How to Use Google+ for Social Media Contests


social media how toIs Google+ part of your marketing strategy?

Are you looking for creative ways to run contests and giveaways on Google+?

Although there are restrictions on using Google+ for contests, there are ways for you to promote your contests successfully on Google+.

Interestingly, most brands and businesses on Google+ aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity, and they’re missing out.

In this article, you’ll discover how three brands leverage Google+ as a core component of their social contest strategy and the keys to their success.

Google+ Contest Rules

Running contests, giveaways, promotional offers, etc., has become a staple part of online strategy for business owners and marketers.

They’re used to stimulate engagement, build community, encourage user-generated content, create a unique experience and increase brand awareness.

First let’s look at the rules.

google policies and principles

Be sure to carefully read Google+ Policies & Principles.

Unfortunately, the Google+ platform has specific restrictions when it comes to hosting contests. In fact, Google+’s Contests and Promotions Policy clearly states:

“You may not run contests, sweepstakes, or other such promotions (“Promotion”) directly on Google+ or in a manner that requires use of G+ features or functionality.”

For many people, that’s a show-stopper right there.

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How to Grow Your Google+ Engagement


social media how toAre you getting the most from your Google+ presence?

Are you looking for ways to improve your Google+ engagement?

Well look no further.

In this article I’ll share five ways you can improve your Google+ experience.

Why Google+?

Because Google+ isn’t just a social network–it’s part of a powerful social platform that integrates with key capabilities like Google Docs, chat, hangouts, email and more.

For that reason alone, Google+ is a high-value opportunity worth investing time and resources to cultivate.

A common misconception is that Google+ is a ghost town. In reality, Google+ is home to vibrant, active communities that foster deep engagement. The trick is learning how to find and take advantage of these communities to build long-lasting relationships with your core audiences.

Here are five effective strategies that will take your engagement on Google+ to a whole new level.

#1: Make Your Google+ Page Findable

First, to make sure your Google+ page is easily findable, add a Google+ Badge to your website. You can add a badge for both personal Google+ accounts and business accounts.

example of google+ badge code

Here’s an example of a Google+ Badge code that you can place on your website.

Badges make it easy for visitors to find and engage with you in one simple click of a mouse.

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How to Use Google+ to Expand Your Business Influence


social media how toAre you looking to tap into the power of Google+?

Is your business leveraging all that Google+ has to offer?

Have you created a personal profile or business page on Google+, but want more influence?

Why Google+?

According to GlobalWebIndex, Google+ now has 359 million active users, which puts it ahead of Twitter’s 200 million active users. With that jump in numbers, it’s clear that now is the time to use Google+ to promote your brand.

Here’s an updated guide on all of the things you need to take advantage of Google+ to gain more exposure for your content and your business.

#1: Claim Authorship With Your Personal Google+ Profile

Google uses Authorship to create a visual tie between you and the content you publish. The enhanced search result listings help readers identify your content at a glance and help you build authority and influence.

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5 Tips for Using Google+ to Boost Your Marketing


social media how toAre you wondering how to best use Google+ to enhance your marketing?

Google+ is quickly becoming an essential part of any business’s social media strategy.

It boasts a cool 250 million users! And this number is sure to grow very quickly as Google is making a Google+ account mandatory for all Gmail users.

It’s an audience marketers cannot ignore.

Google+ can help people learn about what makes your business tick -- your products, promotions, hours and anything else you want to share.

Google+ also plays a major role in search engine optimization (SEO) by making it easier for marketers to show up in search results—yet another reason to include Google+ in your social media strategy.

Here are five simple ways to give your business an almost immediate boost using Google+.

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Google+ Marketing: Why Marketers Should Not Overlook Google+


Have you given up on Google+?

Are you wondering whether it is worth managing yet another social network?

To address some of the benefits and misconceptions of Google+ marketing, I interview Jesse Stay for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael StelznerThe 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 Jesse Stay, author of several books including Google+ for Dummies and Google+ Marketing for Dummies. Jesse shares insights into Google’s strategy and what this means for your business.

