How to Bring Google+ Conversations to Your Company Website
Spontaneous conversations on Google+ about your brand boost its authority more than anything — and getting these to happen on your own site gives you more control, rather than someone else, such as Google+ or Facebook.
The minute people are coming to your site to converse with their friends over their favorite social network, you know you’ve been successful. There is a good chance your most passionate audience will start up some of those conversations. When they’re talking about your brand on your site, you now produce the news about your brand. You’re in control of your own message at this point.
The only way to get people conversing on your own site is by utilizing profiles you’ve created and building ways for them to communicate, or by using profiles they’ve created on social networks like Google+ and pulling those profiles into your own user experience for communication via the APIs that those social networks provide.
There are a couple of ways people can communicate with each other on your site, and you can start using your site as a communication tool to build community and make your audience more passionate about your brand. Here are a couple of ideas:
Create your own news feed. By creating a news feed you’re providing a place where people can get a link to the latest activity on your site from their friends. This link is a feed that focuses solely on your site — every product purchased, every article read, every Like or comment registered — share it all here, inviting the individual’s friends to comment and share to their friends also.
The idea is to create a social network around your products and content — and then allow your users to share to the other social networks they participate in.
Add comments to content and product listings. Facebook makes it easy with plugins they can provide for your content. With Google+ you have to do it on your own. You may also consider a third-party platform like Disqus.com. Or, you may consider creating your own commenting system for every product or piece of content on your site. At that point, if your site supports profiles, you have two options:
Use the profiles of users on your own site.
Integrate, via APIs, the profiles of those users from Google and Facebook.
It never hurts to get more information on Google+ APIs.
Integrating comments on individual pieces of content or products allows your users and customers to get to know each other and builds community around your brand. It also gives you feedback and helps you play a part in the conversation. If you allow comments to share out to other websites and social networks, it can bring new people and potential new customers to your website or app.
Create a forum. The old-style forum isn’t dead yet. You may benefit by creating a forum that links from your website or app where users can discuss content or products from your website. This medium provides a place for your users to communicate, build community, and get to know each other while giving them some level of control over the conversation.
At the same time, because you own the forum and the community it’s based on, you still can lead and guide what happens there. It’s probably better that conversation happens on your own turf instead of someone else’s.