Friday, May 16, 2014

Google Plus: Media that is Social

Therese Says: I am pretty sure Google+ is going to be my favorite social media platform because I'm into Media that is also Social. My account and activity evolved slowly this past year but when I click on the Terri+ link now I am accessing a dynamic and global news feed of interesting to me topics. I also see likes and links from people in my circles and chosen communities without extra effort or clicks. 
Google+ isn’t a one-trick-pony and I am only dabbling in its potentials because that’s all I need or want to do right now. Most posts are truncated with a “read more” link that always works. Links to external media and other platforms feel seamless. This means that Google+ has the technology and flexibility to streamline my online time and is a bonus of fun for my personal interests too!

Google created its Search Engine (the SE of SEO) as a tool for accessibility into a massive information warehouse that has been evolving for decades. Years ago I professionally had tons of fun trying out new techno tools and software specifically to break them, or at lease blow holes in the processes. That’s why I avoid most social media platforms. I started dabbling in Google+ in 2012 mainly because I’d been actively blogging for three years and suddenly all the (RSS) reader-feeds were shutting down. (See our post on Google Reader and read the comments.)

In the beginning, Google+ felt like a ghost town but then I joined two communities, “Kayaking” and “Needful Books” as these are two primary passions, and I connected with people who shared links and my journey began. Then I learned how to separate my personal and professional contacts into circles. From there I began to "Follow Pages" and recently decided to "Explore" by typing in anything of interest and quickly having new pages to view and more refined choices.

What Google+ does: It gives the user an organized and dynamic option of connecting and creating media content that is relevant for the user (you) of anything that is accessible through Google. That’s huge, so take small steps. Small steps is difficult for me because I am prone to bursts of enthusiasm. 

My first job after high school was at a large city newspaper (The Cleveland Press). I had a mild allergy to newsprint ink but still loved turning the pages and having all kinds of things to read in a format that spread across an entire table. Google+ is now my newspaper that fills my computer screen with color pictures and posts from around the globe that I’ve chosen to follow.

What do I read through Terri+? Articles and images from; The Huffington Post, BBC, Wired, National Geographic, The Seattle Aquarium, 10,000,000 Artists & Art lovers, Positive Inspirational Quotes, SEOwise, NASA, Etsy, Pinterest, Linked In, TED, and more from my personal connections and communities. That may seem like a lot but it's slick and easy, especially on my tablet. 

This means Google+ is really in the Green spectrum and seems to play well with many other social media tools/platforms. Hyperlinks can be embedded in posts and comments without issues.

How to make Google+ work for you may take some time and evolve as you explore. You can join and interact with communities, or only follow posts on public pages. Your choices of topics to join or follow are: every major/minor league sport team, brand of auto, celebrity, cooking style, nature and animal interest, photography, birds, sunsets, cats of all size and breed, digital art, coffee, gaming, and tons more. This aligns with our advice to go where you want to be (as the hyper-realized you as your Author Persona who doesn't whine or air dirty laundry) - and have fun. It's really easy to share and create engaging content - the "O"-optimization in SEO. 

There are lots of Google+ reader and reviewer communities, and those themed to specific movies; book or TV series, and more, each with hundreds or thousands of members. The number of members is listed on the icon for that community. Read their guidelines and follow them!

The + button is a "like" and people in your circles will see that you "liked" that post. However, if you want to Share a post you can choose options regarding sharing it privately, or to only certain Circles of contacts, or to a community, or Publicly. 

Circles are a great way to segregate connections. But that segregation is only regarding what you post. You see everything they post on your Home without extra effort and those posts don't get shuffled.

You may already have a Google profile so all you have to do is enhance it with what you want to make public. Create a profile page that represents your Author persona and branding (genre novelist) as on your website and other social media sites. You can make it identical or different like your author photo is the same on all your novels but the book covers are representative of the story.

For more information, here's some WebPro thoughts on why Google+ and Facebook are not Coke and Pepsi type products.

Like any Social Media, there is no guarantee or magic button to direct sales. But for an online tool with dynamic connectivity potential, Google+ seems to offer the most broadband, and personal control, for an online experience for the user.

Engage the customers, but don’t be pushy! Don’t sit at your table like a lump and wait for people to come ask about your book. Say hello! Tell them you’re in the store signing your books. Then, if they don’t make eye contact, or they act uninterested, leave them alone

1 comment:

  1. Nice information, Terri! I've been on Google+ for a couple years too but I must admit I don't take full advantage of it. I'll have to try a couple of the things you mentioned.