Do you use Google+ for your business?

Are you wondering how you can be more successful generating traffic and growing a community with Google+?

To learn what your business needs to know about Google+, I interview Martin Shervington for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview Martin Shervington, who is a Google+ marketing expert, consultant and executive coach. He manages two Google+ communities, Plus Your Life! and Plus Your Business! and has authored numerous books including Developmental Coaching.

Martin shares why he values Google+ and the benefits you can get from it.

You’ll learn what Google+ can offer your business and the best ways to get started.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

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You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher or Blackberry.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Google+ Success

Why Google+ and what has it done for your business?

Martin explains how he started with Google+ on March 6, 2012, when his book, Developmental Coaching, was out and he was looking for ways to promote it. He considered Twitter, but decided to go with Google+ instead.

developmental coaching

Martin started to use Google+ to help with the release of his book, Developmental Coaching.

After a few days of learning everything he could about the platform, he realized how useful it was and started to make notes. People then started to relate to his notes and shared them.

You’ll find out what type of content he shared and why it gave people a better social experience.

Over the last 20 months, Martin has built two communities. Plus Your Life! is very inspirational and about development on the personal side of things, and Plus Your Business! is all about how to use Google+ in business.

plus your business community

The Plus Your Business! community on Google+.

Martin says that Google+ not only helped with his book, it also allowed him to start blogging too.

You’ll discover how Google+ helped him  find an audience and why it gave him the ability to express himself more in his writing.

Eventually Martin started to blog on his own site because he could move the attention over. He now has 36,000 people a month visit his blog.

Martin explains that there are two mechanisms of Google+ that make it unlike other platforms—social and search. When it comes to Google+, the connection between search and social is unique. No other platform has it. Martin says that the punchline to this is that Google+ is Google.

Listen to the show to find out why the search engine becomes a personalized content-surfacer based on whom you are connected with, and what you have interacted with in the past.

Google+ statistics

The latest statistics state that there are 1 billion Google accounts. This number includes accounts for YouTube, Google+ and Gmail. There are 540 million active users, of which 300 million are active in the stream.

You’ll hear Martin explain in more detail why Google+ is more than just a social site.

Listen to the show to find out why Martin believes that in a year, everyone will see that Google has done something amazing with Google+.

The difference between Google+ users and other social networks

Martin says that whenever a change happens with Google+, people in the Google+ community are wowed by the new features. Everybody gets very excited.

There are some great communities that have formed around different niches. It’s a positive environment, where everyone is supportive of one another and there is very high engagement.

Martin believes that people are excited to spend time there, because they feel part of a community.

plus your business community members

People are very supportive within communities.

You’ll discover some big news that Google+ has in beta testing right now.

Listen to the show to learn how Google has integrated the Google+ experience into all of their different platforms.

YouTube’s recent move to integrate Google+ comments

Martin says that a lot of YouTubers have found the change challenging and feel like Google is taking over. However, now people see that you can increase your reach by having the two work together.

martin shervington youtube

The integration of Google+ comments on YouTube can increase your reach.

You’ll find out the connection between YouTube comments and Google+, and why it’s good from a marketing perspective.

Listen to the show to find out why the integration is like no other network when it comes to the spread of content.

How Google+ communities differ from LinkedIn groups

Martin explains how there are two types of communities on Google+. There are private and public, the two being very different in nature.

When you have a private community, it means that you can’t share content outside of that community. However, if it’s public, then it gets indexed by Google search. You can have as many communities as you want of both kinds.

Martin advises you to start with your personal profile. Don’t jump straight in with a new Google+ community. You need to build up a small network and be able to understand Google+ first.

Martin built his two communities over time. Plus Your Life! has around 11,000 members and Plus Your Business! has around 5,000.

You’ll discover why the name you choose for your community is important.

Martin relates Google+ communities to the way people are in relaxed, casual environments. He feels that Google has given us the ability to move throughout a multitude of communities that share our interests.

