How Nonprofits Can Take Advantage Of Google+

How Nonprofits Can Take Advantage Of Google+

When it comes to social media marketing, Twitter, Facebook, and visually focused social networks Google+ might one of the most under-rated marketing platforms out there. This is perhaps because there are so many different ways to connect, communicate, and interact on the service – the sheer number of options can be overwhelming. But the social proof of being popular on Google+ makes it worth the effort – especially for a nonprofit.

The Google+ Suite Of Tools

In addition to the standard capabilities for your brand to share content, links, images, and post status updates, there are some unique tools available with Google+ that can be particularly useful for charities and other nonprofits. For instance, Hangouts let you chat with your customers in real time, live on webcam – perfect for volunteer training, community brainstorming, and showing off your hard work. Google Events allow for a direct connection to their Calendars, and it is super easy for users to sign up for your mailing list (especially since they are already logged into their Gmail accounts if they are interacting with your company on Google+ to begin with).

Easy Connections Using Google+

Chances are, you already have a Google account for your nonprofit that you use in some way, shape, or form – Google’s myriad business services are downright ubiquitous. You probably have a gmail account, a business listing in Google Places, or you use Google Drive to create and store documents. And chances are your target audience does as well, so there’s no need for them to sign up for yet another social network in order to interact with you – the low barrier to entry increases the likelihood of engagement.

Simplify Your Content Sharing Process

Another one of the benefits of using Google+ is the ability to easily disseminate content across the various Google platforms – and beyond, if you choose to link your other social media outlets with your Google presence. This may seem like a minor and even unnecessary detail, but the less time you have spend on basic promotional activities, the more time you and your team can devote to coming up with new concepts and ideas.

The Myriad Benefits Of Using Google+

At the end of the day, social media marketing is all about self promotion – whether you are working for a nonprofit or any other type of company. Google+ can allow you to effectively create a cohesive central content hub that you can post to any time of the day (and studies have shown there is really no ideal time to post on the platform – users connect with Google throughout the day and night. In addition, unlike other social networks, Google+ is all about driving traffic to your website instead of keeping users on their own site, and there could be SEO benefits to using it as well – Google may reward companies that actively use their services.

 Real World Connections Are The Focus

Unlike many other social media sites, Google+ is likely to be linked to your real name, your nonprofit or company’s name, and your brand’s and online presence in a unique way – which means it can strengthen your business contacts in a powerful way.

It is statistically likely that many of your current fans and prospective audience members have Google accounts that they actively use, since after all, anyone who has a Gmail or any other kind of a Google account automatically is on Google+, regardless of whether they use it. Therefore, it can be an easy way to build your connection with your existing audience and develop new leaders.

Getting The Most Out Of Google+

Like any other social network, successfully using Google+ requires a thorough understanding of the platform. There are plenty of resources available – both from Google itself (they have an excellent support community) and from third party sites that offer tips and tricks specifically tailored to the nonprofit realm.

Overall, Google+ can be an excellent way for nonprofits to amplify their mission, and it lacks the amount of “noise” that can be found on more popular networks. Google+ is what you (and every user) makes of it – so make the most of it!

 

5 Things Small Businesses Can do Everyday to Crush it on Google+

5 Things Small Businesses Can do Everyday to Crush it on Google+

Google owns the worlds biggest search engine, so it only makes sense that being active on their social network will help your articles rank higher and be seen more in searches. If you aren’t using your Google+ page, your business is leaving some opportunities (and money) on the table!

I’ve highlighted 5 simple tasks that you can do daily to ensure your content and brand’s reach is maximized. None of these take large budgets or a big staff, but they do take dedication and commitment to building your community across your circles.

I hope you find the tasks below to be a valuable addition to your Google+ strategy. For more Google+ tips, you can download our free Google+ chapter from the ModMark Book, Get Social – The Ultimate Online Marketing Guide For Social Good: Google+ Chapter

5 Daily tasks to optimize your reach on Google+

  1. Respond to all comments and notifications

Start your morning by going through all of the comments and notifications from the previous day. You’re responsible for facilitating the conversation on your page, and encouraging people to engage with your brand. Your brand wants to be seen as responsive, so you should design your page to be the hub for discussion! Follow up their comments with questions and work to find the information to help your followers and establish yourself as an influencer in the industry.

  1. Share engaging content

Post content that encourages your community to comment, share and +1. You want your posts to be informative, educational, entertaining and something that visually catches your circle’s eyes when they are scrolling their feed.

  1. Share 2 – 3 posts from your connections/ influencers

In addition to sharing your own content, share great content from your connections. You want to establish your Google+ page as a go-to destination for your community to get up-to-date news for your industry and the top tips and best practices to succeed.

By sharing out other influencers content, you are building your relationship with them online. Ideally, they will also share your best content with their community, helping it spread further.

  1. Comment on 5 – 6 other posts

You not only want to share content, you want to engage with it. Find the people on Google+ who are discussing similar topics and are involved in the industry to connect with. Click on the Explore tab to find the trending hashtags and get involved with one or two of the most popular conversations of the day.

  1. Network with new groups/influencers

Under the Home drop down option on your Google+ page, click the Communities section. Once there, you can find groups specific to your industry to join. Instead of joining 10 groups and being minimally involved, pick out 2 – 3 very active groups and plan to actively join the conversation in these.

You can search for different groups on the communities page. Before simply clicking join without knowing anything about the group, do a quick assessment and see if it fits with your brand’s goals.

What to look for in a group

  1. The number of active members and posts will let you know not only how popular the group is but if the members are consistently contributing content
  2. Next, I click into the group and check for when the last post was posted. Some will say 8:30 that morning, others the last post won’t have been for over three months. If this is the case you don’t want to plan to join a group that hasn’t posted for three months because there won’t be that strong community to connect with.
  3. Read through the About the Community section. Here is where they have the rules and layout of the group. This will only further confirm this is a type of group you want to be involved in.
  4. Finally scan the feed and different sections in the group. Read through the posts and see what people are talking about and how they are sharing their content. Check for comments, shares and plus ones (+1), which will tell you if you do decide to engage with this group you will see good activity on your posts.

These 5 simple tasks won’t overwhelm your day. They take less than 30 minutes every morning and will help launch your Google+page off to a strong start. Keep blogging and creating great content to share out – and use your Google+s page and community to get your content seen by more people.

I want to end this by putting out a 30 day challenge to each small business reading this. Together let’s challenge ourselves to complete the 5 tasks above every day for 30 days. Get in the conversation, join relevant groups and build relationships through the great content you are posting and sharing out. Track your websites analytics and continue to adjust your strategy accordingly. Tweet us at @modmarkgroup and let us know how the 30 days drives traffic to your organization!

For more pro tips on how to crush it on Google+, be sure to download our free Google+ chapter from the ModMark Book, Get Social – The Ultimate Online Marketing Guide For Social Good: Google+ Chapter

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