Today I want to welcome Shelly Bell, a friend from my group on Triberr, who has graciously agreed to share the results of a workshop she took on Google +. Rather than me taking the lessons, (cause I'm a little lazy...ahem!) I've coerced her into giving us the low down....pretty darn clever if I do say so myself!
TOP TEN REASONS AUTHORS SHOULD JOIN GOOGLE+
10. You Don’t Want to Get Left in the Dust. First, the kids joined MySpace. Then Facebook. Then Twitter. Do you notice the adults are always one step behind? By the time we catch up with the newest social media site, it’s nearly obsolete. There always seems to be something bigger and better to come along. Don’t be the last one to join Google+. You don’t have to wait for an invitation. Join now and by the time it really catches on, you’ll have mastered all its capabilities. Additionally, it’s geared towards business, so you don’t have a bunch of pesky kids asking to be their friend.
9. Circles. Circles are like lists, a way of organizing your friends and those you follow. If you only want to send a post to other authors, create an author circle. When you write your post, you can choose who to send it to. It also includes a public circle which is important. That means anyone can read it. You want those people doing searches to find you and your books!
8. No Reciprocity Required. Similar to Twitter, you can add someone to your circle or follow someone without requesting their friendship. You don’t have to feel uncomfortable following someone else. Remember, Google+ isn’t really about making friends. It’s about sharing information.
7. Editing. Ever send a post or a tweet and realize you made a mistake? Google+ lets you go back and edit your mistake!
6. Starting Conversations. You can share directly from Google+ search results, and contribute to a topical Google+ stream. For example, if you search for historical romance and then want to make a post about your book, you can share right from the search results.
5. Hangouts. Forget Skype. You don’t need it. With Google Hangouts, meet up with others and have a face to face conversation. Plan a book discussion. Have a meeting. Throw a contest where winners get to meet you via Google+. The possibilities are nearly endless. I say nearly because your computer must have a microphone and video camera, and hangouts are currently limited to ten people per hangout. Also, you have to make sure you’re dressed and presentable. Still, it’s so much better than plain old chat rooms!
4. Integration. The site is integrated with other Google products including YouTube, Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools.
3. No Pesky Character Limits. While this isn’t a problem with Facebook, Twitter limits its users to 140 characters. I hate wasting time revising my tweet due to going over the limit. Google+ has no limit and you can still utilize…
2. Hashtags. The # symbol you see before certain words, phrases or initials indicates it’s a hashtag. This is a way for your tweet or post to be organized with the social media database. Let’s say you write a Google post about your book, you’ll want to use hashtags for people to discover it. You want to give it a category, similar to how you’d use keywords on your blog for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For example, after my book A Year to Remember, I might do the following #romance, #chicklit, #contemporary, #ShellyBell, #fiction, #books. Those are just a few suggestions. Use them all in Google+. Unlike Twitter, you’ve got the room at the end of your post. I like to visit www.hashtags.org and enter a few ideas to see how busy it is. Contemporary and Chicklit are used frequently, but romance, books and fiction are used every minute.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Theoretically, use of Google+ increases your Google rank in Google’s search engine. Isn’t that what every writer wants? For more readers to find their books?
I hope you’ll join and add me to your Circle! Find me on Google+ at www.gplus.to/ShellyBellBooks. I look forwarded to meeting up with you in a hangout soon!
In addition to Google+, visit her at www.ShellyBellBooks.com, www.twitter.com/ShellyBell987, and www.facebook.com/ShellyBellBooks.
Shelly Bell writes women’s fiction and romance, and is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Savvy Authors, and the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition (EPIC). Her debut book, A Year to Remember, was released digitally in January of 2012 and will be available as a paperback on July 20, 2012. In addition to her career as an author, she is a full-time corporate attorney in Detroit, Michigan, a mother of two elementary-aged children, and a book reviewer for SpunkyBean. She’s never bored.
When her younger brother marries on her twenty-ninth birthday, food addict Sara Friedman drunkenly vows to three hundred wedding guests to find and marry her soul mate within the year. After her humiliating toast becomes a YouTube sensation, she permits a national morning show to chronicle her search. With the help of best friend Missy, she plunges head first into the shallow end of the dating pool.
Her journey leads her to question the true meaning of soul mates, as she decides between fulfilling her vow to marry before her thirtieth birthday and following her heart’s desire. But before she can make the biggest decision of her life, Sara must begin to take her first steps towards recovery from her addiction to food.