Google+ Pages have a vast tool set and Google’s quest to integrate Google+ into their most popular products, such as Search, Gmail, YouTube, Local, and Wallet, is paying off as active monthly users continue to grow. That said, Google+ is low on the priority lists of most nonprofits. Many nonprofits are curious, but lack the resources necessary to create and manage yet another social network.
Google+ isn’t for all nonprofits, but for those that have actively adopted a pro-social media policy, it’s worth the time investment to experiment with Google+. In the process, your nonprofit at the very least will increase your SEO in Google Search and position yourself as an early adopter of digital wallets. For those nonprofits already active on Google+ or for those willing to take the leap, below are 12 Google+ Page best practices to help get you started.
1. Prioritize uploading photos over sharing links.
Google+ is a visual social network. Posts with with a message and an uploaded image get much higher engagement than shared links.
1. Write your post and include a link.
2. Delete the generated thumbnail and link that appears.
3. Upload a larger version the photo and then share.
2. Experiment with animated .GIFs.
What’s old is new again. Animated .GIFs are making a comeback. You can upload them as posts or as cover photos on Google+ Pages. See the Sierra Club’s Google+ Page to view an example of an animated .GIF being used as a cover photo.
3. Curate good content through sharing.
Most nonprofits do not create enough of their own content to be active daily on Google+. By sharing other’s content, you can effectively engage and inspire your followers.
4. Tag other pages in your poststo foster good will.
By adding a “+” symbol in front of page names, your nonprofit can foster good will with funders, partners, and supporters.
5. +1 the content posted by others to increase the exposure of your nonprofit’s avatar.
Regularly “+1” the content of other to increase exposure of your nonprofit’s Google+ Page and thus grow your followers.
6. Merge your YouTube Channel with your nonprofit’s Google+ Page.
Google is committed to weaving Google+ through out their suite of products and merging your nonprofit’s YouTube Channel with your Google+ Page can help increase both your Google Search SEO and your TouTube SEO.
7. Have more than one manager for your Google+ Page.
In your Dashboard under “Settings” add at least two managers to ensure that your nonprofit does not lose access to your Google+ Page due to staff and volunteer turnover.
8. Reserve your Google+ Page URL.
In your Dashboard under “About” reserve a Google+ Page URL for your nonprofit. Ideally your URLs are consistent across all of your nonprofit’s social networks.
9. Regularly monitor your Google+ Page Insights.
Google+ Insights will help your nonprofit get a clear understanding of what kind of content your followers engage with most as well as their demographics.
10. Create “Events” for Google+ Hangouts on Air.
Google+ Events allow followers to RSVP to your Hangout on Air and enable real-time conversations while the Hangout on Air is occurring. Events also serve as a chronological history of your nonprofit’s Google+ Hangouts on Air.
11. Claim your Google+ Local Page.
Location-based nonprofits already have a presence on Google+ though most do not know it. Google+ Local Pages are given priority placement in Google Search results, so be sure to sign up for Google+ Local and claim your Google+ Local Page.
12. Sign up for the Google for Nonprofits Program.
When (and let’s hope it is soon) Google+ adds Google Wallet “Donate” buttons to Google+ Pages (like it has to YouTube Channels), your nonprofit will be one step ahead in utilizing digital wallets for online fundraising. The first step is to sign up for the Google for Nonprofits Program.
Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits
Based on more than 20 years of experience and 25,000+ hours spent utilizing mobile and social media, Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits is a comprehensive 256-page book packed with more than 500 best practices. Written on the premise that all communications and fundraising are now mobile and social, Mobile for Good is a step-by-step how-to guide for writing, implementing, and maintaining a mobile and social fundraising strategy for your nonprofit.