December 5, 2011

4 awesome ways to create content with Google Plus

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, cause organizations, businesses, brands, social media managers, Web publishers, bloggers, individuals.

John HaydonLately, I’ve been using Google Plus as a way to find, collect and create content.

Here are some examples of what I’ve been doing — I’d love to hear your thoughts on these uses for Google Plus.

Search

search-GooglePlus

The search features in Google Plus are extremely robust. You can search public posts, posts shared with you, personal profiles (the parts that are public or shared with you), Pages and Sparks.

You can even use Google’s Search Operators when searching Google Plus. This allows you to fine-tune the results and save time.

When you do a search on Google Plus, you can also save the search in your left sidebar, under “What’s Hot.”

Discover

A common way to use Circles is to categorize people you follow based on their area of expertise. I have a circle that includes nonprofit techies, where I’ve discovered useful articles, ideas and discussions.

What makes using Circles different from using search is that Circles allows for off-topic discoveries that could never happen with “pre-meditated” searches. Continue reading

December 1, 2011

The difference between Google Plus Pages & Profiles

GooglePlusPages
Image by AK Foto for Big Stock

How to make sense of Google Plus for organizations and individuals

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, cause organizations, businesses, brands, social media managers, Web publishers, individuals.

John HaydonNow that you have Google Plus Page for your nonprofit, I thought it would be helpful to explain the difference between Google Plus Pages and Profiles. Google Plus Profiles and Business Pages have similar differences that Facebook Profiles and Pages have.

These differences can be summarized as having to do with issues of privacy and normal social boundaries you’d expect between a business entity and a person.

For example, it’s perfectly acceptable for you to like a pizza shop, but kind of creepy if a pizza shop likes you. With that in mind, here’s a quick rundown of the differences between a profile and a page:

  • Pages are for businesses, brands, organizations and public figures; profiles are for people.
  • Pages can’t add people to circles until the page is added first or mentioned.
  • The default privacy setting for elements on your Business Page is public.
  • Pages have the +1 button (similar to Facebook Page’s like button), profiles don’t.
  • Profiles can +1 Business Pages and any content on the Web with a +1 button, Business Pages can’t.
  • Profiles can mention people in comments, Pages can only mention people who’ve already added or mentioned them.
  • Profiles can play games, Business Pages can’t.
  • Pages don’t have the option to share to Extended circles.
  • Pages don’t receive notifications via email, text or in the Google bar – yet.
  • Pages can’t start or join hangouts – yet.
  • Pages have no analytics module – yet.

I’m curious now how you’ve been using your Google Plus Business Page, and would love to hear your awesome tip or insight.

Share a link to your Google Plus Page in the comments below.

Related
November 29, 2011

Tips for your nonprofit to succeed with Google Plus business pages

mind map

Steps for making the most of the newest social network from Google

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, cause organizations, businesses, brands, social media managers, Web publishers, individuals.

John HaydonLast week I had the privilege of hanging out with Marc Pitman and Nathan Hand on Google Plus. At one point Nathan put a challenge on the table for the three of us to write a post about Google Plus Pages during the Hangout.

What follows is my version of the original document we collaborated on. Marc’s version is here and Nathan’s version is here.

A couple of months ago when Google Plus originally came out, a lot of people were hesitant to join because Google Plus didn’t offer business pages. But now that Google Plus business pages are available, the big question is: Now what?

Now, there are two different kinds of people asking “now what?”:

  1. People who’ve been using Google Plus for months trying to understand how to use Pages strategically. These folks have already spent a few months creating circles, finding interesting conversations and figuring out how to use the technology.
  1. People who know nothing about Google Plus. These folks are trying to figure out what hangouts are.

Continue reading

November 18, 2011

First impressions of Google+ Pages for nonprofits

Google Plus pages

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A look at the significance of Google+ Pages for brands

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, businesses, social media managers, Web publishers, individuals.

Debra AskanaseGoogle+ launched Pages last week, a move many of us have been looking forward to since the launch of Google+ itself. Within days, stories of unintentional G+ personal posting, problems sharing admin oversight, and issues with merged profiles were shared on the web. However, during that same time frame, hundreds of nonprofit organizations worldwide created and launched Google+ brand pages.

Google+ Pages are little SEO beacon lights

Two nonprofit motivations are apparent. A primary motivation seems to be related to search engine optimization: Google is the largest search engine by far, and Google Pages will certainly benefit from Google’s search algorithm (see why). I wrote that Google’s+1 button will change search, and so will Google+ Pages. The second motivation seems to be that everyone wants to get in on Google+ Pages early enough to start figuring out the medium. And maybe get a head start.

Does using Google+ Pages makes sense for your nonprofit?

Strategy: Think strategically about what the conversation should be about on Google+, how you might use Google+ to meet your SMART goals, and how it will help your organization further its mission.

In her blog post, Beth Kanter suggests that nonprofits might want to think about strategic ways to use their Google+ Pages, such as for community cultivation or as a focus group. Are you a resource-driven organization? Make your page the “go-to” resource. Are you an advocacy organization? Engage with your G+ Page fans, find out why they are so passionate about your nonprofit or a cause, and move them to action. Are you a volunteer organization? Make this the place where people share volunteer opportunities and experiences. Have fun thinking about Google+ features, your own objectives, and how you can use those to meet your goals! Continue reading