Google+: How to Maximize Your Account

If you use Google for just about anything, and we all do, you’ve probably been offered a Google+ account. If you’re already using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites, you might have wondered whether it’s worth it to take on another one. In fact it is! A few reasons include:

1. Google+ is second in social media popularity only to Facebook. Although it only launched in 2011, it boasted 343 million active users at the end of 2012, says Forbes, and is only expected to grow over time.

2. Google+ is closely tied to Google Authorship. If you run a search for just about anything, you’ll see articles and content come up with headshots next to them. With Google Authorship, the headshot next to the content that you’ve written will be yours, and a photo in search engine results can increase your chances of having your article opened by users.

3. Google+ is another excellent social media marketing tool that you can use to increase your brand recognition and online reputation.

Once you decide that Google+ will be beneficial to your social media presence, it’s important to fill out your profile as completely as possible. Upload a professional and friendly-looking headshot. Don’t forget to smile, and choose colors that complement your natural features. Remember, this will be the photo that is shown in Google search results once you get your Authorship account set up. While you’re at it, pick an image that you like for your header. Choose one from those available, or upload your own. Create a tagline that tells visitors what you stand for, in a nutshell.

Add people to your Circles by searching for them by name or through your Google account. You can designate them as Acquaintances, Friends, Family or simply those who you are Following. This is important later as you begin to share items with those in your Circles, because you can choose which groups to allow or not allow to see your posts on various topics.

Once you have some Google+ members linked to your account, it’s time to start sharing! Be sure to use all of the features offered, such as the capability to upload videos, photos and links. Feel free to include more complex articles and posts than you might on other social media sites; remember that you can filter them to avoid annoying your family members and acquaintances if need be.

Add a Google+ badge to your other websites to allow your readers to find your profile easily. Also, add links to your work to your profile in order to create a readership on other sites to which you add content. Remember to always link out to your very best efforts, and to use those same efforts in creating content for your Google+ account; this will help you keep your profile, as well as your Google Authorship account, to the very highest caliber.

Remember that the goal of having a Google+ account is to build your Internet reputation, increase your brand recognition and establish yourself as an authority in your field. By working carefully to utilize all of the features of Google+, you can see a marked improvement in your social media marketing results.