Build your Personal Profile
First, create a personal profile, add some colleagues, and understand how Google+ has integrated parts of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Once you feel comfortable with the advantages and disadvantages of Google+, build out your circles. Circles are a great way to tailor your message to an appropriate audience. I imagine that businesses will also be able to leverage this in the future and send different information to their current clients than they would to prospects.
You will likely have hundreds of opportunities to add people that you know to your circles if you have a Gmail account associated with your profile. If you don’t, make sure that you upload your email address book.
Once you have added your closest friends and colleagues, advertise your Google+ profile on your other social networks. Posting a simple message to Twitter and LinkedIn will help capture connections whom you have not emailed previously. Having a completed profile with a large audience will make launching your future Google+ brand page that much easier.
Circle your KOLs
Like with Twitter, you have the ability to create one-way relationships in Google+. You can add individuals to a circle even if they have never heard of you. Also like Twitter, those individuals will typically be notified by email after you add them. It’s not uncommon for someone to monitor who is adding them, and an interesting profile may mean that they will add you. You will want to be on the radar of key opinion leaders when you begin promoting your brand.
Plan your Groups
For me, interest groups are what add value to LinkedIn. Groups are ways for people with a common interest to get together an exchange information. This feature is definitely in the works with Google+ as it was recently announced that Google acquired Fridge, a startup that understands how to connect people. Since promoting your brand to an interest group is a great way to reach your audience, expect a large number of groups to be created as companies race to form interest groups that they can influence.
Develop your Brand Page
Brands interact very differently on social networks today, and how this will play out on Google+ has yet to be determined. With any good social media strategy, your company will want to start planning for next quarter now. In addition to helping manage our client’s social presence, we help them plan social campaigns with tracking that have clearly defined goals to measure success. Whether we recommend putting together a mini editorial calendar and help setup automated messages or we integrate a social campaign with a product launch, it is important that the correct tracking is in place so that you don’t wrongfully attribute a sale or lead.
Fortunately, Google has already added new features to Google Webmaster Tools that all you to monitor and measure how the +1 buttons are affecting your search impact, activity and audience. Most questions will be answered by combining this with your site’s analytic data.
Brands will also certainly have the option to have verified accounts, so you shouldn’t have to worry about impostors.
Social Search, Here to Stay
It all comes back to Search for Google.
As if Google didn’t have enough information to pour through already, they are about to get a lot more. During Google’s quarterly earnings call, Larry Page said that the +1 buttons are getting over 2.3 billion presses per day. This is an amazing amount of data that Google can use to continue improving their search product.
Remember, Google is not just adding a competing social network. They are integrating more social signals into their search platform. Search is about to get a lot more social, and your actions and recommendations will influence how you, your social network, and the rest of the Internet find information.
If you want to get in my head, follow me on Twitter or circle me on Google+.