Google + : Workshop Wednesday’s

This week, we’re going to tackle Google plus (aka Google + or G+). My feeling is that G+ is one of the two most underused Social Media platforms out there. (Come by next week to see what I think is the other underused one.)

If you have a GMail account already, signing up for G+ is quite easy. Just be aware, that if you have more than one Gmail account, you need to remember which one you’re signed into when you get ready to sign up for G+. You could of course sign up with all of them if you wish.

So, go to Google + home page.  Near the top left of the page is a large read SIGN IN button. Look at the text to the right of it, and find the linked text “Create an account“. (Even more simple, click the link I just made that takes you right to where you want to be. Fill in each box. First Name: Your First Name. Last Name: Your Last Name. Username: Username you wish to use.  This is where you’ll enter the username of gmail to get an account. Now, create your password and verify it by typing it again. Now, fill in your Birthday, Month, Day, Year.  Next is your gender. G+ is one of the ones that gives an option besides Male/Female. If you are transgendered, you can choose other. If you don’t want to tell your gender, you can choose other.

Next is an optional area: Mobile Phone. (I did not use this. I don’t have a text capable cell phone.)  We now are up to filling in your CURRENT email account.  The step after that is fun. You get to prove you are not a robot and enter the CAPTCHA. (Sarcasm alert, I hate Captcha. I have trouble reading them) Now, let’s move on to Location. You choose from a Drop Down menu the country or territory you are from. The last required step is to put a tick in the box stating you agree to G+ Terms of Service. (Make sure you read them!) The optional step is to put a tick in the box that Google may use your account information to personalize +1’s  content and ads on non-Google site. Now, click Next Step.

Google Plus
Follow us on Google+.

I did a test account so I can tell you what is next. What happens when you click Next step is you are taken to a page that confirms your new gmail account. Mine is heavens.11.test.tut@gmail.com. Below the confirmation of your new accoutn is a large blue botton that directs you On to Google+. Click it.

Look at that page. It looks complicated, but it’s really not. Let’s start by creating our actual G+ Profile. Click the link “Add Your Photo.”  Remember, the photo must be at LEAST 250×250 pixels. This is pretty large, compared to many of the other SM sites.  Trim it as needed if you upload one larger than 250×250. Move on to the next step which is to make sure name/gender/birthdate are correct and click on  the blue button to the right bottom of where you’ve been working that says UPGRADE.  You need to use a real name, or one that appears to be a real name. My name is now Heavens angel rather than Test Account.

Now, it’s giving you people to follow from a variety of choices such as Featured on Google +, Causes, Entertainment, Food & Drink and more. You can click to follow one or all of these if you like…or wait for the customized follows I’ll be sharing with you in a moment.  Whether you follow someone from this page or not, click Continue. If you did not follow anyone, it’ll tell you you’re going to be lonely and offer the option to continue anyway or to go back. Choose continue anyway.

You’ve reached a page that shows you your avatar and has some more information you may want to fill out. If you fill it out, the image to the right shows you how it all will look. When you are satisfied with it, click the blue button at the bottom of the white box you’ve been working in, that says FINISH.

For me, it brought back up the ADD PEOPLE. Not sure what it wants you to do. Maybe you can tell me, if you added people during the earlier step. I clicked FINISH again, and recieved my Profile Box to do again if I wish. Click FINISH again and this time it takes you to your own personal G+ Home Page.

For me, the Home Page included posts from NBC, MASHABLE and a few others. You can add your own people you wish in the box that has 10 numbered boxes. How will you do that, when all you can click are links to follow people of interst, etc? By looking to the right of the post area and finding the CIRCLES and clicking on it.

Hey, cool. 5 circles already. One to name plus Friends, Follow, Family and Acquaintences.  Now you need to actually add people so you can add them to your circles. Look up above those circles you see on this page.  Click that + sign that says ADD NW PERSON. It will let you add them by name or email. I always choose email, because I’m more likely to get the exact person I want to add. I’ll add my real account so I can tell you what happens next.

Okay, I entered my real gmail account and it gave me the option of saving it to one of the prepared circles. I chose Acquaintences for today.  I had to redo it, as I forgot to click save. Now, I see a blue box that has angel Graham in it and I have one person in my Acquaintence Circle showing. Do this for each person you wish to add to circles. You can also add a person to the one that allows you to create a new circle and name it. I’m going to let you play with it.