The big difference between Google+ communities and LinkedIn groups is that they’re much less self-promotional, and not all about business.

You’ll find out why your profile plays an important role in the connections you have with others.

Listen to the show to hear how shared content can drive more people into a community and how communities can appear in a very good position in Google search.

Google+ pages

Martin says the first thing you need to do before you develop a Google+ business page or a community page is to build your personal network—even if it’s only a few hundred people. Once you have done this, it will help you understand the culture more.

martin shervington google plus profile

First you need to build your personal profile on Google+.

If you have a business, it’s a lot easier to build your business page after you have built your personal network. You can then share content from your page to your personal profile.

With a community on the other hand, you can share content from your profile when the time is right and you meet Google’s guidelines. It gives you an outlet for your own profile content. You can also do the same with a page.

All of the content you share flows into people’s streams, depending on their settings. They don’t even have to go into a community in order to see it. It’s a great way to build your network.

You’ll learn a great tip if you want to build a brand page without having a personal profile.

The best way to make fans or followers feel part of your community is to thank them for a +1. If they share your content, you can also go to the post that they shared and you can +1 it and thank them there too. From here you can add that person into a circle.

You’ll discover tactics you can use to get better engagement and allow people to connect with your brand.

Listen to the show to find out how you can use hashtags in Google+ and Google search to find influencers.

Metrics that work

Martin states that at present, Google+ is very light on metrics for page managers. People are saying that now the potential change of the ad system could lead to a lot more analytics. The way to tell if something works is to measure a) Do people go to the site? and b) Do they behave how we intend when they’re there?

Martin believes that you will get a lot more analytics over the coming years. Google still says that it’s early days for them.

Listen to the show to find out how you can use shortened URLs to track traffic. 

Google authorship and what marketers need to know

Martin explains how Google authorship connects the content you create to your Google+ profile. It can be content that you create within Google+, on another person’s website or on your own website.

martin shervington google authorship

Google authorship connects your content to your Google+ profile in search.

Your profile image is then attached to your content in Google search. From a branding point of view, it’s great because it means that people consistently see your face. Your content can stand out from those who don’t have authorship, and it can increase click-through rates.

Listen to the show to find out how you can set up Google authorship.

Discovery of the Week

If you have a hard time focusing, my good friend Cliff Ravenscraft recently introduced me focus@will. It’s a website and app that employ neuroscience along with music to allow you to remain focused. They have a free and a paid version.

focus at will

Try focus@will to help you remain focused.

There are many sounds available from different genres. I typically go with the classical music and let it run in the background. I’ve only been using it a couple of days, but I’ve been getting an enormous amount of work done.

I strongly recommend you check it out.

Call in and leave your social media–related questions for us and we may include them in a future show.

Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how this works for you.

Other Show Mentions

SMMW logoSocial Media Marketing World 2014 is our physical mega-conference, which is set to return to San Diego, California on March 26, 27 and 28.

The conference features more than 60 sessions in 4 major tracks, which include social tactics, social strategy, community management and content marketing.

At least 60% of the attendees are employed by businesses, and the rest are people who own their own businesses.

Some of the more recognized brands already registered include Microsoft, Chiquita, Omni Hotels, Coldwell Banker, Motorola, Kawasaki Motors, Seventh Generation, WaterPik, CamelBak, Unisys, Plato’s Closet, Delta Dental, State Farm, USAA, Boiron, Cox Business, Schlotzky’s, Invesco, LinkedIn, Cutco and Marriott Hotels.

So whether you work for a recognizable brand or you are a social media marketer of any kind who needs to dig in deep, do some great networking and walk away with amazing professional development, then be sure to check it out.

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

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What do you think? What are your thoughts on using Google+ for your business? Please leave your comments below.

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  • Happy New Year to you also Michael. Great show as always.

