You probably have heard of Google+ – Google’s social network that is taking on Facebook — but, you wondered how you could utilize this channel as Google’s official stance is that the network is not open to brands and businesses yet. Furthermore, monitoring platforms have not yet realized updates that include Google+ monitoring capabilities. In the meantime, here’s one way you can monitor your brand’s presence on Google+.
For this example, let’s look at Netflix. They have been creating a lot of buzz recently due to the price increase and option of physical or digital movie distribution.
Step 1: Visit Google and type “site:plus.google.com Netflix” — click the Google Search button. (Note: If you have Google Instant turned on, you will need to disable it first.)
Step 2: Review your results. In this case, our search query resulted in 152,000 results. This example also illustrates a benefit of Google’s foray into social media — Rand Fishkin, an SEO expert whom I have in a Circle on Google+, has shared information on Google+ containing the keyword / Brand “Netflix.” His post is indicated with his profile image and the words “shared this” as can be seen below.
Step 3: Consider refining your results as needed – 152,000 is a large number of results to sift through. Click on the words “Advanced search” beneath the blue button with the hourglass icon in the upper right hand of the results page and the below advanced search options page appears. You can click on the Date section to expand it. By refining your search to “past 24 hours” you can reduce the total number of results shown.
Step 4: Review your results. In the past 24 hours, there were 18 publically available posts on Google+ mentioning Netflix. Additionally, Google gives searchers the option of sorting by relevance (default) or sorting by date. Refreshing this page will give you an update of Google+ posts mentioning Netflix as they are shared with the world. Consider what you could learn by reading through the most recent posts talking about your company name, leading brand, or specific product or service.
Unfortunately there is not currently an available function to export these search engine results.
Google+ is still in beta. Many users are just beginning to find their footing, but early adaptors are as prolific in sharing content on Google+ as they are on other social media platforms.
If you have any questions or success stories of how you have monitored Google+ for your business, we would love to hear about it in the comments.