6 Steps to a Killer Strategy for Adding Content to Your Google+ Page

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 6:33 AM on April 25, 2013:

By Patsy Stewart

1. Link your blog to your Google+ profile. The benefits for doing this are seen in the search results. Called "Author Rank," Google uses a verification process that ties authors to their published content. Your profile picture is also included in the search results which sets your results apart from the other results. If your blog or website is WordPress you can click here for a simple process on Copyblogger to claim Google Authorship in 3 easy steps. For additional info on Author Rank check out this cheat sheet on Copyblogger and join this community on Google+.

Google+

2. Organize your connections. Unlike Facebook, Google allows you to organize your connections into circles or groups of importance to you and how you interact with them. The big plus here is that your circles are private to you and you can communicate with your circles individually or within the group. Your personal profile and your business page have different circles. As a page, you can add other pages to your circles but you cannot add a person to your page circles unless they add you first.

3. Think of your Google+ posts as blog articles. Since there are no limits to the length of your posts on Google+, you can include multiple links in your posts, use hashtags, and include links back to your blog. Include images as well as videos in your posts.

4. Use keywords in both the titles and the captions of your images. Images on Google+ show up in search results also. Your photos and images can include details and captions.

5. Use Google hangouts. Google hangouts are like video chats. You can invite your circles to hangouts and can include up to 10 people.  You will find thought leaders and celebrities having spontaneous hangouts and the first people to jump on get to have a live conversation with them. Use Google hangouts for discussions on products, Q&A for topics of interest, and to get ideas for future endeavors. Unique to Google hangouts is that you can archive and upload your hangout to Youtube.

6. Use and participate in Google communities wisely. Google communities are where individuals and page brands gather to talk about a particular interest and to share ideas to help each other. Here is the place you can find influencers and interact with them.  If you join a community, don’t plan to spam it with your services and products.  That’s not what it’s for and could be a huge reason for your failure on Google+.  But, be active in the community:  +1 posts and comments (+1 is like giving a public recommendation for the post or comment), comment and share your opinions and thoughts on posts,  interact with thought leaders, and publish your relevant content to the community.  NOTE:  You can include communities when you share posts and updates.

For additional information on Google+ business pages, check out Google’s user guide Getting Started with Google+ for Business.

For further reading:

Patsy Stewart is a social media practitioner and owner of The Social BUZZ Lab. Her posts for Handshake 2.0 generate top ten buzz. You're invited to read more from Patsy Stewart on Handshake 2.0 and on The Social Buzz Lab.

How to Make a Google+ Business Page

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 6:20 AM on April 10, 2013:

By Patsy Stewart 

I shared why a business needs a Google+ page in 3 Reasons to Have a Business Page on Google+. Here is a 6-step guide on how to help you set your business up to capitalize on the benefits of a Google+ page.

1. You must have a personal profile before you can create your page.  If you have a Gmail account or any other Google product account then you already have an account so you just need to add your personal information.  Click this link to sign in or you can create an account.

Find your Google+ profile
2.  To create a business page, click on the Pages icon on the left side navigation. If you don’t see Pages, click on the “More” icon at the bottom.

Click on the Google+ Pages icon

3. Click on the red “Create New Page” tab on the top right.

NOTE:  You can create and manage multiple pages.

Create a new Google+ page

4. Select the category that best describes your business. If you have a storefront you will want to create “Local Business” or Place.

You will be prompted to enter your phone number and Google will attempt to locate your business and will list the address.  If it can’t find your business, then enter the details and click "Create." If you are not a local business with a storefront then choose one of the other categories, enter your business name, select a category, and click "Create."

Select a Google+ category

5. Add your profile photo (250x250px minimum), tagline (10 keywords that describe your business), introduction, website, hours, contact info, etc. You will also upload your custom cover image.  Your cover image gives you prime real estate to include a call to action, contact info and a way to visually to your story.  Unlike Facebook, there are no limitations on how you can use this image.

Add a profile image
6. The final step is to verify your page.  Hover over "unverified" and request to be verified. Google will send a postcard with a pin number to the address listed on the page. You need to enter that pin to verify your page. Once you've done that, you've got an official Google+ business page!