You have now set up your Google+ profile. Congraulations. In a few weeks, I’ll be adding a workshop that deals with setting up a Google+ Page if you  are an Author, have a business, etc. I’ll also let you know some other ideas of how to use G+ to your advantage.

Make sure to read how to set up your Twitter Tab/Stream in HootSuite, and do the same thing for Google+.  One thing that is slightly different about G+ versus Twitter and Facebook is how you share your URL. Instead of having a name such as /angel_graham or HeavensGardenProductions, you have a number. My share URL is https://plus.google.com/113535273848741515795/ . You’ll find yours easiest by going to your Profile page and copying everything BEFORE /posts?hl=en-US .

Go ahead and wander around. Add a Cover Photo to your profile, or choose one of theirs. I left mine as the default for now. I’ll probably make a simple one for this account and use it for doing tutorials and such.

It’s all good everyone. In just a few weeks, you’ve learned how to use Facebook to promote and Market, how to add Twitter to your HootSuite Dashboard, and now how to set up your Google+ account. You’re doing GREAT. Pat yourself on the back!

Now that you’ve congratulated yourself, come comment and share your G+ URL so I can add you to my circle! See you in the CIRCLES!

8 Ways to Market Yourself on Facebook: Workshop Wednesday

Workshop Wednesday

Last week, we discussed  5 Ways to Promote Yourself on Facebook. This week, we’ll take it a step farther and discuss how to Market Yourself on Facebook.

You’ve set up your page, got your timeline cover up, found just the right picture for your profile pic (Avatar), so now what?

1.  Update Your Page Regularly. Trust me, I’m the first to say this isn’t always easy. This is where your automation with Hootsuite and having Twitter/Facebook and WordPress/Facebook connected come in.  When you post on Twitter, or blog on WordPress, you can have both media giants post directly to your Facebook Page. This helps to keep your content new and fresh. Many who don’t do Twitter or WordPress will often go to a Facebook page to read. Appeal to this group by using every available resource to help yourself.

2. Exclusive Fan Content. I know, do as I say, not as I do, but I am working on this one. I’ve just redone my whole Facebook Page, and one thing I am working on is exclusive content for fans. In my case, I want to offer Facebook Timeline Cover with matching Profile Pics. Maybe wallpapers. Because I am both an artist and author, and Heaven’s Garden Production promotes both, this makes sense.  You may wish to offer a free read to entice readers, a spreadsheet that is ready to go for them to keep their personal library organized, and so on. You’re only limited by your imagination.

3. Promote Your Speaking Engagements/Workshops/Book Signings. Not everyone does this, but for those who do, this is a great place to promote it. Most especially if the engagements relate to the book you have written, or to writing in general. I will be promoting the Monday Mania, Two for Tuesday, Workshop Wednesday, Friday Friends on my page. It can help with keeping the page updated on a regular basis, and bringing new readers and potential followers to my blog. Every little bit helps.

4. Say Thank You. That’s right, you can use your Facebook page to say thank you to your new fans who have liked your page by having a “LIKE” contest. For instance, when Heaven’s Garden hits 100 likes I will be giving away 1 copy of What Reviewers Want: Get Inside One Reviewer’s Mind. At 250 likes, I’ll offer two eBooks, and so on. This is a way of showing gratitude to those who have liked your page, and also, it promotes your book.

5.  Badge it. Facebook allows you to create a “badge” that can be put on your blog or website. This is something I recommend., and as I write this, I’m trying to remember if I’ve done it. If not, it’ll be up by the time this is posted.

6. Advertise Yourself. This is optional. I have not done this as of yet, but know of several authors who have, and have had success with it. Others, not so much.  Basically, you can create an ad that will show on Facebook for a set amount of time for a set amount of money. Learn how to Advertise on Facebook.

7. Cover it. You can use your timeline cover to promote your books, workshops, etc…just follow Facebook’s rules regarding what is allowed and what is not. I’m working on a cover for my husband, Rob Graham, that will include the books he has out. and when the covers are finished, it will include “Coming Soon” books. This is a great way to get interest in your books.

8. Profile it. Use your book cover as a profile picture. Have your cover artist create a 180×180 avatar you can use, so that it doesn’t look scrunched up or misshapen. Another free way to promote yourself and your book on Facebook. You’ll need to upload it to your Facebook Page Photo Album.

There you have it, 8 ways to market  yourself on Facebook. Now, go out, Page it, and have fun.
Please feel free to leave a comment, make suggestions for other ways to use Facebook to promote your book(s). I’m sure I’ve left something out.