  • Martin thanks sharing your story and teaching all us of how to show up and take our art where it can intersect with the world. Truly, perfect is the enemy of visible, but not in your case. Keep doing work that matters.

  • CrosbyTee

    G+ is a mob style protection racket:

    Ignore Google Plus and Google search will ignore you. – Larry Page Google CEO

  • DonnaGilliland

    Martin, as an educator and marketer, I can honestly say that your delivery of this information was incredible. If there are any who don’t understand the BIG picture of the power of Google and it’s social layer, Google+, they should now.
    The insight and tips that you provided were helpful at many levels. I do hope that those who are on the fence will listen closely to this podcast and give serious thought to implementing a Google+ strategy into their 2014 marketing plans.
    I have been on Google+ since beta and I do understand its power! However, this podcast gave me even more insight. Thank you Martin.
    Thanks Mike for another great podcast. One of my favorites for 2013!

  • Google+ is an amazing social network, but it is a total waste of time trying to drive traffic to your website from there. It just doesn’t.

  • Great episode Mike! Martin, I love your insights on Google+; this is definitely a
    platform I’ve been keep a close eye on. Love the automatic hashtag
    selections that you talk about, among the many other G+ take-aways in
    this episode. Thank you Mike and Martin!

  • Thanks John – I think you will see Google+ getting a lot more attention in 2014

  • I hear you Albert – For us it is #5 on the list of social networks.

  • Donna – Glad you found the podcast helpful and are so bullish on Google+

  • Thanks Nitish

  • geekotech

    You also need to know that Google+ is infuriating people. It’s like not a great platform to be on because the acceptance is not there. If you do not believe me, check this.
    This is not a promotional comment but you need to understand that the fundamentals which google is following to build Google+ are very wobbly and this will not survive. People are not ready to jump onto Google+.

  • geekotech

    I do not give a shit about Google plus but few of my articles are ranked first in the search engine, bull shit it is!!!
    People are already burning it down.

  • Jennifer Griffin

    Can you explain this further? My boss just today sent a long email telling us that Google+ is THE way to drive traffic to our websites and well…I don’t agree. Maybe your thoughts can help me help her understand.

  • MartinSherv

    Thank you for the positive vibes! Make sure you hit me up on G+ and I’ll add you to a circle or two 🙂

  • MartinSherv

    Hey Albert and Jennifer (and Mike too!), I would say that the social links can work but I really think the power is Search.
    In essence, the engagement on the content enables search to ‘happen’. That is the real power.

  • MartinSherv

    Hey Donna!
    Thank you very much indeed, that is a lovely compliment.
    Here is to making 2014 an excellent year in the Plus, Martin

  • MartinSherv

    Wow, thanks Patrick! And yes, showing up is a great start. Becoming part of it all is when the magic happens. I wish you all the best sir, Martin

  • MartinSherv

    Thank you Nitish, I have Mike to thanks for being such an excellent host.

  • Jennifer Griffin

    Thank you, Martin. It’s the content. It’s hard to explain that social media is just another form of media, but you still have to have the content. So, since you have been quite helpful, can you help with one more inquiry? The company is a B2B – no public sales. There is a non-profit tied to the company that raises money for ALS Research. Google + does not allow for anything but personal accounts that I can see. Help? (and thank you!)

  • MartinSherv

    More than happy to help Jennifer. And yes, a Profile (a person) will own a Page (which can be a business, brand, non-profit).
    You can then post and interact as that Page.
    And you are spot on, content is one side of the coin and engagement is the other. It is engagement from a community of people that enables content to be surfaced in search.
    Please do ask any other questions as it really help me to attempt explain things in the best way I can.

  • Jennifer Griffin

    I love the access and knowledge that you and Michael willingly share. Wish I had the authority to hire you both for one week…haha Happy New Year!

  • MartinSherv

    More than welcome. do check out the Plus Your Business community as we all help each other out there daily. As I say, here to help; and a Happy New Year to you too.

