So you have a Google+ page for your nonprofit, now what?

On Tuesday, 501 Mission Place hosted our monthly "Office Hours" on Google Hangouts. We had a blast!

I hosted it using the "Hangout with extras" so I was able to give the hangout a title (not creatively called "501 Mission Place November Office Hours"). And we were able to play with Sketchpad and Notes right in the hangout.

The conversation quickly went to Google+ Pages. Nathan Hand, John Haydon, and I decided that Google+ Pages have:

  • the functionality of a Facebook page
  • combined with the usefulness of Facebook groups
  • with the openness of Twitter.

As we were riffing about Google+ Pages, Nathan challenged us to come up with a blog post on the spot, during the Hangout. The amazing thing is: we did!. All three of us were able to add and edit text right in the hangout! And the document was automatically available (and editable) in our Google Docs account!
Google+ 501 Mission Place collaborative blog
(You can see the original notes we collaborated on here: 501 Mission Place Google Pages Blog Post. The rest of what follows is based on that document.)

Great, now Google+ has Pages

For months, we've been encouraging people to check out Google+ saying, "Even though nonprofits can't have a presence yet, set up your personal profile. That way you'll be familiar with Google+ when they roll out pages."

Last Monday, they did.

It was pretty fun to see all the pages that were being created. It was sort of like a digital land rush. People staked their claim. But most people aren't really doing much more than that.

Here are the tips we came up with on what to do next.

So you have a Google Plus Page... Now What?

  1. Create an awesome “About” tab
    People going to a page will quickly click on the "about" tab. Make sure it's compelling to them. Be sure to use keywords they may be searching on. And make sure you have links embedded to help them find more information.

  2. Use an attractive main image
    Your main image is how you'll be seen in people's newsfeeds. For now, Google is requiring your image to be a square, so make sure your square stands out!

    Bonus tip: Upload more than one image as a main avatar. Google+ has a cool flip-book feature built in. If you have more than one profile/page image, people can click on it to see other images. (To see what I mean, go to my Google+ profile and click on my face.)

  3. Search for conversations around your cause
    Google is the biggest search engine. Use that to your advantage. As you search terms on your cause from within Google+, you'll find pages, people, and posts that relate. More importantly, social media platforms suck if you're not following anyone. So find people that you think will be interesting, and start following them. Hundreds of them. Listen to what they're saying and how they're saying it.

  4. Comment on those conversations as appropriate
    This is social media, so be social. It's a good idea to support other people’s agendas before your own.

  5. Grab some friends and try a hangout
    Hangouts are still a bit quirky. So play around and test it first before you look bad in front of others. :)

    Bonus tip: Check out Hangout Canopy. This cool extension that shows you who else is having a hangout that you can join.

  6. Take the time to play around
    Any new social media platform can get complicated. But the more you interact with it, the easier it gets. And if you have already done #3, you'll be able to learn from lots of other people who are learning Google+ too.

It's not about you

And as you think about your Google+ page, think about this thought from Chris Brogan:

Brand pages are now open on Google+. Funny thing is, most seem to be set up to brag, not to honor their community.

.

Be sure to honor your community!

For more on Google+

About Marc A. Pitman

Marc A. Pitman is the author of Ask Without Fear!, director of The Nonprofit Academy, and founder of FundraisingCoach.com. A coach to leaders around the world, Marc's expertise and enthusiasm engages audiences and has caught the attention of media organizations as diverse as Al Jazeera and Fox News. Marc’s experience also includes pastoring a Vineyard church, managing a gubernatorial campaign, and teaching internet marketing and fundraising at colleges and universities. He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, he’ll be singing 80’s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family!

Follow him on Google+, on Twitter @marcapitman, and like "Ask Without Fear!" on Facebook.

Comments

  1. Allison Werner says:

    Thanks for the insight on Google+. My #NewhouseSM4 social media class at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School has been encouraged to test it out. I’ve specifically been researching the brand pages and how they apply to higher education institutions. This brief post really helped differentiate Google+ from other social media sites. Thanks!

  2. Wonderful! I teach a social media class at a college. Can’t wait to have them try Hangouts!

  3. Here’s a “How To” article I wrote for Social Media Examiner on how to hold a Hangout: http://ow.ly/7AgZ6

  4. Some great advice here. I’ve had mixed success with hangouts – if there are more than a few people in there, connections get cut quite regularly. However, it’s google, and I expect a lot from them, so I’m sure these things will all be ironed out over time.

Trackbacks

  1. […] of us are posting today about an area of our discussion.? Here’s John’s post, and Marc’s. It got me thinking about the benefits of hangouts for nonprofits. Here’s my initial list […]

  2. […] version of the original document we collaborated on. Marc’s version is here and Nathan’s version is […]

  3. […] follows is my version of the original document we collaborated on. Marc’s version is here and Nathan’s version is […]

  4. […] follows is my version of the original document we collaborated on. Marc’s version is here and Nathan’s version is […]

  5. […] follows is my version of the original document we collaborated on. Marc’s version is here and Nathan’s version is […]

  6. […] follows is my version of the original document we collaborated on. Marc’s version is here and Nathan’s version is […]

  7. […] follows is my version of the original document we collaborated on. Marc’s version is here and Nathan’s version is […]

  8. […] follows is my version of the original document we collaborated on. Marc’s version is here and Nathan’s version is […]

  9. […] follows is my version of the original document we collaborated on. Marc?s version is here and Nathan?s version is […]

  10. […] So You Have a Google+ Page for Your Nonprofit, Now What? [The Fundraising Coach] 0 Comments […]

  11. […] So You have a Google+ Page for Your Nonprofit, Now What? [The Fundraising Coach] […]

  12. […] you?ve gotten familiar with Google+ as a person, then repeat the process in making a Google+ page for your […]

  13. […] you?ve gotten familiar with Google+ as a person, then repeat the process in making a Google+ page for your […]

  14. […] you?ve gotten informed with Google+ as a person, then repeat a routine in creation a Google+ page for your […]

  15. […] you’ve gotten familiar with Google+ as a person, then repeat the process in making a Google+ page for your […]

What would you add?