PR Tips on How to Leverage Google+

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Google Catalog. Google Wave. Google Answers. They’re all part of the Google graveyard, online platforms that the Web giant rolled out in the last several years but ultimately shut down. Google+, which launched to much fanfare in 2011, may not be perceived as a Facebook or Twitter killer, but it does rank as the second-largest social networking site in the world after Facebook. So how can PR pros leverage Google+?

Following some early hiccups, Google+ continues to accelerate at a rapid clip. The network now has 500 million-plus users, with more than 343 millionactive users, according to Digital Insights. It caters to small or local businesses, but brands of all sizes ignore the network at their own peril.

The network is able to distinguish itself from its online rivals by having a robust SEO (search engine optimization) component, which, of course, plays into Google’s dominance when it comes to search.

With that in mind, here are a few tips for Google+ SEO strategies, with a hat tip to Albe Zakes, global VP of communications for TerraCycle.

 > Get Google+ linked to your website and vice versa to help get Google+ Direct Connect status.

> Use hashtags relevant to your company in every post; these should be your standard SEO keywords.

> Reach out to the Google+ team and get your site verified.

> Establish a Google+ community to engage people around relevant topics and keywords for your business.

> Grow this community by connecting with and inviting influencers in your local area or industry to join.

Learn more about Google+ at PR News’ Webinar, “All Things Google: What You Need to Know Now as a Communicators,” which takes place Dec. 18 starting at 1:30 ET.

Follow Matthew Schwartz: @mpsjourno1

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About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

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