The Social Media Communicators welcomed two representatives from Google Plus to campus for a presentation of the network on Tuesday, June 12. The team provided a walk-through of the basics of Google Plus, and provided some food for thought on how higher education communicators might be able to use it for their benefit. Five key takeaways from the afternoon:
– Google is aiming to integrate many of its existing tools directly into Plus. Plus will eventually become what Google calls “The Social Spine” of its products. The ability to share with others and interact socially will be available through Plus for documents, photos and photo editing, games, events and more.
– Circles can be an effective marketing tool. Not only can you curate circles of alumni, students, media and other focused groups to target with messaging, circles can also be shared with others to boost followership. For example, a school’s page could share a circle of key publications it recommends its students keep updated with. A professor could also create a circle of students in his or her class, and then share the circle so that everyone could connect with each other.
– Hangouts are a key advantage for Plus, and can be used for one-on-one and one-to-many. From a professor using a Hangout for virtual office hours, to a Hangout on Air, broadcast live on YouTube to showcase a campus event, Hangouts can be used for many different applications.
– Plus activity affects search. Google’s “Search Plus Your World” makes Google Plus an integral part of more personalized search. Participation in Google Plus provides an advantage when someone searches for your department or institution, and can connect with you directly.
– Providing social context with Plus can also affect your AdWords campaigns. Google Plus page endorsements and campaign extensions, according to the representatives who spoke with us, can have a positive impact on click-through rates of AdWords campaigns. If you use AdWords, this is something to consider.
A few more resources and examples to peruse:
For questions on starting your own presence on Google Plus, reach out to us or directly to Zack Yeremian of the Google Boston Local Marketing Team at firstname.lastname@example.org