First question …why would you want to leverage Google+? Well, according to this post from Heidi Cohen, Google+ is #8 on the list of top ten U.S. social media networks and blogs. It might not be Facebook or Twitter, but there are people using Google+. A growing percentage of the users are on Google’s major social network daily and many don’t use other social networks.
In addition to the growing user base on Google+, the network offers some helpful tools that can advance any nonprofit’s online and social media strategy, whether your focus is fundraising, awareness building, or anything in between. Below are a couple of those tools and reasons why Google+ is not to be ignored…
Hangouts Connecting with your organization’s leadership matters to your donors and other constituents. According to the 2011 Millennial Donors Report, a personal connection with leadership is one of the primary reasons why younger donors decide to support a cause. When it comes to older, more affluent donors, several studies say that group wants social media to provide them with a window into an organization’s daily activities. Make both those groups (and many others) happy using Google+’s free Hangout tool.
The Google+ Hangout feature allows you to host live video conferences with large numbers of your followers, at no cost. This is a great way to connect your Executive Director/CEO/President/Director with your audience in a very real way. Use the Hangout feature to keep your fans informed and engaged with your mission.
It’s a given that if you know anything about great community management, you’re generating comments and likes when you post an update on Facebook. And while these interactions show Facebook engagement, they don’t get indexed by Google and therefore are not searchable. Ah, therein lies the rub. Conversely, the content you post on Google+ is indexed by Google and may turn into highly ranked search results providing keyword- and topic-relevant search engine visibility—also known as the content marketing holy grail. Hmmm. You’re paying attention now, aren’t you?
Your audience is there! No matter your mission or cause, we all have increasingly segmented audiences. Some users are on Facebook and think Twitter is a joke; others pay attention primarily to blogs; some users are on Twitter hourly and check Facebook once a week; there are those who rely on email for communication; and yes, lots of people call Google+ their favorite social network. Each nonprofit has a different audience and step one is learning where your biggest supporters are spending most of their time. When you do this audience research for your organization, pay attention to Google+. You might be surprised what you find.
For more on using social media to connect with your nonprofit organization’s supporters, visit BWF.com.