Are you a fan of Google+ or ignoring it? It seems to be one or the other, as opposed to Facebook where there are many who simply try it out and experiment. Perhaps it seems daunting to learn yet another social media site, or you (like many) don’t think people really use Google+. But if you are a nonprofit trying to increase your reach and evangelize your mission, you can’t ignore this site. Google holds the reins on search traffic, and with Google Social Search, people are able to see their friends’ actions on Google+.
Here are some tips about the features we feel stand out the most:
You can customize and cater to your circles by organizing which ones will be able to view your stream. You can even use Google+ circles to filter calls with Google Voice.
These can be thought of as a group video chat – take advantage of this tool by using it to host exclusive chats with volunteers or clients. According to mashable.com Tammy Gordon, AARP‘s director of social communication and strategy, hopes to commence their 9/11 day of service with an inspiring speech from a celebrity ambassador in a hangout.
The huddle feature is available on Google+’s iPhone app. Using this group texting feature you can get in touch with a group by the name you gave it, email address or circle.
Currently, you are not able to schedule posts to Google+ ahead of time from Hootsuite or Ping.fm, but there are companies that will do this (Karma411 has added this service). Google+ has been rolling out new features often it may be in the near future.
The content that you share on Google+ should provide some type of value. Tell the story of your cause and find ways to engage people with news items, events, featuring sponsors and honorees, and highlighting triumph stories where possible. You can also customize your Google+ profile further by adding a photo banner with this tool. Interact with your Google+ community by posing questions, and be sure to respond to your followers by +1′ing, mentioning (simply type the ‘+’ sign before a name), and commenting on posts.
In an interview on Social Media Examiner, Guy Kawasaki, the original Macintosh evangelist and author of What the Plus! states “I fell in love with Google+ because of the ability to edit posts, the more elegant user interface and the quality of comments… I think it’s a better social networking platform than the competition.”
If you have yet to join and explore the Google+ platform, try dipping a toe in the water rather than cannon-balling into the relatively new network. Discuss the platform in team meetings, and ask members to log the time that they spend on the site to try and gauge the potential it has to improve your social strategy.
Have you joined Google+? How do you think it compares to other networks?