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!