Despite its growing popularity, Google+ can be daunting to the newcomer. It is unlike Facebook, Twitter, or Linked-in, but has many great features that set it apart in a good way. When I first got started on Google+ I was totally confused and overwhelmed. Through a process of trial and error, Youtube videos and silly mistakes I gained some insight– but am still learning today. I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of basic Google+ features, to make it easy for a Realtor or anyone new to this platform. While this is not an exhaustive list, it should help you get started.
1. Defining a Google+ Circle
What is a Google+ circle? Google+ defines circles “as the online reflections of your real world connections.” It makes it easy for you to decide what to share with and who. Circles can be categorized by common interests, traits or the persons relation to you. If you are a Realtor, you could divide your circles between current customers, past clients and prospective clients. Once you have your different circles, you can specialize the information you share based upon their relation to you. For example, you may want to share “first time homebuyer tips” to prospective clients, and not past or current customers.
To view circles or to create one. Go to the menu on the left hand side and select the section labeled “people.”
Once there, it will list the circles you already have, and also give you an option to create additional circles.
To learn more about Google+ circles check out this video by Google: What are Google+ Circles?
2. Two types of posts on Google+
There are both public and private posts on Google+. Public posts are searchable online and viewable by everyone who has you in their circle, while private posts can only be seen by the circle you share it with.
Posting is rather simple. All you have to do is type in the preferred text, upload an image, insert a url in the open space. Once complete, go to the “To” section select who you want the post to go to. Select “public” so it can be seen and searchable by anyone, or send it to a preferred circle to keep it private.
3. A Post on Google+ Acts as its own Website
Unlike other social media platforms, posts on Google+ act as blog posts because they are searchable online. The first few lines of text from a Google+ post become the title tag. That text is displayed as the header when it appears on the search engine results page (serp).
Below is an example of how a particular blog posts appears on HomeFolio Media’s Google+ page. The arrow points to the text that will be displayed on the SERP.
Here we see that the text displayed on the blog post shows up as the header once it is searched.
4- You Can Format Your Text Within a Google+ Post
It took me a while to figure this one out. But it is much easier than I thought. The rules are as follows:
Add an underscore before a word and it will be italicized.
_Italic_ = Italic
If you place an asterick, on either side of a word or phrase on G+ it will Bold that area.
*Bold* = Bold
When you insert dash before and after a word or phrase it will have a strikethrough
*1.* Example = 1. Example
*2.* ExampleM = 2. Example
*3.* Example = 3. Example
5. You Can Embed Public Google+ Posts on Your Personal Website
From your Google+ homepage, simply choose the small arrow on the upper right hand corner of the post. From there a drop menu will appear. Choose “embed post.”
Once you are all finished, simply publish the post and it will appear like the photo below. People who comment on this blog post will link back to your G+ page without them having to leave your page.
6. Hovercards Can Help Promote You
In many cases this is your “first impression” and the only chance you will get to convince that person to follow you. That being said, ensure you have a catchy tagline, and keep the contact information current. This card is also customizable if you want to maximize your possibility of getting more followers.
Yes- Google plus has hashtags! Each time you post, Google+ usually selects a hashtag based upon the written content. You also have the option of changing the hashtag or deleting it completely. If you decide to insert your own hashtags, Google will display up to three of your hashtags on the upper right hand corner of the post when you hover over them.
Just like Twitter and Facebook, Google+ hashtags become clickable links that lead you to all other articles or posts with the same hashtag. But Google+ hashtags have a few extra features that are unique to it’s platform. You can search hashtags on Google+ through the “Explore” section.
If you select a hashtag on a particular blog post, it will then bring you to a list of related posts and allow you to scroll through. The last part will give you a list of related hashtags.
For more information on hashtags read this great article by Mark Traphagen: Hashing Out Google Plus Hashtags: Uncover Their Hidden Powers!
8. Adding a Photo
You can adjust photos uploaded to Google+ by “auto-enhancing,” adding text or rotating the justification of the picture.
9. Google+ Communities:
One of the great things about Google+ is the ability to connect with other professionals who are passionate and knowledgable about the same thing you are. Within Google+ communities, you can share information, gain knowledge, ask questions and discuss hot topics. As a Realtor, this feature creates tremendous opportunities for you to network and meet other high-end real estate professionals.
The very fact that a Realtor is active on Google+ usually indicates their understanding of SEO and social media. In my experience, most people in these communities are full of knowledge and interested in sharing what they know. Communities are full of passionate and learned individuals who want to create and nurture real, professional relationships. It is normal to find “long format blog post entries” with detailed descriptions and pictures. This is truly a hub-spot for gaining and exchanging information.
Not only will you learn from Realtors if you stay actively involved in a Google+ community, you will probably grow your audience base as well. Just be sure to engage frequently and to promote work beside your own. Share other people’s posts and content that you find insightful and valuable. If you do this, you will literally watch your Google+ audience increase one follower at a time. With Google+ communities, you can’t go wrong!
To get started, check out the real estate communities “Real Estate” and “Real Estate Community.” Both of them have a few thousands members, and are great places to get connected as a real estate professional.
This is a real basic rundown of a few Google+ features, but there is so much more to cover! Is there anything you think I missed, or is something unclear? Do you know of something you think I should add? Feel free to leave a comment, and please — share this post if it helped you in any way!
Latest posts by Charde' Henderson (see all)
- Proof a Fish is Smarter Than Your Audience - January 29, 2015
- How to Write Successful Real Estate Headlines for Increased Sales - September 30, 2014
- 16 Blogging Mistakes Realtors Can Avoid to Improve SEO - August 21, 2014