of ways to Facebook but has one major key difference.
It allows you to segment your friends and community much more efficiently than Facebook. You can do this on Facebook but it’s just not as intuitive as Google+ has made it through their use of “Circles”. You can easily add people to one more circles through a simple drag and drop feature.
Google Plus has some similarities to Twitter in that you can “Follow” someone. That is, you don’t have to be friends with them to see what they’re posting and talking about. Facebook has recently reacted to this by allowing you to subscribe to a persons feed.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR GOOGLE PLUS PROFILE AND PAGE (Part 2 of 3)
There will be tons of back and forth and there already is. If you’re a marketer or just follow social technology, then you’ve already begun to see the competition spurring new features– many of them copy cat features.
Google Plus Pages
Google has just recently their version of the Facebook Page. To be clear, Facebook gives you the opportunity to have a:
- Profile- for you the person
- Page- for your business or org— in this case, your team.
- Group– which is a bit more of a defined group of people that are in a community.
ADVANCED GOOGLE PLUS PAGES FOR TEAMS (Part 3 of 3)
Pages are best for teams and businesses looking to leverage Facebook. Groups are more for internal communication amongst a group of people centered around a specific topic or defined community.
Similarly, now, you can create your Google profile and THEN create your organizations page
Personally, I believe that had Google and Facebook launched together today, Google would win. Facebook is a more mature social network and has market share. It’s where your fans are. But they’ll be on Google+ more and more. Anyone that has a Gmail account, uses Google Calendar or Google Docs or even Blogger (Google’s blogging application) already has a Google account. They just have to create your personal profile to have a Google+ account. Then you can “Follow” your favorite teams Google+ page, just like you follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook. But Google+ pages have some unique differences. We’ll talk about those after we talk about how to create the account.
Note- Facebook pages allow you to have multiple admins. Google is working on allowing multiple administrators of pages but has not released this yet (as of this writing). So, for now you’ll just have one admin– or you can give the login/pwd to others to allow them to login. For now, that’s a limiting factor so I recommend having a community Google account that allows others to post to it.
Create Your Google Plus Profile by going to Google.com and clicking on the +You icon. Follow the directions (or watch the video).
Now that the account is created, let’s dive into some features…
First, how do you get fans… or “Followers” as they’re called on Google+? Here’s what I did first… I created my Page and posted the link to it on my Facebook page and tweeted it! So far my Facebook and Twitter accounts haven’t imploded so I guess Mark Zuckerberg and Biz Stone are cool with it. I suggest that you do this periodically. Fans can also find you via your badge on your website. You can also include it in your next email blast and add the link to your page in your email signature.
Video chat is the big differentiation with Google+. Google calls their video chat feature “Hangouts”. They enable teams to engage with fans through video conference calls. Up to 9 people can video conference at once- this could be your coaching staff holding a public round-table talking about the team. This could be an interview with a star athlete or even an open discussion with your most supportive and passionate fans or alumni. Then you can broadcast it to the world for all to watch live!
A few other things to note. On Facebook you can use Facebook as your page. You can do that on Google+ but you can’t actually interact with other pages and people as your page. For example, you can’t +1 (Google’s version of the “like”) other pages or other content on the web.
Google + pages can’t even “at mention” a person unless that person is following the page. A “mention” is when, on Facebook, you type the @ symbol and start typing a page or person and it shows up as a link. You can do that on Google+ as a person (profile) and as a page… but you can only do it as a page when that person is following your page. (Try it and you’ll see what I’m talking about).
Also, you should note, when using Google+ as your page, you can’t follow someone unless they follow you first.
You can’t receive any notifications via email or text. I have a feeling that this may change down the road.
If you’re interested in being found, for example, if you’re a business, Google Plus has tremendous SEO (search engine optimization) benefits. First, if you’ve completed the Direct Connect (adding the script from Google to your website) then someone can easily find your Google+ page by searching your business with a plus before it. This is only available for a handful of major businesses but I think they’ll roll it out to all pages soon. Second, when someone pluses your content or page, similar to “liking” Facebook content, then you’re looked at by Google as more reputable and will show up higher in the search rankings. Google is a search engine- Faceobook is not. Because of this, Google’s search will become more based on what people really like.
My philosophy is that you need to make it easy for fans to be fans. Be where they are and build relationships with them. Google Plus is going to become a very important means of doing this. Get started sooner rather than later. Remember how you held off for years before creating your Facebook page? Don’t be left in the dust this time!
Take action today. Creat a Google Plus Page for your sports team!
Note: Registration is open (and limited) for the next webinar. Special guest and leading expert Jeff Janssen will be sharing his secrets for building better team leaders that are responsible team leaders and earn the respect of their teammates. Register now!