Put your business in fast forward with Google+

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | 11:17 AM

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Today, we’re thrilled to share with you the story of musician and Google+ breakout star Daria Musk.

We often get asked for examples of how to use Google+ to engage with users. Lighting up Google+ with live concerts, as Daria’s done, can seem a song apart from selling wares such as designer laptop cases, hotel rooms or even car insurance -- but the principles of building an engaged Google+ community ring true across industries. Daria’s story is a shining example of what working with an active audience can look like.
 

 
Be authentic and committed
On March 13, Daria crossed the amazing milestone of having more than one million followers. That means more than one million Google+ users have added Daria to their circles, all in the space of about eight months.

Daria was looking for those listeners when she joined Google+. “I was dreaming maybe there’s this wider world that I can sing for,” she said. “Maybe my people are out there somewhere.”

Through posts and Hangouts, Daria has kept her fans engaged. Keys to success, Daria said, include starting with enthusiasm and authenticity. “Right now if you get on Google+ and you show that you’re doing something remarkable, they’ll notice you,” she said.

Being remarkable, Daria coached, includes being yourself and avoiding canned-message posts. Users can tell if you’re trying to make a real connection. Be genuinely excited to connect with them and they’ll connect back.

When users do notice you, make sure you commit enough time to connect back. Taking just 10 to 15 minutes to respond to comments can keep the conversation going.

Create a Hangout ritual
When it comes to connecting with Google+ users, Daria’s found the perfect vehicle: Hangouts, which allow Google+ users to connect over video chat, in real time, for free. For Daria, that has meant instantaneous global concerts that have included a round-the-world New Year’s Eve Hangout and a Hangout on stage at her TEDxTalk -- allowing her to share key moments with her “G+niuses, ” her followers.

For a successful Hangout ritual, follow Daria’s example and recommendations:
  • Announce the Hangout: Be excited! Hang a virtual poster on your stream and tell users what you’ll be doing or discussing.
  • Encourage participants: If you’ve noticed great comments, invite those users directly to get a lively discussion going.
  • Follow up: After the Hangout, post a summary on your stream. What happened? What was discussed? What will you do with what you learned?

Get inputs -- and inspiration -- from your audience
For Daria, Google+ isn’t just a way to promote her music. It’s also a way to help shape it. The magic of Hangouts -- including watching a sunrise in Norway from her studio in the United States -- has inspired Daria to create additional “products” – her songs and music -- including tunes such as “+1 Me.” She even cut audio from the live Hangouts into her live album, "L+VE." What could you learn from your own customers?

Google+ makes Daria feel like an innovator -- and it’s open to anyone. All you have to do is sign up and start engaging. “We’re … making our own party,” she said, “and everyone’s invited.”

Join the party today. Create a Google+ page for your business at google.com/+/business.
 
Posted by Becky Bowman, Account Manager (Cross-posted from the Inside AdWords blog)