Tuesday, January 3, 2012

3 Features Of Google+ Especially For Artists

Many Facebook users are still doubters about Google+, but the network is growing like a weed so if you're an artist or a band, you just can't ignore it any more. While Facebook still dwarfs it by a factor of 10, remember that it was only introduced 6 months ago, and at the rate Plus is growing, it won't take long for it to catch up. As a matter of fact, estimates that just came out today that expect it to grow to 400 million users by the end of 2012, which is about half of that of Facebook in only 18 months (it took Facebook 4 years to get to Plus's current numbers).

That said, Cyber PR maven Ariel Hyatt of Ariel Publicity wrote an excellent article on Music Think Tank about why Google+ is now a must for any band or artist. Here's an excerpt.

"The Band Page
This is the quintessential feature that you all must be familiar with. A Google + Band Page is a page that you can make, just like a Facebook Fan Page, that caters directly to musicians.

It is crucial that you sign up for a band page as soon as possible so that you can solidify the URL and Band Page name to remain consistent with the rest of your social presence. This process is very simple:
Google+ Screen Shot image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blogOnce you sign up for a Google + account, you will see a link to ‘create a page ’ on the right side bar towards the bottom of your profile.
From here, all you need to do is select the ‘Arts, Entertainment and Sports’ option and create the page!

It is truly that easy and will make a HUGE difference in your overall online visibility. Of course, you want to make sure you complete your Google + Band Page with a Bio, Hi-Res pictures of yourself or your band. Unfortunately at this point in time, Google+ Band Pages still don’t have a way for you to upload music directly to the page, so you’ll want to use this page primarily to engage your fans.


Google +’s Circles are THE core function of the website and is how Google + positioned itself as a unique competitor in the social networking market.

As far as you need to be concerned, Circles are really just lists. See, Google + functions similarly to Twitter in that you can simply follow anyone you’d like without needing their approval by adding them to a Circle. The Benefit of this is that you can create separate Circles for all of the different people and resources that you need to stay on top of. Here are a few types of Circles that I suggest you create:
  • Venues

  • Similar Bands

  • Fans (create a new circle for each major market or region where your fans exist. Great for upcoming show!)

  • Blogs that you follow

  • Music Industry Resources 
So what is Google Hangout? Simply put, Google +’s hangouts is a free and easy to use video conferencing service similar to Skype (actually, Facebook’s introduction of Skype video chatting was a response to Google +’s introduction of Hangouts). The reason this service is so important for emerging musicians is because it allows you expand the face-to-face time with fans to beyond just live events.

Before Google+ was in the running for the social media contender, Google introduced it’s own form of a Facebook Like button called the ‘+1 button’. Then, when Google+ was launched, the +1 button became a fully integrated engagement marketing tool, allowing anyone to ‘+1” any page with the button, which not only acts to help the page rank higher in Google searches, but it now also appears on that person’s Google + profile.

So what does this mean? Well, it doesn’t mean much in terms of how you use Google +. But it does mean that the +1 Button is now an absolute must, along with the Facebook Like button, on your website and blog! Including this will turn your website into an easily sharable, highly visible site on Google +."

You can read the entire article here. Ariel has also posted a number of helpful videos from Google as well.
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