. . . . .

For additional information on Google+ business pages, Patsy recommends checking out Google’s user guide Getting Started with Google+ for Business.

Patsy Stewart is a social media practitioner and owner of The Social BUZZ Lab. Her posts for Handshake 2.0 generate top ten buzz. You're invited to read more from Patsy Stewart on Handshake 2.0 and more about Google + on The Social Buzz Lab Blog.

3 Reasons to Have a Business Page on Google+: Search, Reach, Who You Know

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:24 AM on March 26, 2013:

By Patsy Stewart 

I feel adamant that one of the most important social networks for any business to be active in is Google+.  Here's why:

Does your business have a Google+ strategy?First is search.  What's synonymous with "search"? "Google," of course. Google+ is a Google product and Google is to search like Kleenex is to tissue. Google+ directly impacts a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy by increasing the chances that the content a business's people write will show up in search results.

Second is reach. Mark Traphagen, Director of Digital Outreach  for Virante Inc., said recently at SMX West 2013:

“It [Google+] extends your reach far beyond the social network itself into the SERPs. With G+, you’re influencing all of the people who follow you, and everyone connected to their circles as well.”

Getting a business's content onto Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is a key tactic in an online business strategy. Posts on Google+ are included in search results.  Local businesses receive an additional benefit of being included in the local search results as well. Content that appears in SERPs reaches all of the people you follow as well as everyone to whom they are connected.

Third is Google Authorship, i.e. that fundamental business principal, "It's who you know." Google Authorship is an effective way of creating "It's who you know" connections by getting pictures in search results and identifying the author of the content. With Google Authorship and Author Rank, you get a boost in your industry as a thought leader.  Not only are you creating a name for yourself, but your content sets you apart from your competition. With your picture displayed next to your content, you should get more click-through rates from the search results and an increase in your site's traffic.

Update 4/10/2013 - Thanks to Patsy Stewart for sharing this related post with us from Marketing Profs: Google Authorship and Author Rank: Big for SEO in 2013 and Beyond.

A picture's worth 1000 hits

In business, "It's who you know." Handshake 2.0 reminds us that in business online, "It's still who you know." Google+ offers businesses a way to help get their people known for who they are and what they know and that's always been a great strategy for doing great business.

. . . . .

For additional information on Google+ business pages, Patsy recommends checking out Google’s user guide Getting Started with Google+ for Business.

Patsy Stewart is a social media practitioner and owner of The Social BUZZ Lab. Her posts for Handshake 2.0 generate top ten buzz. You're invited to read more from Patsy Stewart on Handshake 2.0 and more about Google + on The Social Buzz Lab Blog.

3 Reasons a Business Should Be on Google+

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 6:56 AM on March 7, 2013:

From Anne Giles Clelland:

"When I’m asked to describe Google+ I often refer to it as Facebook without all of the drama."
- Patsy Stewart, You're Freakin' Kidding Me... You're Not on Google+?!

I've debated for more than a year about creating a Google+ business profile page for Handshake 2.0. 

Google+Content is king and queen for Handshake 2.0. People find their questions answered in meaningful ways by Handshake 2.0's writers through Google search results. We've shared our site's traffic stats for years - today, more than 50% of our traffic is from Google, 25% is direct, Facebook is down to 1%, and Twitter no longer even ranks in the top 10 sources.

I've thought we didn't need another social media channel. Patsy Stewart informed me that thinking of Google+ this way was strategically incorrect. Hesitant to allocate limited bandwidth to another project, however, I still haven't taken action.

Then Patsy sent a link to this Copyblogger post to her clients: Seven Ways Writers Can Build Online Authority with Google+.

To summarize the post, Google is announcing changes in search results that will assign importance not only to web pages with great content, but to the writers of great content themselves.  We'll see more about "Author Rank" and "Google Authorship" in the days ahead.  But individual authors who consistently create content that readers value are likely to  see their posts ranked ahead of those written without attribution or with, well, lengthy, boring jargon.

