Read Part 1 here.
You know that I rarely talk blogging-type stuff over here on Ye Olde Blogge. I try to write for my readers. But, on the off chance that some of my readers are also bloggers (or maybe thinking about starting a blog), I wanted to share with you some of what I think is so cool about Google +. You will find a ton of great information about why G+ is so great for bloggers and SEO and What Not just by Googling "What's so great about Google +?" or something similar. Seriously, go try it. Some of the folks who have written articles answering that question have been on G+ since Day One and know Heaps more than I do.
I am, however, an expert in one thing that nobody else is: I am an expert in what I think is so great about Google +. Maybe some of it will resonate with you.
1)Finding a New Audience
I've heard many folks refer to G+ as a ghost town. I guess it is, if you consider a town boasting a population of 100,000,000 active users (as of September 2012) a ghost town. With the advent of G+ Communities in early December of 2012, I'm willing to bet that number has risen dramatically. Also, and this is just my gut talking with no data with which to back it up, I bet that a lot of die-hard G+ users want nothing to do with facebook, so they are all potential new social media contacts and readers.
Please note, I have taken a long time to build up a wonderful community on facebook, and I treasure those folks. I seriously do. It is doubtful that I will give up my PCO community on facebook. I will be using a G+ feature to connect with my facebook fans on a more immediate basis, though. (See #3)
2)Learning from Experts
Based on my experience on facebook and Google +, it seems like there are many more experts who are willing to interact and be helpful on G+ than on facebook. I'm not talking about food bloggers necessarily. There are plenty of helpful food bloggers on facebook, and I am a member of a couple Blogger groups whose members are extremely helpful. No, what I'm talking about is experts in other fields. Since G+ is so easily searchable, you can find all sorts of folks to learn from and interact with. Photographers, SEO folks, WordPress Gurus, writers: they are there, and they are easy to find.
I have been amazed by the generosity of these folks to share their knowledge and expertise with others. I often say that I approach social media with a "What can I give?" attitude as opposed to a "What can I get?" one. As a very general rule, I've found that folks on G+ share that approach more so than do folks on facebook.
3)Hangouts and Hangouts on Air
For me, the Hangout and Hangout on Air aspects of Google+ make it worth it for me to have a G+ presence. Even if I did not actively participate in general discussions or communities, I would still be there for the hangouts.
A Hangout is an online multi-media environment where up to ten folks (a host and 9 others) can see and hear each other in real time. It's like an old-school chat room, but with video and funny hats.
A Hangout on Air is the equivalent of presenting to a studio audience while simultaneously being broadcast worldwide via YouTube. Once your live hangout is over, it is forever enshrined on YouTube so folks can watch your "reruns" whenever they like.
Here are just some of the ways that people, bloggers and businesses are harnessing the power of the Hangout on Air to connect with their friends, readers and customers:
The President's First "Fireside Hangout:"
Google Science Fair Chat with the guys from Paleo Quest:
Moi, showing folks how to make Chocolate Chile Pots de Creme:
Hangout on Air with Daymond John from The Shark Tank:
US Open Hangout on Air with Milos Raonic (fan Q&A)
So, maybe I did sneak in one of my own Hangouts on Air in that list, but I hope you are starting to get the idea that the uses for this feature are limited only by your imagination.
UPDATE: I just thought of a #4, and it's a big one!
4)Google+ folks are Helpers
Ever have a problem on facebook? Ever gone to "Like" facebook's page so you can then ask them a question? Ever screamed in fury and shaken your fist at the sky yelling, "Curse you, facebook?" Well, I have. Sure, facebook has a help section that you can stumble through trying to find the answer to your particular question. But Google +? They have Actual Real Live People on G+ whose job it is to help you out. To answer your questions and even to provide suggested functionality. Inconceivable. For facebook. Just another day at the office for the G+ folks.
Have some feedback for the G+ folks? Just use the hashtag "feedback" in your post. (#feedback and then hit "enter") How cool is that? Plus, there are a lot of Google folks on G+. Just add them to your circles and ask them questions. There's even a guy who is the Google Food & Drink Dude. He is incredibly responsive and supportive and extremely excited about the possibilities of Hangouts and Food Folks. And since I know there is a Food & Drink Dude, I figure there is probably a Google person assigned to almost every niche on G+: tech folks, education folks, authors, automobiles, etc.
And that, my friends, is my Top
Three Four Reasons Blogger Should Use Google+.
In what ways have you found G+ to be useful to you? Or are you still on the fence? Or on G+ and have no idea what to do? Let me know; I can help. And if I can't, I know others who can. And please connect with me on G+ and/or join the Pastry Chef Online G+ Community.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a lovely day.