  • The more I learn about Google+ the more I feel it will truly overtake Facebook.

    I’ve already read how much better it is for local search rankings, so if you have a small local business, it’s definitely a wise idea to start a Google+ account.

    Thanks for sharing all of your Google+ pointers with us, Martin! It’s most appreciated!

  • Glad you enjoyed it James

  • MartinSherv

    Very welcome James. And I agree, getting started is a good first step. Catch you in the Plus!

  • Erin Staley

    A fantastic podcast! Endless thanks to you both, Michael and Martin, for imparting much-needed G+ tidbits.

  • Great article, thanks Michael

  • MartinSherv


  • MartinSherv

    Glad to hear it 😀

  • Do you know of a way that I can change the Google+ page that is associated with my local business listing? When we set it up, Google automatically created a new Google+ page and associated that with our local business listing.

  • No question we should be allocating more resources to G+. I know I plan to. And thanks for the focus@will tip Mike. I like the Ambient music myself. 🙂

  • treb072410

    Thanks for sharing Michael love what I read about this article.. Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year!…

  • John Waghorn

    Google + is a great platform for community engagement, although if you’re new to the whole social sphere then you might want to familiarise yourself with a couple of them first. Facebook has plenty of business pages too, although users shouldn’t neglect Google +.

    Martin Shervington shows how powerful this network can be if you aim to maintain and build your own profile. It’s likely that this platform will only get bigger too, so businesses should dive into the deep end and start using G+ to their advantage. Happy New Year Michael, top

  • Sukanta Roy

    Hello Mr. Michael, thanks a lot for all the past info and upcoming valuable info. I am from Eastern part of India dealing in Real Estate Marketing & Sales and just started learning about Social Media seriously. Thank you very much once again to you…….Take Care

  • Sukanta Roy

    Thanks to Mr. Martin also………@@@Take Care

  • Good information Michael – and a great resource on Google+ moving into the new year. Have a happy one!

  • travisrhaley

    Okay this show has me thinking more about not ignoring Google+.. the implications could be huge either way. I’d rather take advantage of it and reap the benefits! I started using focus@will and it helped me finish a 17 hour day! I highly recommend it. Thank you for providing excellent content!

  • Hey Travis – Glad you found this helpful and that your productivity has gone up!

  • Thanks Matthew

  • Thanks Sukanta!

  • Happy new year to you too John

  • Happy new year!

  • Hey Jeff – I am listening to the Focus@Will as I write you. Thanks for your comment

  • Misty Young

    Wow, another great interview, excellent content. Google+ is already emerging as the dominant network, and +Martin Shervington is leading the pack. Super thankful to have heard this interview, great work Michael!

  • Thanks Misty

  • Fantastic post, Michael! For the last year, I procrastinated with Google+ and stuck with my guns on Twitter & Facebook. 3 Months ago, I decided to pick it up and have accumulated roughly 800 followers (circlers) and I found that people are very willing to share relevant content on Google+.

    I also typically get more blog comments from G+ than any other social network! 🙂

  • I think you will see a lot more folks jumping on Google+ so stick to it!

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  • treb072410

    Thanks Michael…

  • treb072410

    Thanks Michael…

  • David – Strategy Point

    Thanks for another fantastic podcast as always. The latest enhancements of the Google+ platform were news to me and really spurred me into action to get my presence updated there. Thanks again!

  • David – Strategy Point

    Thanks for another fantastic podcast as always. The latest enhancements of the Google+ platform were news to me and really spurred me into action to get my presence updated there. Thanks again!

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  • I don’t understand google+ but in the podcast he raises a lot of good point, like how it is its very own unique searching social network. Definitely looking into it more for developing my brand.

  • Brittany C.

    Thank you! I’m making the shift in 2014 to Google + and learning more about Google +!!! I can’t spend all of my time figuring out FB — nothing seems to be working for me on FB anymore. It’s very frustrating…

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