Get Started With Google+

Google+ For Business You’ve been putting off actually doing much with Google+. Maybe it’s because you’re already feeling behind in keeping up with all the other social networks. Maybe you think there’s no one there ( 500 million users). Maybe you just don’t know where to start.

I can help.

Getting Started with Google+

Personal Vs Professional Vs Business Page

First question first: should you have a personal page, a professional page, and/or also a business page?

My experience thus far has been that a personal page seems to do more for most people than separating out a professional page. People are enjoying connecting with all your interests and not just your business interests. If you want to keep it a bit more professional than personal, fine. Share the personal stuff on Facebook. But what I’ve found is that the “blended” approach (some business content and some not-business content) has served quite well.

A Local business or a business with a physical location should most definitely set up a Places listing, which now ties nicely into Google+ business pages. Want to create your Google+ business page? Do that here.

Screen Shot 2013-04-12 at 8.40.12 PM

Want to see some examples of businesses around you who have done this? Check out Google Local.

So, my starting recommendations: build a personal/professional hybrid account for sure and possibly a Google+ business page (much more yes, if you run a location-specific business).

Get More from Your About Page

People seem reluctant to create any useful information on their about pages. MOST people seem to have very little on theirs. If you want to see mine live, click here. But I have some thoughts for you.

Screen Shot 2013-04-12 at 8.43.50 PM Create a simple explanation of what you do for others in the “tagline” section of the Story part of your About page. After that, in the introduction, expand that just a bit so that people understand why they would want to contact you. Make it even easier, if you’d like, by linking to your own contact page (instead of hoping people navigate Google+ to find you).

A Nifty Little Hack

Still on your about page, but in your Occupation area, not only do I list where I work, but I list what I do for people. Thus, when you look at my profile when I comment on someone’s work, you’ll see my tagline and the occupation area do something to entice people to connect.

Use a Nice Personal Picture

It’s amazing how few people put up a decent avatar photo of themselves. You don’t have to use the same one for every account on the Internet, but definitely, take some time to pick out a human picture of you that will let someone know who they’re speaking with, and maybe even a little about you.

Google+ also has a space for a ginormous background “cover” photo. Feel free to post a photo of your neck of the woods, or look at how companies like Red Bull and Lifehacker and PBS use their cover photo area.

Find People to Circle

Google+ has built a little area called Find People and it’s a pretty good place to start, but I have more ideas. Use third party site, Find People on Plus and search by whichever demographics matter to you. Also, when you do find people that you like, check to see who they have circled, and whether they’re of interest to you.

I also follow a lot more search topics on Google+ instead of just following people. For instance, here’s a search I did for email marketing. Sometimes it’s useful, and other times, depressing.

Take Advantage of Communities

Screen Shot 2013-04-12 at 9.08.30 PM One of two awesome secret weapons inside Google+ are its communities. I’m using a bunch of these in a private mode for my various courses, but I’ve also launched a public community about health and fitness. You can create your own, or more simply join someone else’s. There are so many opportunities to connect up with people already passionately talking about items you might find of interest.

From there, you can obviously also find people you might wish to circle and stay even more connected with, so that’s even another way to use the platform.

Connect With Hangouts

Screen Shot 2013-04-12 at 9.10.37 PM Another super secret weapon of Google+ are hangouts, which are live video conferences with either 9 other people privately or an unlimited amount of people watching (and up to 10 actively on camera) with the Hangout on Air feature.

You can use these for quick impromptu meetings with friends or colleagues (though when I want really professional meeting technology, I use GoToMeeting, who are sometimes a client). And the Hangout on Air function allows for large crowds for things like presentations (though I use GoToWebinar, especially so I can reach out to people via email after such an event).

There are many business functions of Hangouts that I cover in Google+ For Business, but I won’t get into those here.

Some Quick Tidbits to Help You Even More

To access all your settings, click here. Consider throttling back notifications a lot so that you don’t get a full inbox or worse while using this app. I have mine almost entirely off.

To organize the people you follow, put them into a circle (like a list). The names of your circles aren’t public, so it’s okay if you put me in the “loudmouth” circle. I find that organizing these early helps you decide where you want to focus your attention, and sometimes, lets you send info to a limited list of people (though as a marketer, I rarely want to limit my posts to a small amount of people.)

Post to “Public” anything you want to share with the world at large, and/or anything you want Google (the search engine) to index.

A “plus” works nothing like a “like” in Facebook. If you plus something, it doesn’t share with your community. It just shows that you plussed it. To share, click share.

Follow people like Mark Traphagen and Jesse Stay and Thomas Power and Mike Elgan to get some unique takes on the platform and even more ideas.

And maybe, if you’ve got Google+ questions and/or ideas, feel free to share them in the comments section. That’d really be excellent!

Please Consider Getting My Newsletter

Here’s exactly what you get when you sign up to my newsletter: I write you a weekly newsletter every Sunday. In it, I’ll tell you a story that will illustrate some point that’s useful to your life, your business, your organization, or maybe all of these. I’ll invite you to participate. I’ll be very personal. My goal is to help you build a strong, sustainable, relationship-minded business.

This letter is written be me, Chris Brogan. If you hit reply, the reply goes to me. I respond as soon as I can. Most people can’t believe how fast, but don’t let me get your hopes up. Sometimes, it takes a few days. But if you hit reply, I’m there.