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”
- excerpt from forthcoming book by executive director of Google Eric Schmidt quoted in the Wall Street Journal 

What does this mean for people-focused, content-driven sites like Handshake 2.0? To help Google help people find great content, our great writers - our client authors, staff writers and freelancers - need Google+ profiles. And Handshake 2.0 needs a Google+ business profile page.

We'll learn more about what Eric Schmidt means by  "verified online profiles" as the story unfolds, but a Google+ profile will certainly rank higher in Google search results than a LinkedIn profile - the convention we have followed on Handshake 2.0 to build "It's still who you know" connections - or a corporate bio page.  I'm consulting with Patsy Stewart on best practices for managing Google+ profiles for authors, businesses and sites that consciously and intentionally create and publish great content. We'll share.

In the meantime, I'm taking to mind and heart Patsy Stewart's advice in her Freakin' post the three reasons a business should be on Google+: search results, search results, search results.

Update 4/10/2013

Thanks to Patsy Stewart for sharing this related post with us from Marketing Profs: Google Authorship and Author Rank: Big for SEO in 2013 and Beyond.

. . . . .

Graphic courtesy of Social BUZZ Lab

Names in this post have been changed - to link to Google+ profiles!

We're honored that Patsy Stewart shares her great writing and great advice with Handshake 2.0's readers.  Please see Patsy Stewart's category on Handshake 2.0.

This just in! Added 3/7/2013, 9:30 AM EST: 3 New Enhancements to Google Plus by Erika Williams Bentley for Social BUZZ Lab - founded by Patsy Stewart!

A Social Media Philosophy

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:43 AM on October 17, 2012:

Patsy Stewart is the owner of The Social BUZZ Lab and the person to whom I turn immediately when I have a social media how-to question.  Foundational to her know-how is a set a principles she brings to the business of social media from years of business experience.  What I appreciate most about Patsy, however, is that her philosophy of social media is ever-evolving.  She continues to learn and continues to apply that learning in ways that are of benefit to all of us.

Social-media-blundersFor example, here are excerpts from Patsy Stewart's How to Correct 8 Common Blunders of Social Media:

Social media is not about selling but about building relationships. Do not push your message but build your relationships by promoting others and providing valuable content. Make yourself a resource for others and the sales will come to you.

Showing appreciation goes a long way in social media. While building relationships, don’t forget you need to show gratitude.  Engagement comes in the form of comments, likes, retweets and sharing. You can express gratitude when you get new followers, when someone likes your posts and when they share your content. Equally important is promoting others.

Relationship building on social media requires transparency. For a successful relationship you must be authentic. Find your authentic voice. Be real while asking questions, telling stories, listening and relating to people. Let people know you are real.

Patsy Stewart is for real. 

I turn to Patsy's Social BUZZ Lab Strategy to find out the latest in social media and the latest about what Patsy's thinking.  For the sake of my company's use of social media, I am grateful that she keeps them one and the same.

For the full post with links to sources, please see How to Correct 8 Common Blunders of Social Media.

I am honored that Patsy will often write a guest post for Handshake 2.0.  For more of the how-to and why of social media, read Patsy Stewart's category on Handshake 2.0.

How to Create a Facebook Photo Album

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 10:43 AM on September 6, 2012:

The way I used to create Facebook photo albums of the equally important subjects of my cats in pink beds and VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Challenge winners is no more.  When Facebook changes, I go straight to Facebook expert, Patsy Stewart, with my questions.  "How do you create a Facebook photo album now?" I asked.  Patsy kindly replied:

There are 2 ways to create a Facebook photo album.

Way #1

In a status update box, select Photo//Video, then select  "Create Photo Album." Select the photos you want to upload by holding the Control key on a PC and Command key on a Mac to select multiple photos.

Create Photo Album

Way #2

Click Photos tab...  

Click Photos tab

...and Add Photos.

Add Photos

Then follow the instructions in the diagram below...

Instructions for creating a Facebook Photo Album

(Click image for a larger view.)

I hope this helps!! Let me know if you have any questions!!

***

Thank you, Patsy!  It does! 

