Why should your Nonprofit should use Google+?

Google+ is a social networking and identity service. This is the latest of Google’s attempts to join the social networking environment. 

Google is the most frequently used search engine and a large number of people use Google’s gmail services. Google+ soon became the second largest social networking site in the world, with an emphasis on organising friendship information.

Google+ is a multi-lingual site, initially launched on an invitation-only basis in June 2011. Hashtags are hyperlinked to the most recent or highest-trending search results within Google+ containing the term. Google+ is available as a website and on mobile devices.  On May 14, 2013 a new version of Google+ was introduced.

Statistics:

  • USA, India and Brazil are top three users of Google+
  • 50% of users are from the USA and India
  • Google+ has 500 million registered users 
  • 235 million are actively using Google+ features

10 Reasons for using Google+

Free and easy:

Google+ is free and it is easy to use and can easily be accessed from the toolbar on the top of Google sites. This makes it much easier to keep track of your social networking.

Use the dominance of Google

For many nonprofits, more than 50% of the web traffic to your site comes from Google. It is in your best interest to look into where Google is going. One of the most powerful things about Google+ is the way it is being incorporated throughout Google’s other offerings. When you use Gmail, the black bar is at the top of the page. Not only does it share your link to Google+, it even lets you interact with others on Google+ right from Gmail.

Google+ seems created for collaboration

It is important to collaborate with others in your field and with interested parties. The "hangout" and "huddle" aspects of Google+ can instantly connect with people by video, audio, or simply chat, and hang out with really interesting people are doing it. For more focused conversations you can use a huddle, especially if you are already collaborating on Google Documents, and you can create a virtual office which hugely increases productivity. The greatest strength of Google+ in the nonprofit world is in the internal organising and coordination between staff.

Circle your friends

Google+ Circles enables users to organise people into groups for sharing across various Google products and services. You are able to view a list of people in a user's collection of Circles, although you view the names of those Circles. This system replaces the friends’ list function used by sites such as Facebook. This is a key social media networking tool to expand your sphere of awareness building.

Create community conversations

You may be competing for a piece of the rather small cake of funds, but you have far more in common and by the very nature of people involved in nonprofits, you will find people willing to share, be it new approaches, discussion of problems and how to overcome them or a host of other topics. Google+ Communities allow users to create ongoing conversations about particular topics in an easy to use form.

Promote events

It is important to advertise events that you will be holding and to use photographs and so on from the event to promote your nonprofit. Google+ Events offers a simple way to do this. You can add events, invite people, and then share photos and media in real-time from the event. Furthermore, the program is integrated with Google Calendar.

Find it quickly

Often you need to find out something about a person or a post that you have seen and only afterwards realize how helpful the person or blog could be, but you do not have time to trawl social media sites. If you use Google+, the “Search in Google+" allows you to search for content within Google+. You type what you are looking for into the Google+ search box, and Google will return relevant people and posts, as well as popular content from around the web. In addition, Google+ uses hashtags that are hyperlinked to the most recent or highest-trending search results within Google+ containing the term that you are searching for.

The power of segmentation

Google+ offers you the power of segmentation for charities to target the right people with regards to raising cause awareness, marketing and fundraising. You can create any number of circles to sort your contacts and contacts can be put into any number of your circles. So let’s say you create circles that divide your contacts in various groupings such as staff, trustees, volunteers, general supporters and even donors, and you link with them via Google+, creating a Google+ database of sorts, where you can target specific messages to specific groups of people.

The power of Google+

Millions of people use the various Google tools and it is quite possible that Google+ will allow you to expand your sphere of awareness. You can edit your posts after sharing, if they are not gaining the attention that you are seeking. Just readers can add “Likes” to Facebook posts so Google+ allows readers and viewers to add +1’s that show support.  Focus on posting success stories, photos and videos, statistics, inspirational quotations and calls to action, such as signing petitions.  Create your own unique, authentic, emotion-evoking Google+ voice.