For years, one of the severely limiting factors of Google+ was the fact that personal profiles could not be supported through the use of traditional social media management tools.
If you have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profile, you can use any number of tools to share, schedule and monitor activity. But not Google+. Due to how Google set up their API, social media management tools were only granted access to Google+ Pages – business entities – not personal profiles.
Google recently relaxed that limitation and has now allowed full access to personal profiles via the API.
What does that mean, exactly?
It means tools like Hootsuite can now support personal Google+ profiles.
First, log into your Hootsuite dashboard and click on your avatar in the upper left corner. That will bring you to your Organization and Social Networks page.
Next, click on Add a Social Network, select Google+, and approve Hootsuite’s access to your Google account.
Next, select your personal Google+ profile (as well as any Pages you might wish to add).
You’ve now added your personal profile, and will be able to select it whenever you compose a new status update.
RELATED: The Unofficial Book on Hootsuite – your complete manual on how to leverage every aspect of Hootsuite for social media management.
What Can Hootsuite + Google+ Do?
Now that you’ve connected your Google+ account and personal profile, here’s what you’re able to accomplish. (Currently limited to desktop.)
First, you can post status updates. Being able to do this from a single tool and not the native platform has distinct advantages, particularly if you want to post to multiple networks simultaneously. If I have an article I want to share to both LinkedIn and Google+, I can set it up once in Hootsuite as opposed to twice on the native networks.
Second, you can schedule updates. This is a biggy, folks. Until now, the only solutions for scheduling personal Google+ profile updates were based on having your browser remain open. That might work for some, but if you need to shut down your laptop and travel, your social activity shuts down with it. Instead, compose and schedule your post like you would any other.
Third, you can monitor your personal Google+ profile activity, including: shared posts, scheduled posts, activity within selected circies, your main home stream, and specific searches.
The last one is a crucial element to any successful social network activity – being able to monitor for specific keywords, hashtags or other conversations so that you can respond accordingly.
Any posts that you monitor within Hootsuite can be assigned to other team members or commented on within the app. You can also click the datestamp to open any post within Google+ and engage with that user there.
Note that Hootsuite supports Google+ formatting and user IDs, so you can words bold or italic, as well as +mention users if you know their full user ID.
As additional features are added or discovered, this article will be updated.
There will no doubt be additional tools that release support for personal Google+ profiles in the coming months (like Friends+Me). But for now, those of you with a Hootsuite account should definitely take a moment to add Google+.