Yesterday we had rock star Annie Lynsen of SmallAct come and teach a class about Google+, one of the new-ish social networks that many of us wonder if we should be spending time on. The anwwer is yes- and for some interesting reasons.
With any new social network, there are always the reasons that it is nice for an individual to use and then there are the reasons that it is important for an organization to use. With Google+, I definitely like the layout and interface better than Facebook, the easy sharing options, the privacy controls, and the photo albums are just gorgeous. But that doesn't mean my organization should be spending time there. Annie did a great job of explaining why it was good for organizations to be on Google+. Here were my top two takeaways:
It is Google and Google dominates the web:
Google+ interfaces beautifully with the rest of the Google products- so if your organization is already using Google, Google+ isn't a stretch. Most importantly, using Google+ appears to greatly increase your visibility in Google search (aka Search Engine Optimization). For those of us trying to drive traffic to our websites, it is hard to overstate the importance of this. Annie brought an awesome infographic that showed having a more than 100 Google+ followers causes a 14.63 rise in your Google search position. That's a big deal.
Google+ has justifiably received a great deal of attention for the hangouts feature. Essentially, this gives the users the ability to have a videoconference with up to 10 Google+ users at one time, and you can broadcast a hangout to as many people as you want. This, needless to say, is a pretty sweet feature. From virtual meetings for your far-flung staff to broadcasting a live event to all of your supporters, there is much you can do with a hangout. I bet one could even think up some very nice good donor events over a hangout. Moreover, this is free, and we definitely like free.
As always, getting on the social network and trying things out is the first and most important step. Annie included her tried and true formula for all social media success:
- Wash, Rinse Repeat
Truer words were never spoken. Annie further noted that while she thinks Google+ rocks, it is like any other marketing effort: you must do it well to be effective. That means measuring, tweaking and even doing a little planning. You know the drill.
Many thanks to Annie for the class, and we can't wait to think up another class for her to teach (or she thinks one up on her own, of course). If you have any requests, put them in the comments!