There's 2 of us at elSue - my partner Ellen and I have been in businesses for 4 years. Ellen have been on Google+ before it was released to the public by special invitation. I've been using my Profile page from the beginning. We created a Google+ Local business page, but found it hard to get followers, we still try and slowly they are coming on-board. I'm going to change our cover image to show both of us - it's worth a try. We learn about Google+ from experts like +martin sharvington and more. On our business page, we want to have a relevant following, people that are interested in Wordpress, Local SEO and Google+, we don't want to follow anyone, we want the "Glenn Gary, Glenn Ross people or businesses". We don't follow just anyone, we are choosy as far as who we pick to follow on the elSue business page. On our profile pages, we are more open with business and personal things we like. I joined a Book Community. We recently created a brand page for the elSue DMS product that Ellen the product extensions she developed for Pagelines DMS. This page needs to be used more.
As experts in WordPress, Local SEO and Google+. Google+ is a great way to learn more from other experts like you Martin since you pass along great information. I actually found you on YouTube - I love watching Hangouts on Air - I sometimes just listen while I'm working on other things.
The social media community has come on board; , Eric Enge, Mark Traphagen who use their profile pages to promote themselves as their brand. I find it amusing that Mari Smith, the Facebook guru, now has almost 200,000 promoting herself on Google+ - I wonder if she is still touting Facebook or is it now Google+ or both. We we fans or Mari when we first stared looking at online marketing. She does a great job. Many of the social media people that didn't think Google+ was going to be a hit, have come on boards. The local search people have come on board too - Mike Blumenthal, Linda Buquet, Phil Rozek are all now being interviewed by real Google+ experts ISOOSI (I love their Hangouts on Air). We limit the communities we join, therefore, my main two are - Plus Your Business and Local Search because both are accurate and where we can really contribute, engage and get a response.
Ellen and I have been using Google+ from the beginning internally.
1. We have Video Hangout about 3 times a week since we work out of 2 home offices.
2. We train clients via Video Hangouts. This is helped us expend and not be local only. We still meet with local clients and always, show them how to use Video Hangouts, usually try one out to make sure there's not issues with their computer and then we are able to meet or train them via Video Hangouts in the future. We recently started Video Hangout Trainings which all have worked well. Now it's time for us to promote the fact that we will train at a business location and via Google+ Video Hangouts. The clients we have trained so far are not all local, they get a kick out of how easy it is. I always setup the event before hand so that they are notified and it goes right to your Google calendar. You can use one of Google's images or use your own to brand the background of the invitation. During training I share my desktop, so I can have 2 browsers open. I've been able to create a Brand Page for a client that's not local and setup Google+ Authorship with Yoast's WordPress plugin as she watched. It's all so easy!
3. Communities can be used for projects - we have a project we are working on for a local SEO training we are putting on in our area for Lawyers. We are able to assign categories such as Venue, Attendees, Google+ Local, Google+, Website Optimization, etc. all the information is segregated and organized, easy to look at and can be shared. Project Communities are created as Private.
We haven't had a Hangout On Air yet - but I did test one by myself - preparation is so important. I watched many Ronnie Bincer Hangouts on Air with tips and how to setup and do a hangout. I'm going to join his Mastery program to learn more and meet others - don't be surprised Martin if we ask you to be a guest. We have decided to use our Profile pages more to brand ourselves as the experts that will train you on WordPress, Local SEO and Google+. My main focus is Google+ and Google+ Local, Citation Buidling and How businesses can get reviews. Ellen's is WordPress, Pageline DMS and Google+.
Your suggestions on attending conferences where we could meet people in person is great, but expensive, unless you get a "freebee". If you speak at a conference you can usually get in free. We did sponsor a Tech Day Camp, but that was a flop because of the location. I wanted to attend Search Love Boston, but even that was so expensive. Many of those conference are to "smooze" and meet people. We always attend WordCamp Boston - $45 gets you a lot. This year we hope to speak about Google+ and the WordPress Yoast Plugin how that works for Authorship - that's if they accept our application. There are so many well known experts that could do this - we'll keep our fingers crossed. Sue mentioned Meet-ups - great tip - they are another way to meet people offline and the Chamber of Commerce are too.
I have a great passion for Google+, it always has been from the beginning. I need to learn to promote myself more as me and what I can provide as training along with the elSue business page. Every person I have met training via a Video Hangout is so impressed at how easy it is to get up and running - even the Tree Service Business - they were able to hop on board because they had a Google+ Local page. That's why you are seeing more and more Local SEO's in on Google+. The Google+ Page shows up in Google Searches, click on the Page and if there's no Posts, the searcher is disappointed, they want to see something.
It may have taken Google a long time to get this all in place, but it is a big hit. I heard that in his keynote at Socal Media Marketing World, which we used to attend when it was online and only $295, said that Google+ is what marketers are going to want to learn how to use this year. I'm confident that Mike is right!
Thanks for your tips on Pinterest - I have an account, but have not used it. Martin do you feel there is a real benefit in investing the time or would you recommend sticking to Google+ and not getting sidetracked. I know many of the social media people say that it's better to be on more social platforms than one.