Quick recap: I think we all know that social media isn’t going away. But it can be a challenge to really understand how social media can help our professional lives. We attend a conference and someone says, “download this app!” so we do…then it becomes hard to find the time to really learn how to use it. I know I’m guilty of this.
As an HR professional, we can have an opportunity to help our employees learn social media. So I decided to write 5-day learning plans for the most popular social sites. So far, we’ve talked about Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. Today we’re going to cover Google +. If you like the plans, feel free to share them with others.
Some people might tell you that Google + is dead or dying and don’t waste your time. I still pay attention to Google + for a couple of reasons. According to the social media agency We Are Social, Google + has over 1.15 billion users. And let us not forget – it’s Google. So the numbers alone do make me think we should keep paying attention to G+.
What is Google +?
Google + is a social networking project. The Google design team created it to mirror the way people interact offline.
How do I create a Google + account?
This tutorial from Mashable provides step-by-step instructions for creating a G+ account.
Your 5-Day Plan
Day 1 – Find something interesting to +1. In Google +, when you like something that another person has posted, you “+1” it. So look at your account and find something to like. Simply click the plus one.
Day 2 – Share something. Near the +1 button on a status update is a small right-pointing arrow. This is the share button. The next time you see something you like, +1 it and then share it. You’ll notice when you click the share button that you can add your own comment (or not).
Day 3 – Post something. If you’ve been following the series, then you’ve probably posted stuff on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Google + is very similar. In fact, you might choose to post something that you already shared on LinkedIn or Twitter. That’s perfectly acceptable. You’ll find that you have similar as well as different connections on each platform.
Day 4 – Tag someone in a post. If you come across a post that you want someone else to see, you can tag them. Type “+” and then start typing their name. A list will appear and you can select them. For instance, you see a TED Talk about body language. You were just having this conversation with a colleague and want to share it with them. Tag them in the post.
Day 5 – Create a circle. Google + revolves around the idea of circles. A circle is a group of people you identify by common interest. You might have a “Leadership Experts” circle or a “SHRM Chapter” circle. People can be in more than one circle – maybe you know a leadership expert who is a member of your local SHRM chapter. Because G+ focuses on circles, this is a good first step. Just create one circle. Also, be on the lookout for users who publish their circles, it’s a great way to find new people to connect with!
BONUS! Attend a hangout. A unique feature in Google + are hangouts. They are video calls – absolutely free – that allow you to connect with colleagues. If you want to get a sense of how they work, check out the India HR Live Google + page. They have a regular hangout where human resources professionals around the world talk about all-things HR.
One of the things I really like about Google + is, for whatever the reason, the conversation seems to be different. Maybe it’s because Google has successfully mirrored the way people interact offline. I don’t know. But I see a different conversation on G+ and I like that.
For those of you using Google +, share your thoughts. What do you like/dislike about it?
Images courtesy of Sharlyn Lauby