Platform Checklist: A Business Owner’s Guide to Google+

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 9.28.14 AMAs a business strategist, I am secretly a slow adopter to most of the latest, greatest formulas, tactics and platforms. I often opt to evaluate after the first wave passes, and work the bugs out on what my clients and I “really” need in order to support our goals and lifestyle. Google+ is a whole new world for those who’ve been immersed in the Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter core, and even more recently the additions of Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, to name a few.

My objective in this guide to Google+ post is simply to provide a framework to get you started or strengthen your presence and engagement, because if G+ is not part of your ongoing outreach, you are missing huge opportunities that impact your influence, search, and connections with brilliant leaders around the globe.

Here are a couple of reasons why you want to pay attention to this platform. Please don’t get hung up on the vocabulary or abbreviations as every platform has their lingo :):

Increased influence & ranking
Google is one of the most popular search engines in the world. Using their social media platform is only going to give them additional fodder for their algorithms affecting you and your business. Using Google+ to share valuable information and engage in meaningful conversation through your posts, comments, and +1’s triggers the ripple effect. Google tools such as Google Authorship, Google Local, YouTube and Hangouts on Air fuel the reach as well.

Cross-pollination of networks 

The culture of G+ is generous and relational. As you build your circles (G+ lingo for network or friends) you will discover brilliant leaders and contributors who can enhance you personally and professionally. To stay ahead of the curve in business and life, it is critical to tap the ambient brilliance of a person, group, or early adopter. This provides acceleration for you in ways that might not be apparent at first glance. Google + makes it easy to find communities of common interest. Warning! Don’t be stingy or overly self promotional. This platform is relational. Build trust through engagement.

Housekeeping (You have to join to start!)

  1. Create a Google Account. To have a Google Plus account you must have a Google account. Visit plus.google.com to create your account.
  2. Create your profile. This information and image will appear in your “hovercard” every time someone hovers over your name. You can change it at any time, but know it is prime marketing real estate to communicate your brand message in a way that connects with the G+ audience. Quick start: use your profile information from another platform. After you engage with others in G+, update and go!
  3. Create circles. These are simply people you want to follow or engage with over time. This has tremendous potential as you get familiar with this platform but for now, circle me +Kathie Nelson, circle +Jamie Teasdale, Propel Businessworks, or your favorite guru such as Seth Godin, Michael Hyatt, or Fast Company. I will list below others you will want to circle/follow because they are a wealth of practical information in the G+ realm.
  4. Join some communities that interest you. Notice who engages with you. Circle them. Note how individuals and communities interact. +1 the comments or posts you like. Share in your stream or in your circles. There is etiquette to this by providing attribution to the person who posts and/or originated the conversation known as tagging by +name or h/t (hat tip) to the source. Don’t get overwhelmed by this, just note every platform has social rules.

Observe & Engage

The personality of each platform is unique and G+ is no different. Each serves a distinct purpose. Your effective use will be to understand the platform and align with your business objectives. People do business with those they know, like, and trust. Google+ makes it easier to know more people and let them get to know you and your brand, which leads to trust and engagement.

I highly recommend the resources that launched my G+ experience: (Note the link with each name connects you to their G+ Page so you can circle easily.) Read their posts. Watch their videos. Most are only 30 minutes:

  • +Jason T. Wiser – Get on Track. Stay on Track.  Jason has leveraged the hangout on air platform to provide a wealth of helpful tips to the small business leader including how to use G+.
  • +Ronnie Bincer – The Hangout Helper.  Ronnie is a endless fount of information on the G+ tools. Follow this link to find more Hangout Mastery
  • +Mark Traphagen – Stone Temple Consulting.  Mark is an incredible resource on content marketing, Google authorship, influence and more.
  • Yifat CohenThe G+ “Go To” Gal delivers practical insights and connections to those in the know.

If you already have an account but had written it off I urge you to re-engage. Jump in. The water is fine!  See you on the Plus side!

By Kathie Nelson, CMC®, Business Strategist, Founder “Get Monetized Now.” Who’s Kathie? Business Strategist & Thoughtleader: Clarifying and equipping visionary leaders to monetize their brilliance! My formula: Passion+Purpose+Planning+People = Profitability & Impact:  www.GetMonetizedNow.com

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