You’re probably already spending a lot of time promoting your lifelong learning programs on Facebook and Twitter, and maybe even LinkedIn or another social networking site. So, it’s fair if you’re asking yourself if you should be spending time on Google+ as well.
But the trends suggest that you should be spending at least some time promoting your program and nurturing relationships on the growing platform that is Google+. In fact, Google Plus is racking up so many new users that it continues to outpace Twitter as the world's No. 2 social network, behind Facebook, according to a report from Business Insider.
But if you are scratching your head wondering what to circle and who to +1, here are five ways to start promoting continuing education on Google+:
1. Be an author.
If you’re actively blogging about your continuing education programs, make sure you maximize your chances of showing up in Google searches by linking your Google+ account to the content you create. Google does a great job of walking you through setup. Setting up Google authorship also makes it easier for people to identify you and your brand.
2. Join a community.
Google+ Communities, which include everything from nature photography to body building, are great places to share content with people who share similar interests. Joining and participating in communities that include people who care about continuing education and lifelong learning means your messages are getting to the right people.
3. Engage. Engage. Engage.
Like all other social media platforms, Google+ is not a one way street. To reap all the benefits, you need to actively engage in the community. Add relevant users and conversations to your personal page circles, where you’ll need to introduce your business page content so other users can add it to their circles. Engaging with users and conversations relevant to your program allows you to boost your overall Google+ presence by giving interesting articles a +1, re-sharing other users’ posts, and adding depth to the conversation.
4. Make your posts interesting and keyword rich.
Users of Google+ are looking for new information they aren’t likely to find on Facebook, so don’t use the tool as a place to dump all of your content. The more relevant and keyword rich your Google+ posts are, the more likely they are to show up in search results.
5. Increase awareness of your continuing education program’s current and new happenings.
If your program is hosting a new seminar, webinar, lecture or even a meet and greet, create an event on Google+ and send out custom invitations to anyone, even those who aren’t on Google+. After you’ve used this feature a couple of times, you can try out Party Mode, which allows everyone in attendance to share their photos via the Google+ mobile app. The uploaded photos then can be turned into a slideshow.
As it increases in popularity and more users take advantage of the tools, you'll likely find that making Google+ a part of your overall social media strategy is worth the effort.