Many businesses see the potential value in Google Plus but few are investing the time they need to results. Join Neal as he interviews Google Plus superstar Amanda Blain and fellow social media marketer Charise Strandberg to learn tips and tricks on how to cross the chasm and derive benefits from a Google Plus presence.
[00:50] Introduction of Podcast Guests
[02:38] Finding Value in Google Plus
[04:26] Google Plus for Professional and Business Objectives
[05:22] How Amanda Started Finding Value in Google Plus
[07:43] Amanda's Recommendations on Using Google Plus
[08:40] Focus on Conversations on Google Plus
[09:38] Keep It Real
[10:57] Add Variety
[12:11] Jetpack Plugin
[13:38] Charise's Final Advice
[14:24] Amanda's Final Advice
- It's crucial that they're on there and I think that their competitors are going to be if they're not. So brands need to be aware that they need to consider that a major network or they're going to be catching up later on.
- But you need to start now you need to get in there, you need to start talking to other people need to start having discussions, and there's lots of room for growth on that side.
- Even though I have obviously the largest audience on Google Plus, I still think it's important to maintain all of them, all of them serve a different purpose in some way or another, I use Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, everything. I's important to have that level of different platforms, because some people like things and work better in different ways.
- You have to develop it in a conversation, join other communities that are involved in the topics that you're interested in. And that will take some time, it's not gonna happen overnight. Just like it doesn't happen overnight. When you're at a real life networking event. It takes time to develop relationships. And you have to do that on Google Plus to get the engagement that you want.
- But I think that will come, I don't think I've seen it, you know, as long as they be consistent about it, and don't just give up and walk away. Like she said, it's, it's gonna come, but it's just finding out what works for them. And keeping a variety on there. Don't just keep putting the same stuff out there, you know, put some funny stuff, put some images, put some valuable information engaged, keep it a variety, and people will enjoy.
- This is an opportunity to, you know, follow people in your niche and bring people in. So just keep an open mind. I would think and don't put your other networks, as we mentioned, I mean, I'm probably running 14, Foursquare Pinterest. Don't wear yourself out either, but don't be left behind.
Welcome to maximize your social actionable advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now, the host of maximize your social, social media author, speaker, consultant, and founder of maximize social business, Neal Schaffer. Hey, this is Neal Schaffer, welcome to another episode of maximize your social I'm here wonderful Las Vegas, which is why I'm talking so weird. But I'm actually here at the New Media Expo, which is also called Blogworld really cool event. I'll be speaking tomorrow on audio books, and my experiences there about audio content creation, looking forward to blogging about that later. But I have met some amazing people, whenever you go to social media conferences, you meet some amazing people. And as I like to do I just on the spot, as literally, we're having a stellar here in the bar. So excuse this major football playoff game is going on as we speak, I'm not a big football fan doesn't matter to me, I met two amazing people that are two of the most amazing people that I've met not only just in Google Plus, but and social. But there are also two people that are very well known in Google Plus followed by a lot of others, obviously very knowledgeable about it. And you know, that is their number one social network where many people want to spend more time in Google Plus, and just haven't been able to make the transition. So I think that's what we're going to talk about today, I'm gonna have each of them introduce themselves, that's always the best way to do it. Who wants to go first. So just a minute introduction. And Please promote yourself. I demand it,Charise Strandberg:
I'm sure a Strandberg. I'm currently a social media marketing manager for a Southstar Corporation. And I also do consulting for social media strategy and online marketing for small businesses and individuals who want to increase and make their brand awareness a little bit bigger.Neal Schaffer:
Awesome, thank you.Amanda Blaine:
And I'm Amanda Blaine. I have 3.6 million followers on Google Plus, which currently puts me between 50 cents and the Dalai Lama. I think right now, I do consulting with major brands and businesses, especially on Google Plus is my specialty. But anything was social and getting better engagements and interactions.Neal Schaffer:
Awesome. Thank you. So those are my two mystery guests for today. And those of you that are on Google Plus, listen, my podcast, hopefully you're smiling right now. So let's get started the transition. And I think most of you also saw, I think in q4, especially the new year, we see a lot of people starting to go into Google Plus starting to see a lot more activity, a lot more engagement. Engagements always been there, as we all know, what is your advice for people? I've been blogging about trying to find value in Google Plus for businesses and for people. But how do you how did you make the transition? How did you first of all, find the value in Bing and Google plus? And then how did you go about making the transition? Let's first of all start, how did you find value in Google Plus, when 99% of the people who signed up still haven'tCharise Strandberg:
found value in Google Plus, because personally, Facebook for me, it was really just friends and family. And I was looking for another outlet to do more and expand my fan base or my engagement or my relationship management with different set of people. And I found them there and discovered passions, not only meeting great individuals, but discovering things like photography, in a way that I could organize it on, like, what I couldn't do on Facebook, which is what circles will allow you to do. And then as I grew my network on there, I found that, you know, photography, and visual were big on Google Plus. And just keeping it really a variety of information on there, which I was putting out to my fan base was really the solution to what worked for me there.Neal Schaffer:
streets before I go into a man and ask her the same question. I have two follow up questions. So for me, Twitter has provided a lot of what you just said, obviously, you can't organize, you can create Twitter desk, but it's not the same circles, as we all know. Were you ever an active Twitter user before Google Plus?Charise Strandberg:
Oh, absolutely. I mean, that's my probably my second favorite network, I feel that some more have short, concise bullets, you know, brevity is really big on there, they didn't really break into visual so recently, to where they're showing that in streams. So I feel like Google Plus really encompassed both Facebook and Twitter, it was like a Morpheus network, where you can almost do everything. And so I found that I can do what I do on Twitter here, I can do what I did on Facebook, all here discover new people discover new passions, it was kind of just like everything I wanted in a new network.Neal Schaffer:
So be the second question. Thank you very much. That all makes sense. The second question really is what about, you know, professionals, businesses that don't necessarily want to use Google Plus to find personal they're more looking to use it for professional and business objectives where you talked about their was was really about personal interests. But I'm assuming since then, you've it's also helped with on the business side? Anything you can say about that?Charise Strandberg:
Absolutely. I think that brands who don't do not get on, they're gonna miss the boat, because obviously, it's Google is Google's network. So if the brands are looking to be seen visually, when they're being searched for or searched for by a topic, they're certainly going to appear higher in the rankings in SEO, they're going to appear on the right hand side when people search in Google. It's crucial that they're on there and I think that their competitors are going to be if they're not. So brands need to be aware that they need to consider that a major network or they're going to be catching up laterNeal Schaffer:
on. Thank you very much. I'm gonna move on to a man announced Amazing I met Kelly Lewis. So I think maybe it's up to 2 million followers. So I think you'd beat her mana. But it's amazing when you've never met these people in person that they're, they really aren't normal people just like you and me, you can sit down and have a beer with. So if you ever see a man, you know, always make sure that you put yourself out and introduce yourself. And anyway, Amanda, you've gotten so far on Google Plus, but how did you get started in finding value from it.Amanda Blaine:
So I started the very first day on Google Plus, I had a bunch of invites that day. So I invited all my social media friends that I knew on Twitter, Facebook, and I got them all there. So that very first day, I probably had 100 people following me, which is more than most people still have at this moment in time. So I never ever had what most people have is the problem on Google Plus, where they're like, there's no one there. I'm not seeing anything going on. My stream is always filled with stuff. I started a Hangout up that very first day too. And we were having people hanging out and going on my rooms were always full. And that's kind of the thing that I was known for, in the very beginning was hosting really good Hangouts, I hung out with really amazing people like Michael Dell just dropped by amazing musicians like Paul Oakenfold, and would just come into the room. So you're sitting there with a bunch of other people. And suddenly, there's these famous people sitting there in their living room, and they're talking to you. And I mean, that was early on days, I was like, a couple of months in the thing that really sold me on Google glasses in the first six months. So by December 2011, I had got 40,000 followers, I was a very active Twitter user, I'd use it for my brands before this, and I had about 20 30,000 followers on Twitter. And that was years of work. That was years of ongoing networking and trying to develop relationships on Twitter. And then in six months, I got 40,000 followers I was sold, I was like you can't match these stats, because the growth of Google Plus is far surpass any other network that I've ever dealt with. And unfortunately, for whatever reason, the media has really gone into that there's nobody there angle, and some people believe that. And now they're playing catch up. Now. Now they're doing exactly what we're saying, We got to get in, we got to get involved. And you are you're two and a half years behind now. But you can still get in, it's still new, there's still a lot of room. And there's still a lot of growth. But you need to start now you need to get in there, you need to start talking to other people need to start having discussions, and there's lots of room for growth on that side.Neal Schaffer:
So thank you, man. So for people that are still Facebook centric for businesses that are still Facebook centric. And I just had a comment today, you know, Neil, I really want to spend more time on Google Plus, I know it's more important. How do you do it? People that are really used to Facebook, what is your recommendation for getting people realistically, I'll just drop all the other networks because you know, we're a multi network society now and no one's going to drop other networks. It's a matter of how do we how do you efficiently manage your engagement and doing what you're doing on Google Plus, talking to people that are more Facebook centric, or that are not going on Google Plus any recommendations.Amanda Blaine:
So I still use all the networks. Even though I have obviously the largest audience on Google Plus, I still think it's important to maintain all of them, all of them serve a different purpose in some way or another, I use Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, everything, INeal Schaffer:
use them all, you responded to my tweet within a minute, they're in the room. And it's important,Amanda Blaine:
it's important to have that level of different platforms, because some people like things and work better in different ways. So I would never say give up everything, go to Google Plus, first of all, but you do need to be spending time there. And that's the number one thing that I can say is most people who tell me I'm not getting a response on Google Plus, I go and look at their page. And I can see in the last month, they've maybe made two or three posts in the last month. If you did the same thing on Twitter for comparison, you might have two tweets in the last month, what kind of response you're gonna get who's going to be talking to you're gonna have any interactions on Twitter, probably not, because you're tweeting two or three times a month, you need to spend time there every single day, every other day, whatever time you can put whatever time we're spending on social, knock some of that off on the other sites and invest the time there. On top of that, you really need to be focusing on conversations on Google Plus, on Facebook. And in Twitter, there's a lot of what I call link dropping, you post a link to your blog, you walk away, you hope that somebody talks about it, some people well, because you've developed relationships, but you've developed your relationships on those sites already. They come to Google Plus, you're interacting with strangers, they have no idea who you are, and you're dropping a link to your blog, and nobody's commenting on it. Nobody's interacting with it. You have to develop it in a conversation, join other communities that are involved in the topics that you're interested in. And that will take some time, it's not gonna happen overnight. Just like it doesn't happen overnight. When you're at a real life networking event. It takes time to develop relationships. And you have to do that on Google Plus to get the engagement that you want.Neal Schaffer:
I've just found Thank you, man. It's so true. Google Plus is is really unique and that the people are real in the conversations are deep. It sort of scares me because I know I can't do it half house that if I say something, people are really going to respond back. And it's going to read more engagement. So I need to invest more time. So by keeping it real, and really instead of just dropping a link, like writing a paragraph, in your own words, why you wrote that blog post, why it's important in summarizing it can make a whole a whole field of difference. Right? Exactly. AllAmanda Blaine:
you need to do is something as simple as write a small blog post, oh, gosh, awesome series.Charise Strandberg:
You know, I see a lot of like what Amanda sees and I see not only just to post but I see that people need lessons. Okay. like they're doing it wrong. Again, just using the API and putting a link out there, whatever, I download images, I mean, I have it so it appears better. I bold my titles, I make commentate. I mean, when you look at the posts, compared to someone just throwing it out there and using a link, it's so much more visual in people's feeds. So maybe doing it right. And I think there's a lot of confusion with Google on where to get instructions on how to, you know, go out these tips and techniques. And there's people out there that will provide instructions, such as Amanda, and there's other people on Google Plus that will put out tips and stuff like that. But I think that people just delve in, and then just expect, you know, results and they're not really doing it. Right. So and even the circles, a lot of them even don't share public share public or you're not gonna get seen. I mean, there's simple things like that. So I think just the learning curve, is the problem there. And I think there's a property people.Neal Schaffer:
And you know, it's similar to Twitter, there's a learning curve there too, right?Charise Strandberg:
Yeah, for sure. But I think that will come, I don't think I've seen it, you know, as long as they be consistent about it, and don't just give up and walk away. Like she said, it's, it's gonna come, but it's just finding out what works for them. And keeping a variety on there. Don't just keep putting the same stuff out there, you know, put some funny stuff, put some images, put some valuable information engaged, keep it a variety, and people will enjoy what youNeal Schaffer:
just wanted to add, I'm going to ask each of you for one last tip, or one last thing you'd like to say to just the general social media professional audience. But I think the frustration that most people feel is that they count posts from a buffer from HootSuite directly to the personal profile. And I think Google intends it that way, you can't game it, you need to actually go there and do it. So for instance, when I take a photo, I do it on Instagram, before I post it, and I'll publish it to Facebook and Twitter, I'll literally copy the text of the Instagram description, then literally go to Google Plus, and post it there if I want to post it there. And I think all of us probably have that as a habit now. And if you don't you need to Google Plus is its own its own network. And it's Google, right. And it deserves that extra loving and carry and attention that I think we're all used to do. And I think once you see the ROI from doing that, you'll do it more naturally. The other thing is, there aren't any ways to publish your Google Plus profile. But if you've been following my blog, I've been recommending a plugin called Jetpack. And jetpack actually has a function called publicize which just recently allowed you to not only put your Google Plus profile below your posts, but also to automatically publish to your personal profile. And to publish publicly, which is, for me, if you have a lot of followers just want to get your latest blog post out, that's the way to do it, I go back in there and edit it anyway, and personalize it. But there is a way now the only way that I know I've really to semi automate. But that's only if you're creating content on WordPress using the Jetpack plugin and authorizing Google Plus to do the publicize functions. But anyway, that's just one tip for me, I want to ask each of you for just one last tip thing you want to say, you know, I just want to say one last thing I gotten to, you're gonna get in fights on Google Plus, like you do with other social networks, and a Google Plus they're a lot more intense, because it's not 140 characters. I had someone that thought I was trying to exploit Google Plus. And it's you know, and she wrote this really long message and I said, Hey, this is my intent, I'm sorry, if you otherwise. And she came back saying oh, sorry, I'm sorry. My mistake. And people are people around them in general, right. And they're random on Google Plus, or anywhere else. So don't be intimidated. There's no one right or wrong way to use social what happened in the early days of Twitter as well. Oh, you wrote your retweet, you know, wrong or whatever. Just don't get intimidated. There are tons of great people out here, like Amanda luxuries that want to help you and engage with you. But any one last tip or thing you want to say, I'm gonna go reverse order nurseries,Charise Strandberg:
I would just say keep an open mind. I've got a lot of students now in the 20 to 25 year old age that are saying, You know what helped me on here. And literally, within hours, I'll get them up to like 300 followers just by showing them exactly what to do respond to everybody. You know, this is a different network. Don't expect these Facebook friends, you know, my Facebook friends aren't here, they're not going to be you want them to be there, they'll eventually come but create new friends create new relationships on here. This is an opportunity to, you know, follow people in your niche and bring people in. So just keep an open mind. I would think and don't put your other networks, as we mentioned, I mean, I'm probably running 14, Foursquare Pinterest. Don't wear yourself out either, but don't be left behind.Neal Schaffer:
Awesome. Thank you, man. The last words.Amanda Blaine:
So the tool that I would recommend because I get asked that a fair amount. And it's kind of a social media ongoing, magical question, where do I get return on investment? What's what's going on? What numbers can I provide, and the tool that I recommend for this is circle counts. It is a completely free website. The developers of this are very responsive, they are constantly adding amazing new features and ways to engage with Google Plus, it's completely free to use circle count.com And you can add your profile in there and you can see and you can start doing things like testing. When I use this picture and this text I getting this type of response. When I use this and not I get this type response. And you can gauge that by using that completely free tool. Otherwise, you're just shooting in the dark, you don't really know what kind of responses you're getting or did this work or did that you need some kind of basis of numbers in that to try and learn how to improve your engagement. And circle count is a great free way to be doing that. So I fully recommend if you haven't checked it out already have a look at that right now.Neal Schaffer:
Awesome, thank you circle count is. It's really an analytical dashboard. It provides you an incredible amount of information for free platform. And if you get on it for the first time, find all the people that have shared you in a circle, and thank them. First thing I want you to do. I'm gonna sign out here from Vegas, The night is young. There's more podcasts are recorded. So I'm gonna end it here. Thank you all for listening. Please make sure that you follow Sharif and Amanda on Google Plus. And if you ever have any questions about Google Plus, I'm sure they'll be happy to answer it. That's it for today. Make it a great day wherever you're out in the world. Bye bye, everybody. Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on the show or recommend content, please contact Neal Schaffer at Neal at maximize your social.com Thanks for listening and have a great day.