One of the top social media networks (second only to Facebook!), Google Plus is a networking powerhouse for businesses! For many, Google Plus is seen as more serious than Facebook but friendlier and easier to use than the other business oriented platform, aka LinkedIn.
The importance of reaching your customers and your key connections via a variety of social media platforms (as well as your website and email) was illustrated earlier this year when the Pew Research Center released results of a study on social media usage.
The surprising finding in their study was that more than half of Facebook members in the US reported having taken breaks from this popular social platform. While it might be the most popular platform, it's the one people are most likely to get frustrated with when it changes.
Clearly, having all of your social media eggs in one platform's basket is a recipe for disaster! Making sure you're using Google Plus for networking and reaching your ideal customer can help you weather changes in social media usage patterns.
If you're not familiar with how to use Google Plus for networking, let me help you get familiar with the various ways you can use this key social media platform to connect with thought leaders in your industry and boost your own reputation at the same time.
How to Use Google Plus As Your Networking Secret Weapon
#1 – Complete Your Profile
It's first on the list for a reason – it's one of the "low hanging fruit" for better networking online, and a surprising number of people don't do it! Make sure your profile is complete, that you've included relevant keywords naturally in every section, and that you've included URLs connecting to your site where appropriate.
#2 – Get Your Vanity Profile
Rumor has it that Google Plus will eventually neaten up their URL structure for profiles, but in the meantime, head over to GPlus.to and get a URL for your profile that's much easier to remember, much less give out to others.
#3 – Use Circles Strategically
If you're new to Google Plus networking, this is a perfect time to build your Circles with some thought. Circles are the Google Plus answer to friend and follower lists on other platforms – they're how you organize all of the people you're connected with.
Take some time to name your Circles in a way that makes sense (Friends, Family, Colleagues, Prospects, Customers, Potential Team Members, etc.) so you can fine tune your networking and marketing efforts appropriately. Not to mention that it also allows you to post those crazy vacation pictures for your close friends without your boss or coworkers seeing them.
#4 – Search Google Plus To Find Great, Relevant Content To Share
One of the ways to increase your influence is to share content in your niche. It's best when it's awesome content you've created, but curating a collection of great content in your field is also a great way to be seen as a thought leader in your niche. You'll find as people share your original and curated content, you'll be added to their circles more and more often.
#5 – Use Google Hangouts To Host Group Chats
People love to truly connect with others, and a Google Hangout is an easy and free way to host a live chat on a topic in your niche. And – here's a bonus – it's recordable, too.
Using Google Plus for a networking edge couldn't be simpler. Which ideas will you implement in the next 10 days? Do any of them confuse or scare you? Leave a comment – would love to hear from you!