I’m lucky enough to live near a beautiful reservoir that covers about 7 square miles of stunning UK countryside.
And with it being a fabulously sunny morning this morning, I found myself heading off for a walk almost as soon as I rolled out of bed.
‘But what’s this?’ I can almost hear you thinking,’ I thought this was supposed to be another one of Sean’s hugely informative social media articles – not some poetic piece about a walk in the countryside!’
Then bear with me dear reader and ALL will be revealed!
As I completed the second mile of my walk I passed a couple who were enthusiastically taking photos of various points of the water and I couldn’t help but overhear one of them say to the other:
‘These photos better be really good if we’re going to have a great ‘hangout’ tonight’
For a moment I have to confess I wondered what I had stumbled into but something about the way they said this had my ‘social media antenna’ twitching, so I just thought I’d casually say ‘hello’ and see if I could find out a little more.
Turns out that whatever my initial thoughts may have been, the couple were in fact avid birdwatchers and later this evening were planning a ‘Google hangout’ for fellow enthusiasts in a Bird-Watching Google Group that they had recently set up.
Now I have the utmost respect for everyone who appreciates our wildlife, but I have to be honest… bird-watching is simply not my thing and I would never have thought of conducting a Google hangout around this hobby, BUT in our very brief conversation I realised that the couple had reminded me of some of the key benefits of Google+ that I had either started to take for granted or had plain and simply ignored!.
So having thanked the couple an idea for a Google+ article came to mind – and here it is!
The Birdwatcher & Business Owners Top 3 Tips
So what are we going to be looking at?
Well briefly we’ll be looking at:
Clearly Presenting Your Topic
Defining Your Google Community
Creating Google Hangouts
Clearly Presenting Your Topic:
Whether it’s bird-watching or business, much of your communication will be written – so here are some smart ways that you can emphasise some of the text in Google+
DIVERSITY: Look at how you can make things stand-out through highlighting parts of your text, adding images or add video feeds
BOLD: Adding an asterisk at the beginning and end of part of a sentence will highlight it in bold. *This part of the sentence to be bold*
In ITALICS: Using underscores in the part of the sentence that you want to highlight will italicise the text.’ I_love_birdwatching.’
Once you publish your comments these text amendments will then appear
Defining Your Community:
Clearly our bird-watching friends had created a Google+ community with like-minded people and you can do the same.
Let’s say you run a graphic design business that specialises in graphic design for start-ups. Why not set up a community that would attract start-up businesses and then start posting content and articles in that community that may draw like-minded people to you?
As other people start to post, share and comment the community will start becoming really vibrant and appealing and allows for you to engage with fellow community members from a real relationship-building perspective.
Additional benefits here are that posts within communities that you have either set-up or that you actively participate in:
Posts can receive +1’s from other members and can be shared with other communities and circles, thus leading to the opportunity for them to go viral.
These posts can and will be indexed and ranked by Google
Posts can be streamed by community, rather than in the home stream – so are much more targeted to the main areas of focus of that particular community readership.
Creating Google hangouts:
For those of you unfamiliar with these, these are effectively a video chat feature which allows for live video chat (which can be viewed again later after the hangout has taken place. This platform works with all computers, android and apple devices so suiting the needs of most of your potential audience.
Possible business applications might include:
A weekly or monthly video update detailing special offers or promotions that you might be running
Monthly interviews with people relevant to your community and with ‘an offer’ at the end of the video
Webinar type hangouts, ( much as above) where you could provide useful information to your community and then promote something at the end of the session