Welcome to My Google+ Office
Google Plus is where I do business.
At a time when business is “personal”, it’s the perfect environment for marrying the two.
Whether you separate your profile from your brand page or not, you’re able through “circles” and “Communities”, to tailor your message to your audience – all from one platform.
In my “cloud” office, photos of my dog and my vacation are along side of infographics and charts.
The Mail Room: GMAIL
I’m liking the new Gmail “Tab” feature. I just check the “primary” first then get back to the “social”, “Promotions” and “updates” later.
The algorithm is fairly accurate in classifying mail according to the tabs.
While this new feature is now “default” you can go to your “inbox” and check whichever setting you prefer.
If I’ve been away from gmail for awhile and think I may have lost some emails, I’ll check the “unread”, then switch back to the “tabs” view.
The Newsroom: Google+ Home Page
On my Homepage, I have my top four circles lined up for easy access.
These change from time to time as my priorities do.
For instance, I’m working on a local project with some friends to bring Mark Schaefer to Montreal for a Content Marketing Workshop. So I have my Montreal Social Circle at the ready.
I always have my AAA circle first as that’s the first stream I check in the morning.
So not to spend the day here, I do a quick scan.
If I’m looking for a particular topic, I do a #Hashtag search.
You can rearrange the circles that appear above your stream by going to the “People” icon on the side menu and clicking on “circles”.
Then simply choose the circle and drag it to the the position you want on the upper row. The first four will show.
The Lounge: Communities
I have my notifications set for any posts or comments from my Communities, especially my Google+ Tips & Topics Community made up of my Google+ Tips Newsletter subscribers.
You can do pretty well anything you can do on Google+ from within your Community including Hangouts and sharing documents.
Communities are the heart of your business. It’s the place where relationships, trust and collaborations are built.
There’s a Community for every interest. Some, like my Google+ Tips and Hangout pal, Scott Scowcroft has one called: Just For Fun.
Many people spend all of their Google+ time in Communities.
Decide if your Community is Public or Private before creating it. You can’t go back.
Building a Community is work.
You bring just the right mix of people together, introduce them, ignite a conversation then step back and let it flow.
The Conference Room: Hangouts
How do you feel about conference calls?
It might be the way my brain is wired, but speaking into this alien looking contraption in the middle of the table and trying to hold a meeting through a cacophony of bad connections and overlapping voices would inspire Dante to create a tenth circle in hell.
Hangouts to the rescue.
When I need to meet with up to 9 other people (14 if I use my Google Business Apps), I send them a notification from my desktop, iPhone or iPad or schedule a time through a Google+ Event.
Inside the Hangout, we’re able to speak, see and more naturally engage with each other because we can observe the subtleties of body language which gives added nuance to what they are saying.
We’re also able to work simultaneously on documents, videos and projects via Google Drive.
Hangouts are user friendly, but there are some minimum requirements needed to ensure that everyone in the Hangout can participate and enjoy the session:
1. Be seen: Have the light source in front and not behind you. Natural lighting (from a window) is best but a desk lamp tilted towards you face works fine.
2. Be heard: Two things here – use a headset or ear plugs to avoid feedback or echo from your computer speakers & and if you need to type, shuffle things on your desk around or sneeze, mute yourself until you’re ready to speak.
I don’t spend all of my time on Google+, but I do most of my work there.
What platform do you spend most time on?
Ray Hiltz is a Google Plus Specialist and Social Media Strategist helping small businesses establish their brands and build their communities on the social web.
A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus.
His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social".
Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.