As much as some would like to ignore Google+ (because it seems like one more network we have to “work”), remember this: it is Google and therefore integrated with your SEO results.
Let me back up a few steps for those of you who haven’t explored Google+ yet. When this network first arrived on the scene, Facebook was struggling with privacy issues and users were lamenting that they weren’t sure who could see the stuff they posted. Google+ answered the call! When you setup your profile, you add your contacts to circles right away so that all of your personal friends are in one circle, your family is in another circle, your colleagues are in yet another circle. Think about your strategy here before you get started. What kinds of articles do you like to share? Now, which circles do you need to create so that the people you want to share with will see it and the people who don’t want to see it won’t?
About Basics – all stuff you have probably created for other social profiles. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Just copy and paste. This part is quick and easy. Remember! Just like any other site, you need to put enough information here so that someone will want to follow you based on similar interests. You can add someone to a circle without them “circling” you back.
- Profile photo, Cover photo
- Tagline, Intro (bio), Bragging rights
- Occupation, Skills, Employment
- Places you have lived, Education, Contact info
- Links to your website and other social profiles
Back to SEO – link to your website, share articles/blogs you have written. Because it is Google, it will be indexed right away and show up in search results. The more +1’s (which are similar to “likes” on Facebook) and shares you get, the more Google will think it is relevant for people searching for that topic. Google authorship also helps by putting your picture next to an article when it shows up in search results so people in your network are more likely to click on it.
Google+ Hangouts are by far my favorite feature. Skype is free for a video call between two people. Google+ Hangouts are free for video calls up to 10 people. I even have Google+ Hangouts with my parents now on my laptop, my tablet and my phone. There is a weekly Google+ Hangout known as Eventprofs Happy Hour most Friday afternoons hosted by Adrian Segar. I’ve also seen creative uses such as town hall meetings, interviews with keynote speakers before and after conferences, and live broadcast of speakers during an event.
Why don't you create a circle for your meetings industry friends and add me? Let me know if you have any questions about Google+.