Patsy Stewart is a social media practitioner and owner of The Social BUZZ Lab. Her posts for Handshake 2.0 generate top ten buzz. You're invited to read more from Patsy Stewart on Handshake 2.0.

First Bank & Trust CompaySponsored by First Bank & Trust Company, one of the top community banks in the United States, with office locations in southwest Virginia, northeast Tennessee, and the New River and Shenandoah Valleys of Virginia. You're invited to read more from First Bank & Trust Company on Handshake 2.0.

VT KnowledgeWorks is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

What Should Be in an Email Signature?

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:15 AM on September 4, 2012:

From Patsy Stewart:

We communicate everyday with our clients and business associates through email. An email signature is just as important as a firm handshake when meeting and greeting someone.  Just like your handshake, your email signature is an opportunity to communicate.

What should be included in an email signature?

  • Valediction (What's this?)
  • Your name
  • Your title
  • Phone numbers
  • Company logo or company name (you could use your photo instead of logo)
  • Website
  • Social network links
  • Industry news or your latest or most popular blog post

Here's how it looks!  Send me an email when you've got your email signature set up - I'd love to see it! 

Patsy Stewart's email signature

Check out Patsy Stewart's how-to on email signatures on The Social BUZZ Lab blog.

Patsy Stewart is a social media practitioner and owner of The Social BUZZ Lab. Her posts for Handshake 2.0 generate top ten buzz. You're invited to read more from Patsy Stewart on Handshake 2.0.

First Bank & Trust CompaySponsored by First Bank & Trust Company, one of the top community banks in the United States, with office locations in southwest Virginia, northeast Tennessee, and the New River and Shenandoah Valleys of Virginia. You're invited to read more from First Bank & Trust Company on Handshake 2.0.

First Bank & Trust Company is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Revitalize Your Facebook Page with Timeline and These 7 Steps

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:44 AM on May 17, 2012:

From Patsy Stewart:

Facebook switched all pages over to Timeline this year.  How are you adapting to the change? Have you visited your page to see the changes?  If not, now is the time to take a closer look and make a few changes of your own to revitalize your page for better engagement.

Timeline is VISUAL.

You need to be creative with your images, show you are real by being transparent, and be active with consistent content. Research is showing that brands using Timeline have increased their fan engagement.

Revitalize your Facebook Page with these 7 steps.

1. Create a powerful Cover Image.  (See Handshake 2.0's Facebook Timeline Graphics Guide.)  This is the first impression for many of your first-time visitors so make it stand out.  Keep in mind that there are some rules to follow:  NO contact information of any kind, no website, no phone number, no call to action, no reference to “like” or “share.”  Keep in mind where your profile image will lay on your cover.  You can be creative with your profile but remember this will be the icon that displays during all of your activity on Facebook. Your profile image is an important piece to your brand. In fact, Facebook recently increased the size to 180px x 180px. 

TIP: Change your cover image frequently to give your page a little swagger. Always add calls to action and contact info in the image descriptions.

Blackstone Grill on Facebook
2. Craft your ABOUT information wisely.  You only have 170 characters to tell all About your company. You can use this area for keywords, website links, and calls to action. You can edit this info from the Admin panel by going to Manage Page and selecting Basic Information. 

TIP: If your page category is a Local Business, the About area is not visible under your cover image but instead displays your hours, location and phone.

3. Customize your TABS for best engagement. The tabs (applications) are located directly under your cover image and the top four are visible. The first Tab is for your photos and cannot be changed. The next three Tabs in the row can be customized with special graphics and can switch positions.  There are a maximum of 12 tabs that can be seen if you click the dropdown arrow. These tabs represent the different apps that you use on your page including iframes that were used for Welcome and Fan Gate pages. To switch positions and to change the graphic for the app, you need to click the dropdown arrow on the right. Mouse over the app you want to change and click on the pencil. You will see where you can swap positions with other apps and if you select edit you can change the tab name as well as the graphic.  

TIP: Use the app graphics to include calls to action for your fans.

4. Tell your company story by adding Milestones.  You can add milestones in your timeline. Start with when your company was founded and continually tell your story by adding additional milestones such as awards, achievements, accreditations, new clients, special events, growth of products and services, new employees and collaborations.  You can add Milestones from the status input box.

