Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Google+ Now Open For Business For Nonprofits

When Google+, the search engine giant's venture into the social networking world, launched earlier this Summer, nonprofits might have had two reactions:

"Oh great, another social networking site.  Just what we needed."


"Another social networking site?  Great!  That's just what we needed!"
There was only one problem: Google+ only allowed users to make pages for themselves, not for businesses.  So if a nonprofit was hoping to use it to further promote their services, it seemed they were out of luck.

That all changed on Monday when Google announced it would allow users to make pages for their business or organization.  Known as Google+ Pages, it will allow nonprofits to have yet another presence in the growing world of social media.  Yet for all those that are excited about this, there are those that might be more skeptical.  Does your nonprofit really need another social networking page?

The NonProfit Times doesn't have a Google+ page, so we can't say with certainty whether it's necessary.  But from reading Google's blog post on the subject, it does seem to have some handy features.  For example, people interested in your organization can add a "+" before the name of your nonprofit in a Google search.  This will instantly connect them to your Google+ page. 

Interactivity is another selling point.  There's a feature called Google+ Hangouts, which allows users to interact with you via video.  I can see this as a great way for a nonprofit to have a discussions with supporters.  If you are interested in seeing how this feature works, you can check out a recent hangout that happened on the Google+ page for The Muppets Movie.  It should give you a good idea of what you can do with it (and it's kind of funny to watch).

So should your nonprofit create a Google+ page?  That's up to you ultimately, but it does seem like it offers some features that at least make it worthwhile to try.  Besides, there's no harm in having more of a presence online.

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