Learning Google+ for the Nonprofit

Google PlusJust when you’d gotten used to Twitter and Facebook, a new kid arrives on the block. This time it’s Google+. Ignore it at your peril because there are new and varied audiences there that may be receptive to your nonprofit’s message.

Other than new audiences, what advantages are there to making a splash on Google+? It’s all about presentation. The design is better. It’s cleaner, and the graphics are splashier. Big difference, right? The Google+ page is just so much nicer to look at and that is due to the Google+ design. The thing is people are diehards. They aren’t really ready to move over from Facebook and Twitter to this new venue. But that’s okay. Just make sure you cover all of them.

Here are some tips for making your initial foray onto the Google+ platform:

Be a lurker first. What’s that saying? “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” It works the same with text, social media outlets, and being a newbie. Hang back and watch how others do it, first. Which postings receive the most attention? You’ll soon get the hang of how it’s done on Google+.

Learn the lingo. On Facebook, it’s called a “wall” while on Google+ it’s a “stream.” Same idea, different terminology. You can choose who gets to see your posts and (get this) you can edit your Google+ posts after they’re up. A lot better than having to take down the entire post and repost from scratch as you’d do on Facebook or Twitter if you make a mistake.

Start small. Presumably your nonprofit already has a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter and that’s as it should be. You don’t have to suddenly drop all your activity there for the sake of Google+. In fact, it makes sense to start slow until you have a real feel for the environment and have enough followers to make a difference. Begin by setting aside 15 minutes per day for posting and cultivating your audience on Google+ and gradually work up to a larger amount of time as your Google+ circles grow.

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