How to Use Google+ Hangouts (A Beginners' Guide)

Yesterday I showed you how to access Google+, create an account, log in and navigate the interface. Today I have taken the time, as suggested by plenty of Google+ users like KOMU News Anchorwoman +Sarah Hill, to create a video showing users how to access and utilize the Google+ Hangout feature. Continue reading How to Use Google+ Hangouts (A Beginners' Guide)

Easy Steps to Help You Manage Your Overloaded Inbox

Need a Vacation Now That You’re Back from Vacation?

Now that you are getting settled back in t your office, there was probably a mountain of e-mail, voicemail or paper awaiting you when you walked in yesterday.

Customized Priority/Task Flags
Photo by Peter G McDermott

How is it going so far?

Coming back to the office after a vacation or the holidays can be a real shock to your system. It can easily feel like all of the benefits of your vacation have been negated by the amount of pressure on your shoulders from when you first walk in the door on your first day back.

Don’t let it. The whole point of your time off is to solidify your work-life balance. If you are spending 14 hours a day working (one way or another) and 8 hours sleeping, you’re only giving yourself 2 hours to relax.

Continue reading Easy Steps to Help You Manage Your Overloaded Inbox

How to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Happen, For Real!

Each year we kid ourselves with these silly notions of losing 15 pounds, taking more walks, calling our parents (or children) more often or trying to learn a new language or hobby. At the end of the year, we’d be hard-pressed to remember what the heck it was we promised to ourselves to begin with!

Here are three (3) easy steps to making your New Year’s Resolutions happen, for real! Once you’re done watching the short video, share it with your friends, embed it on your blog or send it to your mom! Remember, sharing is caring! Also, to make sure you don’t miss out on any of my posts like this (the stream can fly by in a hurry!) make sure you’re subscribed to my weekly update (subscribe button is on the right)!

How to Conduct a Survey with Results

Any campaign usually has a call to action, whether it is to get a customer to purchase a product, to generate a lead or to engage your followers with social media. The toughest part of these campaigns is their purpose and that it to generate results.

Surely, if you spend even the smallest amount of time on the Internet, you are getting bombarded left and right being asked to “fill out a survey.” Businesses use these to gauge their performance and measure their progress as well as individual components of their products and services.

If there is information that you are interested in obtaining, you need to incentivize your participants. Hokey things like a free desktop background or a ring tone may have sounded good 7 years ago, but they are unlikely to drive results.

Continue reading How to Conduct a Survey with Results

Add the Official Google +1 Badge to Your Blog

If you are like me, you are always trying to find creative ways to drive more traffic to your website. One of those ways is through social media. Sure you have one of the 3,000 different social media tools for your blog that allow people to Tweet, Facebook, Digg and all of that, but do you have something as simple and elegant as the official Google +1 badge?

The badge is fairly simple to install, even if you have a custom theme on your WordPress or Blogger (or whatever CMS). There are very simple instructions from Google on how to install the badge, and once its there, all of your visitors will see the Google+ profile avatars of other friends that have +1ed a page.

Head to http://www.petergmcdermott.com/ to check it out. For instructions and the code, visit Google’s official +1 website here: http://www.google.com/intl/en/webmasters/+1/button/index.html

12+ Questions about how people use Google+ Hangouts

Over the last few weeks I have started a number of pages on Google+ to test out different things and try to connect different types of niche audiences. I have enjoyed the opportunity to bring others together and watch some great things happen.

Over the course of the last few months I have been paying particular attention to the way that people use certain features of Google+. One of those all-important features in the Hangout feature. Yes, we have had Skype, Facetime, MSN and even NetMeeting to do face-to-face conversations from around the globe, but traditionally these were only done with people we had already established relationships with. Google has given the online world the opportunity to connect with virtually anyone with a webcam and a microphone and the results have been simply amazing.

In an effort to learn more about how users utilize this component and the features within it, I set out to conduct a survey much like the one I did previously (see Google+ in Numbers) to find out exactly what users are doing. I want to extend a very personal thank you to all of the users that participated in the survey. Without your valuable time, there would be no results to publish. So without further adieu…

12+ Questions about how people use Google+ Hangouts
You can find the original survey by clicking here. Click the image after each question to see the full breakdown of results for that question.

Continue reading 12+ Questions about how people use Google+ Hangouts

Google+ in Numbers

For the past few weeks I have been trying to better understand my audience on Google+. As an early adopter, I was fortunate to take the opportunity to grow a large audience. The people that have circled me are from all over the world, and I would be surprised if more than 50% of them spoke English.

For those that do speak English (or were able to translate), I created a Google Form to collect data to better understand my audience. This is something that businesses could easily do from time to time to poll their followers. In the survey I asked a few questions relating to peoples’ use of Google+ and what they typically enjoy seeing in their streams. The results were not shocking, but very interesting. Out of the first 245 surveys completed, here’s what people had to say.

For the first six questions I asked users to answer a question on a scale of 1-5 to see how they felt about certain things in their stream.

Continue reading Google+ in Numbers

So Now You Have a Tribe

How to engage your audience

Maybe your friend gave you an invitation to join Google+ before it was available publicly. Maybe you joined a few weeks ago and have been posting some very intriguing content. Either way, if you have had a lot of people “circling” you in the past few weeks or months then you are on your way to building a tribe.

What exactly is a tribe and why do I want one?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a tribe as: a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.

Let’s dissect this. First of all, in your tribe, you are probably the leader. In social media the purpose is to market a brand and promote that brand through successful interaction with your audience. In most cases, for us, you are the brand. The slice of the audience that is consistently reading and interacting with your content makes up your tribe.

Now, just in any socio-organization, it is important to remember certain members of your tribe, or organization. In the case of social media, and Google+ specifically, you probably have a few followers that consistently comment and re-share your posts. This is very desirable behavior for building your brand. Whether you are trying to educate your followers, market a product or make a point, having your words, photos and videos shared with people outside of your audience is a great compliment to your work.

Keep in mind that the people sharing your content are therein endorsing your content. I don’t know about you, but there are a lot of products out there that I wouldn’t feel comfortable endorsing. That tells me that the people that re-share my content have a firm belief that they stand by what I am saying, feel interested or compelled to share it with their followers. This is a conscious decision they are making.

How do you reward the important members of your tribe?

Maybe it’s a +mention, re-sharing some of their content, or interacting with their posts. Whatever it is you do, it is very important to recognize the people that have helped you build your brand and promote your content. Do you have a small project you can include them in? Are their opportunities for them to work within your brand? No matter how small, or how big, anyone that is active in engaging your content will surely be pleased by your recognition for their doing so.

In order to build a tribe, the leader of that tribe must have followers that respect him or her and members of the tribe that support that leader by engaging others. So, if you want to continue building your tribe, make sure you are offering compelling and relevant content (“I just flossed my teeth” could be considered informative, but unless you have a following of dental hygienists, you might not be reaching your audience effectively).

As you watch your tribe grow, make sure that you are actively engaging them, participating in their content and sharing their successes as well. If you stand on a soap box and keep yelling without paying attention to the questions being asked, the comments being made or recognizing the people sharing your message, you will betray your tribe and watch your following drop. The numbers may not disappear, but the engagement will slowly fade away.

What are you doing to build your tribe? What are you doing to celebrate the people sharing your content? How do you approach your most consistent content engagers? Do you have a plan?

Share your comments below and feel free to re-share this post with as many as you would like!