You’ll learn what’s critical for a successful approach to your Google+ marketing and why Google+ may be essential to your business even if you don’t think so now.

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

Listen Now

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

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5 Ways to Use Google+ Events for Your Business


social media how toGoogle+ Events is yet another way Google+ is competing with Facebook, representing a new opportunity for marketers.

Most marketers and businesses have been using Facebook Events to promote everything from webinars to company fundraising events within their Facebook community.

Now, Google+ has a competing service with new bells and whistles.

Google’s Benefits for Better Business Events

Your ever-expanding Google+ community will benefit from these cool new features that make scheduling, sharing and finding your company’s events easier than ever before.

  • Full integration with Google Calendar—users can view and respond to your events on Google Calendar.
  • Real-time Event Photo Stream—all attendees can contribute directly to one shared photo collection.
  • Mobile Integration—Party Mode allows guests to snap and share photos in real time from their phones.
  • Easy Email Reminders—automated reminders are sent out to your confirmed guest list, along with an update that the event is starting.
  • Events On Air—allows your event to go public. Anyone can find the event page of a public event, view and upload photos, share the event with friends and make comments.
  • Hangout Integration—easily schedule and host virtual meetings and events that can be accessed via a laptop or smartphone by up to 10 guests.
  • Event Analytics—gain insight into offsite activities that involve your Google+ Event via Google’s Social Reporting Tool.

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4 Ways to Improve Your Google+ Engagement


social media how toAre you looking for better engagement on Google+?

Google+ has a unique culture and set of capabilities that set it apart from other social networks.

Here are four tips that have helped me build engagement and expand business networking.

#1: Follow Active People Relevant to Your Business

Wherever you invest time online, have a target audience or connection with people who could be interested in your product or service, which will eventually lead to sales.

Now, finding these people can be a bit of a challenge, but search makes your job a lot easier.

google plus search 1

The search on Google+ has multiple options to choose from.

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How to Use YouTube Live Streaming to Boost Your Exposure


social media researchDid you know you can broadcast LIVE on YouTube in a few simple steps, right from your webcam?

This is great news for businesses. Imagine what this could do for you or your brand!

YouTube is a social media heavyweight, so you should give live broadcasting on this popular platform careful consideration for your social media marketing plan.

Keep reading to find out why you should consider live streaming on YouTube.

The Google+ Back Door to Live YouTube Broadcasting

Regular readers of Social Media Examiner will remember Mike Delgado’s excellent article “Google+ Hangouts On Air: What Marketers Need to Know.” In it, Mike walked through all of the steps needed to do a Google+ Hangout On Air.

Here we’re going to look deeper into the power and position that your business can achieve by using these same features to publish on YouTube.

The popular web series GeekBeat.TV (part of the Revision3 Network) does a live show almost every Friday afternoon that broadcasts on YouTube. Here’s a direct link to a playlist of the archives of many past episodes.

At the time this was written, their YouTube channel boasted more than 2.7 MILLION VIEWS—and YouTube isn’t even their primary channel of distribution.

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5 Creative Ways Businesses Are Using Google+ Hangouts


social media how to

Are you interested in adding a bit of splash to your social media marketing mix?

Google+ Hangouts has addressed this issue.

It might be the versatile platform you’ve been waiting for to help capture the attention of an even bigger slice of potential customers.

With Hangouts, you can:

  • Video chat instantly with up to nine people.
  • Share documents and other files with the group.
  • Watch a YouTube video together and chat alongside it.
  • Share your screen with others.
  • Record sessions for viewing later.
  • Broadcast the chat live to anyone.

How to Get Started

Starting a Hangout is easy (and free!). Just create a Google+ account, and click the “Start a Hangout” button. The technical aspects of Google+ Hangouts are extremely basic and intuitive.

starting a hangout

Starting a Hangout is simple. Click the green "Start a Hangout" button and decide who to invite.

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