Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Google+ Tools Every Marketer Should Use

Social media marketers benefit greatly from tools that help automate aspects of their daily marketing functions. Each social media platform has a variety of tools available either from the network itself or from a third-party provider.
As the social layer to all of Google’s offerings online, Google+ is made up of many different features that at times can be cumbersome to properly manage. With the many Google+ tools available that add to its functionality, it’s easy to get confused as to which options are best for your needs.
Here are some of the best tools marketers can use to effectively manage a Google+ page.

1. Google’s +Post Ads

Now available to all advertisers, +Post ads enable a company to incorporate a post from their Google+ page as a display ad online. Any page with more than a thousand followers can use this feature to integrate engaging content into their existing display ad campaigns to help promote an upcoming Hangout on Air, a new product line, visuals already shared with their Google+ audience and more.
A user can expand one of these +Post ads across the web and interact with the content in real-time, which helps your Google+ content reach in front of a much larger, target audience online. An advertiser only has to pay when a person engages with the ad, not when they see it and pass it by.
Use +Post ads to drive additional awareness and interaction with your content, especially your Hangouts on Air, because participants can engage in a Q&A, leave comments and view the broadcast from an ad across the Web.

2. YouTube Integration

Another Google-owned social network, YouTube is deeply integrated with Google+ making it a helpful tool to build your social presence on both channels. Whenever you’re hosting a Hangout on Air on Google+, a YouTube video will be created after the event is over that will then live on your YouTube channel and will appear on the video tab of your Google+ page. It’s important to also share this video on your Google+ page and other social networks so that those who missed it can still watch your video.
This integration of your YouTube channel and Google+ page is fairly simple (see video below). It’s important to use YouTube as a tool to grow your Google+ following because it’s another way of getting your video content to your audience wherever they are most active.

3. Buffer App

The widely used social media management tool Buffer is a helpful resource for pre-scheduling your Google+ page content. Even though many third-party social media scheduling tools on Google+ are available, Buffer stands out from the rest because of its robust set of features and easy-to-use interface to suit the needs of all levels of marketers. The tool enables you to schedule content for your Google+ page, while also balancing the content scheduled across other social platforms as well.
Buffer enables you to share videos and photos as part of your scheduled Google+ posts to drive deeper engagement from a page’s following. The best feature of Buffer is the ability to set the times you wish to post content on a network ahead of time on a schedule. Your content will automatically get posted at those specific times. This enables you to schedule content on a regular basis.

4. All My + Statistics

An extremely helpful tool for visualizing statistics, trends and other actionable data about your Google+ activity on your page is All My + Statistics. This free measurement tool helps visualize key aspects of your company’s activity on Google+ in charts and graphs that highlight your page’s activity per post, your most popular content, timelines of your activity and posting behaviors, all the photos shared on your page, each member of your audience and more.
This tool can be used on any Google+ page or profile, which makes it an excellent way to analyze what competitors in and outside of your industry are doing on Google+.
Simply copy and paste the URL to your own page or the page of a competitor to get a deeper understanding of what’s happening with their Google+ content. These insights can help your business understand what times are better for posting content, what content typically performs better on your page, the increase or decrease of engagement on your page’s content over time and more.

5. SoundCloud

The audio platform SoundCloud has a deep integration with Google+ enabling you to easily embed audio files directly onto your page and into the feed of your following. It’s important to share a variety of media with your audience on Google+ and audio is an excellent way to help provide different content directly from your page.
Whether you’re sharing music, your company’s podcast, the spoken version of written content or the audio transcript from a recent event, offering audio-focused content to your Google+ audience is an effective way to stand out from the noise.
Simply paste a link on Google+ to a SoundCloud track and it will automatically embed in your post. Experiment with sharing SoundCloud content on your Google+ page to see if your audience is interested in interacting with this type of media generated or curated by your business.

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