Welcome to the penultimate part of our 5-part blog on how employers can make best use of Google Plus. We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading and viewing our content as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it.
Last week we shared a video blog that talked about Google Hangouts and how employers can use them to be more personal. If you missed that, take a look at the video here.
This week we’ll be discussing Google Communities, and how they can be used to help position employers as thought leaders and a source of value amongst their audience.
For those who are unsure, a Google+ Community is something that resembles a traditional message board that focuses around a central theme. This could be “I love my cat” or “Manchester United fans” – literally anything. In these communities, followers can interact with other like-minded individuals while allowing the community moderator to share personalised content with that specific community.
Google+ already has a large variety of communities to choose from, whether they focus on engineering, computer science or quantum mechanics. If there’s nothing that suits your needs already, you’re able to begin building your own community and driving the conversation yourself. This can be open to the public or invitation only – whichever suits your purposes.
Communities on Google are fairly young, but as interest in G+ grows, so does the number of communities. And when you consider the rate at which the network is growing, you’d expect the current figure (100,000+) to grow extremely rapidly, largely due to the Google Eco-system, but also due to the way communities differ compared to groups on other social networks.
So what does this mean for employers?
Let’s take John, an Engineering graduate in his second year at Kingston University. What exactly makes an employer valuable to John? Is it the fact that they’ll be making him plenty of job offers in the future and filling his Facebook page and Twitter feeds with current vacancies? Or will helping John with careers advice and guidance be more helpful? How about giving John the latest thinking around an interesting Electrical Engineering project? Or perhaps sharing useful resources for him to visit online? The bottom line is that people will talk to you if they perceive value in it for them. By helping people, you automatically gain the status of a good source of value and naturally, you’re front of mind.
If you missed our thinking about how HelpMarketing can tie into your attraction and reputation strategy, then have a look here.
G+ communities allow you to develop or participate in a community conversation around a specific shared interest. This not only raises awareness around your brand, but allows you to develop authority as an industry expert, share advice and latest thinking and furthermore, allows you to engage directly with potential talent and begin following them or adding them to your circles to continue the conversation you’ve begun.
A few other nifty features of G+ communities that similar platforms such as LinkedIn groups don’t offer are:
- Using #hashtags to tie posts to specific searches on the platform and to a broader audience outside of G+
- Creating categories within communities to allow you to group and allocate content as you see fit
- With Google Ripples you can create an interactive graphic to see how a particular post has been shared and re-shared over a period of time, useful to assess the reach your content has
- Posts within a community are indexed by Google and will be found easily via anyone searching for that topic on a Google Search
- As with most of the G+ platform, the ‘plus one’ gives an indication of the popularity of the content you share – a good indicator to see if your content is resonating with your community
All of the above go a long way when it comes to helping employer’s position themselves as a source of value amongst the people they hope to begin a conversation with. And ensuring you remain font of mind means half the battle is won.
Next week will be the final of our 5-part blog, and we’ll be talking about the beneficial impact of G+ on your SEO and search visibility and tying together all the features we’ve discussed so far.
If you’d like to talk to us about any aspect of G+, or simply find out how you can be more valuable to talent, then pop over to http://www.tonic-thinking.com and get in touch.