TIP: Include an image - remember Timeline is Visual!
 
5. Highlight special posts. Highlighted posts stretch across both columns of the Timeline and provide a great way to generate more interaction.  By having your update span the entire width of the timeline, your content is easier to read and your updates are more visually appealing when they include an image. To highlight a post, mouse over the top right of the post box and click on the star. 

TIP: Highlighted updates are ideal to showcase your videos.

6. Pin important posts to the top of your timeline.  This is a new feature that allows you to pin important posts and have them remain at the top of your timeline for a maximum of 7 days. After you create and publish a post, you can pin it to the top by clicking on the pencil at the top right of the post. Select the option pin to "top." You can also change the date which moves the post in the timeline.  You can’t pin a highlighted image but clicking highlight on a post before you click pin will make it revert to highlighted when the pin to top is removed or expires.

TIP: Don’t leave a post pinned for more than 3 or 4 days. Fans want to see fresh content.

7. Teach your fans how to use Interest Lists.  Interest Lists are created by users to customize the information they are getting in their newsfeed. Encourage your fans to add your page to their Interest Lists. Create your own Interest Lists and include your page. Make it public to get others to subscribe to your list. 

TIP: Share your Interest List on your page wall to get your fans to subscribe.

I hope these steps and tips will generate buzz for your company through your revitalized Facebook page!

Patsy Stewart is a social media practitioner and owner of The Social BUZZ Lab. Her posts for Handshake 2.0 generate top ten buzz. You're invited to read more from Patsy Stewart on Handshake 2.0.

If you liked this post, you may also be interested in Patsy Stewart's Revitalize Your LinkedIn Profile with These 7 Best Practices. 

More on Facebook for business from Patsy Stewart:

What You Need to Know About Facebook Insights
Ten Things You May Not Know About Facebook Business Pages
Why Doesn't Your Business Facebook Page Have a Custom Profile Image?
Top 3 Facebook Tips from The Social BUZZ Lab (by Z. Kelly Queijo)

First Bank & Trust CompaySponsored by First Bank & Trust Company, one of the top community banks in the United States, with office locations in southwest Virginia, northeast Tennessee, and the New River and Shenandoah Valleys of Virginia. You're invited to read more from First Bank & Trust Company on Handshake 2.0.

First Bank & Trust Company is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

What You Need to Know About Facebook Insights

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 5:45 AM on November 18, 2011:

An excerpt from What You Need to Know About Facebook Insights (.pdf) a new white paper from Patsy Stewart, The Social BUZZ Lab:

What You Need to Know About Facebook Insights from The Social BUZZ LabFacebook recently launched a new version of its page Insights.  As a page administrator, you can find helpful data about your published content and discover how it performs with your fans. You can also determine which content best resonates with your audience for optimal engagement.

Analytics Help You Optimize Your Content Strategy

The ultimate goal of the content you post on Facebook is to reach and engage with your fans. This data from Facebook's Insights can help you understand which type of post gets the most engagement and reach.

  • Date – day your post was published
  • Post – the type of content (post, photo, video, link) and an excerpt from your post
  • Reach – the number of unique individuals who saw your post. Clicking on the number will drill down the channel that delivered the message
  • Engaged Users – number who clicked on your post
  • Talking About This – the number who engaged or created a story from your post
  • Virality – the number of unique people who created a story from your post as a percentage of the number who have seen it

Download the free, 7-page report: What You Need to Know About Facebook Insights (.pdf)

More on Facebook for business from Patsy Stewart:

Ten Things You May Not Know About Facebook Business Pages
Why Doesn't Your Business Facebook Page Have a Custom Profile Image?
Top 3 Facebook Tips from The Social BUZZ Lab (by Z. Kelly Queijo)

Patsy Stewart is a social media practitioner and owner of The Social BUZZ Lab. Her posts for Handshake 2.0 generate top ten buzz.  You're invited to read more from Patsy Stewart on Handshake 2.0.

