Google+ (G+) is a new social media platform which has had mixed reviews since its launch in mid 2011. There are more than 170 million users registered on Google+ but far less are actively using it as this stage. This may change as Google places more emphasis on the platform, so it is worth getting on board so that your radio station or program has a presence.
Similar features exist on Google+ that are available on Facebook business pages but there are some distinct and beneficial differences. Google+ also has a lot of features which are ideal for radio stations and importantly, Google+ profiles and updates are visible on Google searches.
One of the key differences between Google+ and Facebook is its focus on targeted sharing within subsets of a user’s social group, which are called ‘circles’. Circles allow you to group people and to control the information they have access to. Instead of your updates going to everyone connected with your Google+ profile you can select which circles will see your updates, for example, updates can be targeted at your circles of staff, subscribers, listeners or artists.
Setting up Google+
In just a few minutes you can create a Google+ page for your station and add people to your circles (these people also need to have a Google+ profile). You will need to have a general Google account to register with Google+.
There are many ways to customise your Google+ profile. For example, you can set how many updates you see from your circles, you can add various photos to your profile and you can chat with people on Google+.
You need to regularly post to your Google+ profile to keep it active. You also need to follow other users and build a following. Just like Twitter you can follow other people on Google+ without having to ‘friend’ them.
- Be sure to complete your profile information in Google+ as this will help your radio station or program be found in search engines and will increase your visibility across Google.
- Google+ has a section specifically for viewing, managing and editing your photos – it includes an image editor (complete with Instagram-like photo effects), privacy options and sharing features.
- One of Google+’s most talked about features is ‘hangouts’ which is a group chat feature. Instead of directly asking a friend to join a group chat, users instead click ‘start a hangout’ and they’re instantly in a video chatroom alone. At the same time, a message goes out to their social circles, letting them know that their friend is ‘hanging out’. Friends can then join the hangout as long as they have been placed in a circle that was invited by the person who created the hangout.
- Once you’ve been set up in Google (which you need to do to create a Google+ profile) you can use other Google products (such as the calendar or Google docs) to share information across your radio station, assuming your staff/board/volunteers all have Google accounts. There are a large number of tools available under the Google umbrella and these can be explored in Google Products.
- Google+ – The Complete Guide: Mashable
- Google+ Not Giving Up Without a Fight: The New Features of Google+: Social Mediology
- Google+ Guide for Nonprofits: Google