January 30, 2015

Three Cool Features You Didn’t Know Were On Google Plus

By Lewis J.

Why don’t more people use Google Plus? It lets you share ideas, share content, and reach people – approximately 300 million people each month. That’s a sizeable audience, even by Facebook standards. Google even provides a number of cool features to help you connect with people and publicize your business. If you’re not using Google Plus, you’re missing out on a lot of web traffic that could potentially turn foot traffic into your business.

  1. Google Plus Communities. Google communities are online forums focused on a single interest or activity. Community members can share thoughts, ideas, links and materials on their favorite topics. There are communities dedicated to animals, fitness, books, philosophy, jokes, television, film, photography, sports, fashion; every conceivable interest. You can even form your own community. Communities are a great way for users to interact with like-minded individuals and a great opportunity for businesses to establish their expertise in their field. You can share new products, articles, and information about your industry with individuals you know are interested in what you have to say. 
  2.  Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts is a multimedia communications app where large groups of people can congregate and chat via text, voice, or video. The app allows multiple people, up to 100 at a time, to chat, share photos, and talk simultaneously. You can host group texts, conference calls, and live video discussions. Prominent users such as Conan O’Brien, Tyra Banks, and Sarah Hill with the Veterans United Network have embraced Google Hangouts as a way to speak with fans, introduce their ideas, and or live stream video broadcasts. You can host Q&A sessions, hold a video conference, or distribute new content to your circles. 
  3.  Google Ripples. Google Ripples is a social media tracker embedded in Google Plus. When one of your posts is shared, a graphic is created to illustrate who has shared it and how many times. Each share is represented by a circle. If someone re-shares the post, the circle grows larger, creating circles within circles.  For example, here is a ripple for Angry Birds.
    The graph updates in real time and is fully interactive. You can zoom in on each circle to find out the person’s name and any comments they made while sharing your post. This is a great way for companies to evaluate the popularity and effectiveness of their content. You can also watch a time lapse video of the post’s popularity, the languages it was shared in, and find your most influential fans.

If you’re serious about social media, it’s time to take another look at Google Plus. It has all the tools you need to forge a relationship with the people who matter most to you and your business, and keep them coming back.

Are you a Google Plus user? Have any thoughts you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

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