If I intend to sell you something (and I do that, sometimes), it’ll be very clear. Somewhat comically so.

So join me. I respect your privacy and will honor your trust in us.

Join us for free and get valuable insights that you’ll end up eagerly awaiting. This is a community pretending to be a newsletter. You are why I write it.

Your privacy and email address are safe with us.

And thanks so much for your support.

–Chris… runs on the Genesis Framework

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  • Barry Chignell

    Hi Chris,
    Nice article. I have been ‘on’ Google+ since it was launched, but have only recently started to use it in earnest. I find it one of the most interactive networks and, for me, has been the most rewarding in terms of engagement and community spirit.
    I’ve yet to take part in a hangout but it’s a great feature which, as you mention, can be used for impromptu meetings with friends or contacts.



    • Chris Brogan

      I quite agree, Barry. It’s really the super powered product in my arsenal.

  • Andrzej Tucholski

    If I may add something – this book should really be promoted not only as G+ 101 but also as a general “how to operate in social media” guidebook, great addition to Thrust Agents. Little demanding in this role though – reader must extract knowledge from in between words :)

    • Chris Brogan

      Well thank you. That’s the secret. : )

      • Andrzej Tucholski

        Oh snap, and it went public! Sorry! ;)

        • Chris Brogan

          You secret breaker! : )

  • Tom Collins

    Hi Chris,

    Nice follow-up to what you told us in your session at #SMMW about getting going with Google+ or, what was it, “please compete with me”? I’ve thought all along that Hangouts are the killer app in Google+ and finally have one in the works this week to capture a video interview, using the YouTube connection.

    And thanks for the nudge on your newsletter(s) – finally joined both!

    Looking forward to more from you and Rob,


    • Chris Brogan

      So glad you’re in, Tom. Means the world to me!

  • Scott Ayres

    I’m willing to admit I bought this book for my iPad the day it came out, quite some time ago.. But then sold my iPad for rent money in July and never read it.. Now to try and read it on my iPhone.. it’s so tiny!

    • Crystal Carey

      If you think Marcus`s story is neat,, last week my brothers father in-law got paid $7071 working a eighteen hour week from their apartment and the’re roomate’s mother-in-law`s neighbour did this for 10-months and made more than $7071 part time from there mac. use the tips here, kep2.comCHECK IT OUT

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  • Melissa Paulik

    Just tweeted your Google+ page. It’s nice to see one that actually takes advantage of the tool.

    I don’t necessarily agree with mixing the personal and professional – unless you are a completely unopinionated sheep who never uttered a word anyone could object to. (oops! I probably ticked off a couple people already.) Not like I’m a candidate for writers-gone-wild, but I respect my privacy. Some personal is ok, but keep it light or you come across as a time waster.

    • Chris Brogan

      Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I don’t consider myself a sheep but maybe I am.

  • Chris Brogan

    And the one time Twitter crashed you stopped using it?

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  • Rhonda Kronyk

    Thanks for some great tips. You have some things hear I didn’t know about. Now to start implementing everything . . .

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  • Catie Ragusa

    Hey Chris, thanks for this post! You mentioned that G+ has 500 million users. That’s insane to me because talk of Facebook and Twitter sort of overpowers it so often. I feel like world is overlooking G+’s potential and many are in a similar situation to me–they create an account but neglect it.

    Do you think G+ is an effective marketing strategy overall? Thanks for these tips!

  • Adam Brown

    Thanks for the intro to Google+. Something I’ve been putting off for a while, because it’s something else to maintain…facebook, twitter,etc. But with 500M users, I can’t ignore it. Looking forward to seeing some more in depth posts on using Google+ for business. Definitely just checked out the communities and found myself hooked. I lost track of time after clicking through communities for over an hour. Seriously addicting.

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  • WebEmergence

    Great article in promoting Google+. Thanks for sharing.

  • Tahmid Ahmed

    I thought that, I know many well about promoting at Google+ but no I hardly realize I knew little! Thanks @Chris Brogan for your post. From this post I learnt many things.

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  • C Bret Campbell

    Chris, your timing in posting this was excellent (ok, whomever shared it in my stream today had excellent timing). Some young friend on FB were discussing whether to join Plus, and when I nudged them, they seemed baffled by it.

    Thanks for giving me the perfect piece to share with them

  • Val Nelson

    Thanks Chris. This is such a great rundown. I applied some of the tips already. I’m still wondering how to manage the Page vs profile, since I do want local visibility in Google. I agree the profile is the primary place to interact, but if Google will change my rankings based on the Page’s +1s, then it makes me think I can’t leave my Page in the dust. On the other hand, I don’t want to spread myself too thin. Should I think of it like a Page and profile in Facebook? I did set up authorship for my profile to connect to my website, but I doubt that’s enough to effect my Page/Places ranking in Google search ranks. Thoughts?

  • Danny Holtschke

    Thanks Chris. G+ is great and underestimated by a lot of people. However, it’s already changing ;)

  • Richard Eaves

    Hi Chris,

    Great article. Google+ is a great platform and it’s a wonder why not a lot of people are using it. I also liked that you provided a couple of names to follow on the network.

    Richard Eaves

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