It’s that time of year again, the #blogsofaugust Google+ challenge!
If you ever wanted to break out of your current blogging rut, try your hand at social blogging on Google+. For a month, make Google+ your primary blogging platform and see what happens. Here’s why I’m taking up the challenge:
I’m still planning a few things for WebEnso, a tools resource page and some design adjustments (check out the Google+ badge to the right!). But for this month, most of my writing will be on Google+
If you are interested in joining the fun but aren’t sure where to start read this eweek article from Mike Elgan. On page 2 he says: “Blog about three things: What you experience, what you think and what you make.” That is precisely what I intend to do.
On April 24, 2014 Vic Gundotra tendered his resignation. Widely regarded as the driving force behind Google+, his leaving raises a lot of questions about the future of Google+. TechCrunch reports in it’s provocatively titled “Google+ Is Walking Dead” article that a significant number of staff is being shuffled away from the project.
Now that the #BlogsOfAugust challenge from Mike Elgan is over, I wanted to share my five key takeaways from that experience.
I’ve also included thoughts from other #BlogsOfAugust participants who shared their experiences on what surprised them the most about blogging on the ‘Plus.
The surprisingly fast pace at which you get followers. G+ is blooming right now! Daniel Montesinos
Recently, I’ve been spending a lot more time in Google+. It started when I researched the network for a client which resulted in my post on Google+ business pages. With the tie in with Google Authorship and the ability to post dofollow links, Google+ can be a powerful tool for SEO. However even if it wasn’t, I’m loving the conversations and interactions I’m getting in the ‘Plus. It’s so refreshingly free from hype and overt “buy this” marketing.
So during the month of August, I will be primarily blogging on Google+, along with many others that answered Mike Elgan’s #blogsofaugust challenge. Just in the 10 days I’ve been doing it, my circle count has tripled, I’ve met some cool new people and found a couple of great communities to join.
For people who blog on Blogger, it’s been an easy jump to blogging on Google+. However I did have to wrap my mind around it as I don’t think of interacting with a social network as “blogging”. However one thing that you see on Google+ and not on other networks such as Facebook is extensive, thoughtful posts that get a lot of commentary and interaction. While I’ve had some good conversations on this blog, it’s much easier to get that level of interaction on Google+ and the spam is nonexistent. Sad to say, most comments I get here are useless and add no value.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that I will stop blogging here on WebEnso, but for the month of August you likely won’t see much activity here, so come check out Google+ and I’ll report back in a few weeks how it went.
If you have a business, the short answer is yes. However a less clear decision is how much you should invest into a Google+ Business page. Businesses struggling with the demands of Twitter and Facebook, may not relish the idea of engaging with yet another social network. However Google+ has some clear SEO benefits that you shouldn’t ignore.
This week I want to share an excellent infographic from cmo.com entitled “The CMO’s Guide to Social Media Landscape”. The Infographic rates each social media network on its ability to deliver on customer communication, brand awareness, traffic and SEO benefits.
New to this year’s revision is Tumblr which it rated “Good” for SEO. I would love to get confirmation on that. Granted Tumblr posts and reblogs are a social signal to the search engines as Tweets would be, but I wonder if CMO’s claim that Tumblr is better rests solely on the fact that the links are followed (versus nofollow from Twitter). I’ve seen articles complaining about “Tumblr spam” and so you got to wonder if Google discounts links from Tumblr at least a little bit.
Other than my quibble with the rating on Tumblr’s SEO benefit – this is otherwise a great guide to the social media landscape. Each social media network has its own personality and each is good for different goals and this infographic captures the differentiation quite nicely.
Have you published your page with the new Facebook Timeline format yet? The dates by when Facebook will automatically convert your pages are fast approaching:
I used to think of Facebook as a walled garden. Posts I made to my wall would only be seen by my Facebook friends. No more. Not everything shows up on your Facebook Timeline, but that embarrassing post you made 4 years ago? That you’ve forgotten about? It may be on your Timeline. If you haven’t already reviewed your Timeline (whether you have published it or not), you might want to. Mouse over the post (Facebook now calls posts “stories”) and click on the Pencil part of the button that pops up and you will get the option to “hide” it.
Should you create a Google+ page for your business? Well, yes, of course you should. Just like you should be staking out your business name or brand real estate on twitter and Facebook, you should be doing the same on Google+. It’s a no brainer. Now whether you should put any more effort into the page – that remains to be seen. Opinions are mixed, Slate states Google+ is dead, but yet a recent Wired article predicts Google Plus Pages will beat Facebook and Twitter. What do I think? I think you can’t ignore Google+, at least not completely. Just think about it, do you really think that the Google search algorithm will completely ignore activity on its own social network? Putting aside Google’s emphasis on favoring “trusted” content, just look at the clues. Do searches while logged in and note the “shares” and also note the new +1 stats in Analytics and draw your own conclusions.
One thing I gave some thought to was whether to create the page under a different Google account than my personal account. If you are a larger company, you shouldn’t have your page created from one of your employee’s personal accounts – there is no way to add additional admins for now. However since I was creating a page for my blog, in the end I decided the bother of administrating a separate account was not worth any benefit in keeping my personal page separate from the business page. However this is something to consider BEFORE creating your page.
So I created a page for Webenso. And I’m sure I will be posting on it. You should consider doing the same.
Now that I have a rudimentary Facebook Fan Page set up I wanted to setup a way for people to get from my site to my fan page and Like it. I thought this would be a 15 minute task, but I got mired in confusion and sidetracked. I would love it if Facebook experts would comment on this post because I still don’t feel I’ve mastered this topic at all.
“Like” and “Like”
I wasn’t looking to implement a way for people to Like my posts. That’s already there, although I need to make it more visible. What Like usually means is that a link to the post is posted to your wall and shared with your Facebook friends. Some websites have also made it so that clicking on Like means that you are actually “Liking” their fan page. On the one hand this is what I wanted as feature, but on the other hand I think using the Like button for this can be misleading, as you might be thinking you are Liking an article but are actually Liking the fan page which is unfortunately not straightforward to undo. So I was looking for a similar concept but wanted it to be clear to the user what was happening.
Want to have your blog posts automatically show up on your Facebook page? There’s more than one way to do it but here’s a simple way that doesn’t require installation of any 3rd party application and uses the existing Notes application.