Is This the Year Google Plus Reinvents How We Work?

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February 11, 2013; Source:Fast Company

There has been some skepticism around Google Plus gaining popularity in the social media world ever since it was launched in 2011, but as Dave Llorens writes for Fast Company, Google Plus has been adding some innovative new tools that could ultimately put in on a “path to social media domination.” How might your nonprofit organization benefit from some of the changes that Google Plus is making?

First, Google Plus has gone hyperlocal by integrating all of its local information and maps features into local business listings. Organizations looking to improve SEO and get noticed when potential clients are searching online should consider creating a Google Plus Local page and encouraging social media followers to recommend and review your organization. Google Plus Local makes it easy for anyone to “google” your organization and come to one landing page that will guide him or her to where you are, what services you offer, and what people think about you. We also recommend assigning your nonprofit to up to five categories in order to show up in the most search results (though of course you should only list yourself under relevant categories unless you want those searching to think of you as a jerk). Also, make sure your location is correct in all major online directories to ensure Google’s local search will correctly sync up your location.

Google Hangouts have been around since the launch of Google Plus in 2011, but these live web chats are gaining ground in light of recent improvements. For instance, hangouts can now be saved and stored in YouTube automatically after recording. That provides a pretty seamless pathway from a small group gathering to a massive audience and offers nonprofits another possibility for telling their story. It could also make the Hangouts-to-YouTube conversion the next big video blogging sensation.

Finally, Google Plus also recently released a new group feature called Communities, which creates a page for like-minded individuals to start discussions. This handy office communication tool presents organizations with a myriad of options, including the ability to create personalized co-worker circles, to share content and information, and to organize Google Hangouts that can serve the role of facilitating online meetings no matter where one’s collaborators may be in the world. Will 2013 be the year that Google Plus rises to the top of the social media pyramid? If it hasn’t already, will your nonprofit make use of any of these Google Plus tools? –Aine Creedon



  • Hildy Gottlieb

    Creating the Future is already using Google+ in a huge way. We have used it for our board meetings internally for quite a while (board members are in 3 countries and counting). However, In December, our board voted that ALL our internal meetings – board meetings, planning meetings, resource development meetings, branding and messaging meeetings – any internal planning and board meetings will all be live-streamed via Google hangout AND will have a concurrent twitter hashtag, so that people who are watching can actively participate.

    This is already greatly enhancing all our work, even in this short time. We’ve been blogging about that at a whole blog dedicated to our openly engaging participation – one post in particular, summarizing our experience so far, is here

    Our hope is that through Google hangouts and through the ability for anyone to actively engage via Twitter or other channels, that social change efforts can move beyond lip-service-transparency, and become truly openly engaged with the communities where they work. No more us and them, no more inside and outside, no more programs and recipients, just people participating in their own lives and their own communities.

    At least that’s what we’re striving to be at Creating the Future. And so far the impact has already made a difference for pretty much everything we do – and hopefully the impact we have.

  • Lisa Deutsch Harrigan

    One of the NPOs I work for is now using Google Mail and all their Business Apps for Free! If you are a Non-Profit you should check it out. We share files and calendars and are e-mailing back and forth, and considering we are scattered all over California this is very useful. Haven’t used Hangouts yet, but I’m sure we’ll figure out how to do it.

  • Danielle

    Agree with most. I love Google Hangouts, except they don’t work well through pages and connecting them with a company Youtube is difficult. Love the communities because they go into your inbox which you can filter so you don’t have to go to the actual community page if you don’t want to. Still not big on the pages or circles. Lots of kinks to work out with this system. Its not very intuitive.