How Marketers Can Use G+ (with a Special Nod to Hangouts)
Google Austin and Social Media Club Austin teamed up for a Google+ Tech Talk hosted by Google at its north Austin office. Jon Ray, Field Marketing Lead at Google, dove in to Google+ and answered questions from the SMCAustin audience of digital marketers, social media enthusiasts and SMB owners.
Here’s a storify summary of tweets during the talk.
Jon covered a number of topics, but I’ll focus on his ideas on how marketers can harness the power of Google Plus:
- With Google’s new personalized search, ”Search, Plus Your World“, items in Google+ get featured more prominently in search results. So take time to flesh out your G+ profile and page for improved visibility. Side note: SEOMoz has a great post on Why Every Marketer Now Needs a Google+ Strategy.
- Add value to conversations in Google+ to help prospects, show your expertise, establish thought leadership, etc. Chris Brogan calls this “posting in the stream” and it’s your standard no-sell, give-before-you-get social media best practice. The twist is that with Google+, the conversations have a longer shelf life and are searchable. Plus, as Robert Scoble mentions and as Jon said, verticals and interest groups will soon begin to flourish on G+, providing more opportunities to engage with like-minded people.
- Make use of hangouts. This easy-to-use 10-person video chat is a powerful feature. Consider making a key person such as your CEO or CTO available for a Q&A hangout. Jon said the press release alone could generate media buzz.
- Do something that’s never been done before. Singer-songwriter Daria Musk was the first person to do a hangout concert. She now has half a million fans who’ve circled her and she’s released a Google+ Hangout album.
Because Jon promoted hangouts as one of the most important features of Google+, I thought up a few ideas on how to use hangouts and “hangouts with extras” as a marketer:
- Silos that should be working together (email marketing and social media folks, for example) could more easily communicate.
- Community managers could have a weekly “meet and greet” hangout for an hour with their community. Fans and followers can see who they’re engaging with, which should lead to more solid connections and loyal customers.*
- With the Google Docs and screensharing features of hangouts with extras, marketers could collaborate more effectively on various deliverables such as proposals, white papers, slide sets, editorial calendar, etc.
- SaaS marketers, engineers and support people could more easily get up close and personal with end users by using the screensharing feature in hangouts with extras.
- Marketers could “feed the content beast” with hangout recordings on YouTube.
Jon mentioned that creative marketers will be the ones to dream up interesting and effective use cases for Google+. Challenge accepted.
For reference, here are some very informative Google+ posts:
- Social Media Examiner’s How to Hold a Google+ Hangout and Why You Should
- Chris Brogan’s Start Now on Google Plus
- E-book from Hubspot: Free Guide: How to Use Google+ for Business
- Social Media Examiner’s 3 Successful Google+ Pages and Why They Work
Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet with Google+, it’s time to become more active with it. Many thanks to Jon and the Google Austin team for a fun and informative evening!
*Most Facebook users don’t have a Google+ account, and as of now, hangouts with extras does allow you to invite them by phone. (I couldn’t find out whether G+ allows you to post a hangout URL to Facebook or Twitter and not require the invitee to join G+. Seems like a good way to give outsiders a taste of this great G+ feature!)
Other posts of interest: