For nonprofit marketers, there are numerous options for social media marketing available. While old standbys like Facebook and Twitter usually get all the credit, there’s one social network that nonprofits can no longer ignore:
Yes, Google+! Often derided as a ghost town, Google+ is actually the second-largest social platform in the world with 359 million active users – well outpacing Twitter. Besides an active userbase, there are many useful features and benefits to utilizing Google+ regularly, both personally and via your brand that nonprofits can take advantage of.
Businesses and organizations can create a page similar to a Facebook fan page. You can even interact as your brand, +1’ing (“liking”), sharing and commenting on content. There’s even anecdotal evidence that content shared on Google+ can see a boost in search rankings.
Hangouts are interactive video chats that you can have with other Google+ users. Easy-to-use screen sharing features make Hangouts ideal for video conferencing and webinars. With Hangouts On Air, you can automatically record your chats to a YouTube channel.
One of the new features to the network, Communities mirror Facebook groups in functionality but with a focus on topics of interest. For example, there are many nonprofit communities that users can join to discuss articles and trends. We’ve create a donor retention community that anyone can join!
Google+ was recently merged with Google Maps and Google Places to form Google Local, which integrates Google+ pages and their physical location information. What this means is that if you perform a search for your nonprofit, your maps listing will connect with your Google+ page. That’s why it’s important to have a robust and up-to-date Google+ page for your organization, especially if you’re a brick and mortar location that relies on in-person visits and foot traffic. Google reviews are also housed here.
Authorship and Publisher Attribution
If your nonprofit website has a blog, Google+ is very important. Using Google+ is a requisite for setting up Google Authorship, which attributes your written blog content to an individual author and publisher (the publisher, in this case, is your nonprofit). If authorship and AuthorRank are new concepts to you, I would invite you to read this article to get up to speed.
Are you or your nonprofit utilizing Google+? Let us know in the comments below – we’d love to connect!