Ten Things You May Not Know About Facebook Business Pages

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 5:45 AM on August 9, 2011:

From Patsy Stewart:

Welcome to The Social BUZZ Lab on Facebook So, you have a Facebook page for your company or business, but are you getting the most out of it?  Many on Facebook just don't know how to maximize the use of their business pages! Here are ten tips plus a bonus tip that may help you manage your page and increase your engagement and "Likes."

1. Post updates and comments as your page or as your personal profile. The default is to post as your page. To post as your profile, on your Facebook page, select Edit Page and choose Your Settings. Uncheck the Posting Preferences box. This will allow you to flip between posting as your page or as your profile. After changing this setting you can toggle your posting preference from the right column.

2. Receive notifications to your email. When someone posts or comments on your page you can get a notification delivered to your email inbox. To turn this feature on, check the box Email Notifications under Your Settings.

Change the default landing page on a Facebook page 3. Change the default landing tab. You can change the default landing tab for anyone who has NOT liked your page from the wall to any of the other tabs on the left under your profile image. I suggest you use a custom Welcome Page or your Info tab. To change the default landing tab, select Manage Permissions and choose the setting you desire under the drop down for Default Landing Tab. (Please click the image for a larger view.)

4. Edit the thumbnail of your profile picture.  Many times your profile thumbnail is not exactly centered like you want it. You can change your thumbnail easily by editing your page and selecting Profile Picture on the left column. At the bottom of the image you will see Edit Thumbnail. Drag the image to adjust your choice. If you want to include the entire image you need to check the box Scale to fit.

5. Feature pages that your page “Likes.” Your page can “like” other pages. These pages are displayed on the left side of your page. You can select which of these pages you would like to feature from the Edit page. Select Featured from the left column menu and Edit Featured Likes. Add a check to the pages you want to feature. You can choose up to 5.  If you choose fewer than 5 the remaining positions will rotate among the other pages you have liked. 

6. Feature page owners.  You can feature page owners on the left side under the featured pages. From the Edit page, select Featured from the left column menu. You can feature any Admin by checking the box next to their image. You can also feature more than one admin.

7. Choose a unique user name.  Once you have 25 users you can select a username for your business page. To select a custom username, from Edit page select Resources and Select a Username under Connect with people. WARNING: Once selected, the user name cannot be changed so choose your name carefully and wisely.

Send targeted messages to Facebook fans 8. Send targeted messages to your fans.  You can send a targeted update to your fans based on location, sex or age. For example, you may have scheduled an event targeted to a certain area or demographic. With this option you can target those fans with a message. From Edit page, select Resources and Send an Update. Check the box Target this update and select the options to target your message. (Please click the image for larger view.)

9. Recommend your page to your friends.  Suggest your friends “like” your page. You can recommend your page to your friends by selecting Invite Friends on the right side of your page. Select friends based on recent interactions, locations or from your lists.

10. Remove a photo in your photo strip.  Whenever your page is tagged in a photo or you upload an image, it appears in the photo strip at the top center of your page. You can remove any image from the strip by simply mousing over the picture and clicking the “X” at the top right corner.  It doesn’t permanently delete the image, only hides it from the photo strip.  If you ever want to unhide an image you can do so by un-hiding ALL of the images you have hidden from the strip.  From Edit select Profile Image and select Unhide All at the bottom left.

BONUS TIP:

Link your business page to your personal profile. You can link your business page to your personal profile as your employer.  This is a great way to increase your “likes” from your friends, plus it offers an easy way to get to your business page from your profile. Edit your personal profile and select Education and Work from the left menu. Add Employer and start typing your business page name and select it from the drop down. Complete the info and Add Job. You can then remove the old unlinked position by clicking the “X” on the right.

What many don't know about business Facebook pages, now you do!  You're ready to build buzz for your business on Facebook!

If you find these tips helpful you may also want to read Why Doesn't Your Business Facebook Page Have a Custom Profile Image?

Patsy Stewart is a social media practitioner and owner of The Social BUZZ Lab. You're invited to connect with Patsy Stewart on LinkedIn and to read more from Patsy Stewart on Handshake 2.0.