Social Media, love it or hate it, it’s here to stay, for now anyway.
As business owners we’re all well aware that we need to socialise, and I’m not talking about an all night drinking session down your favourite boozer. I’m talking about the multitude of social networking sites that now clutter up the internet.
We often forget why we got involved in the first place – Facebook was created by Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard mates to let you keep in touch with your friends – for most of us in business it was a good way of getting people talking about whatever it was we had to offer.
People take recommendations from their friends far more seriously than when a company shoves an advert under their nose.
Get your audience engaged and the word will spread – hit it right and it could go viral – the ultimate prize!
There’s obviously Facebook and Twitter, but don’t forget the rest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr,Tumblr, Pintrest, Instagram, Stumbleupon, Reddit, MySpace, Delicious, Scribed, Digg, Technorati, Squidoo and many more.
The one that is really going to matter in 2014 though, is Google+.
Most of us have tackled Facebook with it’s insatiable hunger for fresh content, we didn’t have much choice, did we?
I, like many of you, thought Google+ was too late to the party and couldn’t really be bothered with another site that would need feeding with content on a regular basis. I threw a couple of pics up there and that was that (still is to be honest – I’m just writing this post to spur myself on). Times are a changing though, Google+ is on something of a roll…
While Facebook (10 years old in 2014) claims 1.15 billion active users per month, Google+ now has 359 million, which puts it way ahead of Twitter’s 200 million active users. Suddenly, the case for Google+ just got a whole lot more compelling.
If you want to be taken seriously by Google, they’re going to want to see you playing in their Google+ playground.
If you haven’t yet set up your Google+ profile or page, you’d better pull your finger out.
If you’ve got a Google account for YouTube, adsense, adwords, gmail or anything else, you’re half way there. Google knows who you are and makes it easy to set up a Google+ account – if you haven’t been prompted to do this before I’d be surprised.
If you don’t know where to start, go to https://plus.google.com/ and click “Create An Account” on the top right.
The actual process is pretty straight forward – just get to grips with the whole ‘circles’ thing and ‘hangouts’ – you’ll soon find your way round.
Here’s a good video on how to setup Google+
When setting up your account, use a good photo of yourself – Google likes this!
Probably best to use the same one on Facebook and all your social media sites to help tie them together.
Don’t miss this step, it’s important for the Google Authorship feature
Google will display your smiling face next to search results it attributes to you.
This might not sound important, but it is – Google gives greater credence to results that are from within its own little family.
Once you’re up and running, you need to add a little bit of code to your website to let Google know it’s your site – if you use WordPress, just search for a suitable plugin and that’ll take care of it.
All this is part of its drive to give the end user a more ‘personalized’ search experience. Wow, that’s really nice of them.
Here’s a good post How to Breathe Life into Your Google+ Profile by Jayson DeMers
Best get on with it then, get those Google+ pages up and running.