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 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!
(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?
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
For more on Google+
- Some of my Google+ blog posts are:
- Nathan's take on Google+ is here
- John's Google+ Pages post is here
- You can check out the new Google+ For Dummies by Jesse Stay
- You can sign up for the even more robust, soon to be released Google+ for Business: How Google's Social Network Changes Everything by Chris Brogan
- And you can watch my quick YouTube video How to Start Your Own Google+ Hangout