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    How Facilities Managers Can Utilize Google +

    Kaitlan Whitteberry

    It’s impossible to pass by Google +, it may not be on your radar now- but soon it will be. Just behind Facebook in numbers, this social medium is catching up quickly, and they may hold they key to an audience that FMs can’t afford to ignore.

    Here's how facilities managers can harness Google + to reach an entirely new demographic:

    A brief overview of Google +:


    Launched in June of 2011, Google has labeled the social portion of their system as a "social layer" that enhances many of its online properties such as Gmail and YouTube.


    A Google+ user profile is a public visible account of a user that is attached to many Google properties. It includes basic social networking elements like a profile photo, about section and background photo. Users can follow others, + one or "like" a post, and can find all posts in their Stream. Users can also categorize the accounts they follow through the Circles feature. 

    The site also acts as an authorship tool that associates web-based content with its author or original source. 



    Start connecting on Google + with these 4 beginner's steps:

    1). Create Page    2). Customize Profile    3). Share Updates    4). Join Communities    

    Create Your Company and Personal Page

    To start creating your facilities management page, navigate to https://business.google.com/add/info and enter your company information.

    Google + is similar to Facebook in the sense that it allows you to manage your page through your personal account, with the option to add additional managers. You must create a personal Google + to have a company page, so take this time to create both if you haven't already done so. 

    Take a look at our site for reference: 

     

     

    Customize Those Profiles

    Google will prompt you to select a category that your business falls under, and then you will choose a subcategory based on your industry. You will then be asked to complete basic information about your company, what you do, where you are located, your website URL, etc.

    After the basics are complete, this is where you get to put some personality into your page! Choose a cover photo and profile picture. Your cover photo should be a picture than represents your brand, whether that be an ad image or an image of employees working or your main building. Try to keep your profile picture your logo, or at least your company name and colors. This image will appear every time you interact with comments or if you + 1 something (Google’s way of “liking”) so it receives more exposure. 

    About Your Story

    Don’t leave your “story” blank! This is your chance to tell people what you do, and why you do it and what you plan to post about (building updates, facilities management tips). Get creative; this is where many people decide if you’re worth following. Be sure to include keywords in your description to help with your search rank or SEO score. You can also include contact information here, and a link to your website. Be sure to verify your site according to the Google steps provided on the page. 

    Share Updates & Learn About Circles

    Once your profile is complete, it’s time to start posting content. In your navigation bar, you’ll see five tabs (About, Posts, Photos, Videos and Reviews). You’ll notice when you click the “post” tab, a pop-up appears, which is very similar to how Facebook does posts.

    One of the best things about Google + is its audience. Most members are above the age of 25, working adults who follow companies to get relevant information. This is great news for facilities managers, more of who you want to connect with is already here

    You can chose to share a video (perhaps of your FM team getting the sidewalk ready for the upcoming snowstorm), a link to your website, an event coming up that may affect your building (early closure on Monday for cleaning), or even just a picture of the new paint that brightens up building C.  Whichever you chose, be sure to mix it up occasionally, and alternate content that comes directly from you and from other sources.

    Here is an example: 

     

    About Circles

    Google + has a very passionate audience, and one of its benefits is that it gives users the ability to section off who they follow, to better structure the type of content they see. When you follow someone, you have the option to place them into a category that you create. This makes it easy to keep friends, colleagues, work, and personal information separate for personal accounts. For business accounts you can use Circles to tailor your message to very specific demographics!

    About +1

    This is the equivalent of a Facebook “like”. This also helps with your Google search rank, the more +1s your content receives, the higher it appears in Google searches.

    Join Communities 

    Google Communities are very similar to LinkedIn Groups. Here you can post and engage with content from people with similar interests as you. Google makes it easily to share content you post on your company page directly to communities, simply press the + feature and select the community you want to post in. Just be sure to post relevant content (no spam).

    Here are a few communities you can join to get started:

    Facilities Management Knowledge

    Facilities Management News UK 

    Facilities Managers & Maintenance

     If you missed last week's post on LinkedIn, you may access it here

    Google + has a more quiet, but certainly active audience:

    • 1 billion user accounts
    • 360 million active monthly users 
    • 56% increase in the 45-54 year-old demographic since 2012
    • 70% of Google + users are men 
    • It only took Google + 16 days to reach 10 million users, while it took Facebook 852 days and Twitter 780. 

    Your customers are either already here or heading this way, go ahead and join them! 

     

    Download Free eBook

     

    Kaitlan Whitteberry

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Kaitlan Whitteberry

    Kaitlan Whitteberry is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of Missouri's journalism program, and currently focuses on iOFFICE press releases, software updates and related news.

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