They’re the social networks with the most users, by far. They are relatively user friendly, once you spend a few minutes reading up on the “how-to” and the “do’s” and “don’ts.”
It took me a year to get started on Google+, and I wish now, so so badly, I’d gotten on Google+ sooner. While it’s far from a perfect medium, and it definitely constitutes one more forum to monitor and to suck your time, Google+ has proved incredibly useful for me.
I wanted, today, to share with you some of the things I most enjoy about Google+, in case you aren’t aware of these things and aren’t taking full advantage of all Google+ can offer you.
THE ADVANTAGES OF GOOGLE+
First, for bloggers, there’s SEO. Yes, search engine optimization. Who runs Google+? That would be GOOGLE. So posting and building up a following on Google+ really does help you rise in the search engine results. My referred hits from search engines after getting active on Google+ have increased dramatically. I would say most days I average double or triple now the search engine hits that I used to.
Then, there are the COMMUNITIES. Just like Facebook has groups, Google+ has communities. They are WONDERFUL, for all kinds of reasons.
- Communities have separate “pages” where members can post or interact. On a Facebook group, you can only post to the group’s one wall. In contrast, in a Google+ community dedicated to fantasy writers, for instance, there might be a page for finding beta readers; a page each for discussing popular fantasy literature, movies, and television; a page for grammar questions; a page for marketing questions; a page for blog posts; and a page for self-promotion. This allows you to go precisely where you need to go in order to get information from knowledgeable parties in a timely manner. It also makes it easy to avoid spamming, guiding you to post promotional material guilt-free in the area where group members looking for such material would go to find it. When a community does not allow promotional posts, you will find a promotional page conspicuously absent.
- You can join a number of various communities and reach different groups of people. I’m a member of blogging communities, fiction writing communities, and fantasy communities. I’m a member as well of a Harry Potter community, with over 100,000 fans. There is no self-promotion allowed there at all, and that’s fine. Harry Potter fans are the market for my fiction, so by simply bonding with them over a shared interest, they might discover my books on their own if they add me one of their circles and investigate my profile.
- You can rotate which communities you post to on a daily basis. This will help spread your presence out over a wide audience without overdoing it in any one place. For instance, I belong to 3 communities for bloggers. I never post a link to my daily blog post on all 3. Hopefully, members of all 3, at some point in time, will come to the blog, like what they see, and sign up to follow my blog directly.
- You can post directly to a community FROM YOUR PROFILE. This is fantastic. It’s a timesaver. Facebook does not allow this.
What’s also wonderful about Google+ is the CIRCLES. You can have multiple circles, and you can put people in more than one circle. Though I rarely send out posts to people in a circle–I consider it spamming–I can invite the members of an appropriate circle to an event, such as a KDP Select giveaway, when I create one.
What’s great about circles is that they allow you to easily send information and interact with a segment of your followers while avoiding inconveniencing those the message would not interest. For instance, I could have circles for:
- Fantasy writers
- Authors of other genres
- Social media gurus
When I’m creating a giveaway of my novel, I can invite fantasy writers to the event, assuming there’s a likely chance they would be glad to know about the opportunity to get my fantasy novel free of charge, without bugging social media gurus who likely would not care about that kind of thing.
So, that’s my experience so far with Google+. I hope you found it helpful! Are you on Google+? Why or why not? If you are, what’s your experience been, and do you have a tip or two?
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