Friday, December 21, 2012

New Features on Google+ by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

If you aren't on Google+ that often, you might be interested in a few new features they have recently added. These features will be beneficial in building your online platform and awareness in your area of expertise.

Google+ Communities
You can either join a community that has already been created on a topic of interest or you could start a new community around a topic that lacks a community or to maintain control around discussions to stay focused. It's similar to the concept of Groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, but with more added benefits for networking and connections through other Google services. Obviously, since the concept allows you to network with others around topics you're passionate about, it's a great way for people to network, establish oneself as an expert in a particular field, and to build platforms for businesses and individuals.

These communities may be public or private, depending on what your group's needs are and how you want to organize it. To get an idea on how Google+ Communities work, do a search for a few topics of interest, see what is already available, and join them to get an idea of how they work. As you network and learn from discussions, you may gain ideas and insights for building your own community and what you could offer that might be a different twist on a similar topic or something totally unique. You will need to engage by commenting and answering questions.

As you listen in on discussions, think about ideas for blogging topics. What are people talking about? What piques their interest? How can you help with relevant content, advice, or insight?

The larger the community, the more updates you are likely to receive. to keep from having your inbox overwhelmed, you can toggle the notifications on or off by clicking on the bell. For instance, I've joined The Writers Community, I've provided an image on where you can find the bell on a Community Page.

Google+ Events
If you aren't using the Events feature on Google+, you could be missing out on a great opportunity to promote your blog tours, book signings, book releases, contests and other great events to your circle of followers, as well as the public. Unlike FB, you can invite friends in your circles, followers who may not be in your circles, and people who are not even on Google+ if you have their email address. They will be sent a link to your page and can view the details. Also, you will be able to see who has viewed your Event by clicking on Actions/Manage Guest List. Only YOU will be able to see who has opened your invitation. You will be given the ability to upload a unique header specifically for your event. You can enable or disable comments, allow others to share your event with their friends and followers, and duplicate an event if you have a club with standard meetings each month.

Have you tried any of these Google+ features? What are your thoughts?

Link Google+ Profile with Blogger Account
This is more than just using the same email login and posting a link on your blog so people can find you on Google+. It includes the option of linking your Google+ profile on Blogger. When people go to your blog and click on the link for more info about you, they will be taken to your Google+ profile. Also, when you set up each blog post, it will now provide the option to auto post your blogs to Google+ without you having to manually copy the link and go to your Google+ account and past the link. By your personal image for your blogger Profile, it will not have a red box with a G+ on it. This is how you can tell which bloggers have integrated their blog to their Google+ profile.


Johnnie Alexander Donley said...

Is there any downside to linking Google+ to a blogger account? Thanks.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

So far, I have not found a downside.

soccernut said...

Can't figure out the new blogger period

Johnnie Alexander Donley said...

Thanks, Jennifer. I just wasn't sure if I should go ahead and made the switch or not.