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«Halftime Mike Podcast with Ray Hiltz Podcast Raw Transcript: Hello there! This is Mike Gingerich with the Halftime Mike Podcast. Today I am excited ...»

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Halftime Mike Podcast with Ray Hiltz

Podcast Raw Transcript:

Hello there! This is Mike Gingerich with the Halftime Mike Podcast. Today I am excited to have Ray Hiltz

with me. Ray is in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and we are going to talk about Google+. Ray is an expert

on the subject and he has been doing this for a while with businesses, equipping them and using all the

tools that Google+ has to offer. Welcome Ray!

Ray: Well, thanks very much Mike, I’m really thrilled to be here. Any opportunity to talk about Google+ is a good day for me.

Mike: Excellent, excellent. Well Ray, I’ve talked a little bit beforehand that my audience is owners, marketers, small and medium sized businesses that are using social media, digital marketing to help grow their business and my podcast is always about doing things to help them learn and take a look at new tips, new tools, things that they can leverage. I’m usually help them grow leads, grow leverage online and in the half time podcast is the chance for them to step back, and reflect, learn about something, figure out what might be doable for them so that they can implement that in what I call the second half as a basketball fan.

Ray: Sounds great, we share some of your same demographics.

Mike: Very good now. Let’s see, I’m sure being where you are in Montreal that there is a lot French going on, but were going to stick in English. Well, I can say “parlez vous français” but not much beyond that in this point in time.

Ray: That’s okay, that’s fine.

Mike: Alright!  So let’s dig in to Google Plus. It’s been around for a little a while. I think it’s gaining some traction. May be you can speak a little bit about the beginnings of Google Plus and where it is exactly today.

Ray: Well, there is a lot of theories rolling around. Google isn’t exactly really open book, but what motivated them or what their big global plan was, but there is lot of conspiracy theories on that. Well, basically I think the initial reason, that they’ve launched Google+, was at the same time they want to make web search more relevant and more precise, because that is their business model. They have to come up with the best and most relevant search results that they can. To do that they need access to personal data, and because we basically have a lot of Twitter and Facebook data they had to come up with their own platforms. But not really successful, Google Buzz was just prior to that, but with Google+ it was a huge change of the whole business culture for Google, because not only was it a way, a platform to be social, and of course when it came out the hype was all about Google+ versus Facebook because they were the only comparison that we had the for size. But it's nothing like Facebook.

They created Google+ to be an entity engine, basically some way to verify who is on the platform, who the authors of the content is, and is that content valid and what level of authority these people have. All that to, again, give the best search results possible. That’s why you have to open an account with your personal profile, and that’s why you can’t use a pseudo name. That’s why they are so strict on those things. That is why there are also no ads basically on Google+, and that’s why they’ve created authorship to tie you with content that you create.

So at the beginning it was perceived to be Facebook versus Google+, we still get that because when people thought about what social media is, they were talking about Facebook. That is the way people think when they think about social media.

I tend to think about Google+ as basically a digital marketing area. When you are on Google+ you are on the internet and you are in Google, that’s it. And as more and more of their properties add Google +, and the most recent being YouTube, what happen is they sign in with their Google+ account to give a comment that is very much apparent. And what they said all along with that Google+ isn’t the platform but a social layer covering all of their products and that exactly what it is.

Mike: I like that term, so it’s a social layer covering all their platforms, and their platforms being, I mean Youtube or even Gmail and more....

Ray: Yeah. Gmail, Youtube, Android I mean it’s pretty vast.

Mike: Yeah, okay a layer covering that. I like that. So you really tied it in directly. You know authorship is one of the key components. Why don’t you speak a little bit more about authorship as it pertains to small business owner and their blog for instance?

Ray: Well hopefully most small businesses understand the value of the blog, I mean as much as I’m a fan and this is the platform that I work on most with, I still highly recommend that people have blogs, they have their own site. Because Google is not your site, it belongs to Google and all there are number of people who are writing to Google+ only which I don’t think is a great idea.

But having said that, it’s important that your content follows you, that’s associated with who you are.

First of all is scraping a site. They go around steal content then put it on their sites. This helps avoid that.

So when people search for something, whether it is an Italian restaurants, say Italian restaurants in Montreal, well actually Sam is visiting California for the first time, I’ve never been here before. They know who I am, because it is in my phone. I say okay, Italian restaurant. Well, they are going to be able to locate where I am and tie me to the nearest Italian restaurant and through exchanges I’ve had with friends, like you, Mike. You’ve talked on Google+ with me and I'm in your circles. They’re going to probably have you show up in my search, because maybe you have your favorite restaurant that you have mentioned or something, and that is basically how this whole semantic search and the whole personalized web works.

That’s how it all fits and should, because it all should be working together.

Search has become more personal. So everybody's search is different depending on who is doing the search.

Most times people don’t flick the little switch on global search and personalize search, people just default than personalize. So if you are a small business you want to be in front of your customers as many of those touch points as possible. So whenever they come round the idea or the thought like, “Hmmmmm I need a new sink”. – well, if you know in those streams may be blog posts of yours came by saying “How to avoid frozen pipes if you’re in Montreal”. Certainly non and you’re just in California doing the matching, but they can cross stream and you can comment them on there’s a connection, you’ve made a connection and the more of those small connections that happen the more relevant to Google, you and I are. When you do a search you want your customers to find you. And the best way of finding you is to have a relationship with them, and the best way to have a relationship with them is to be in Google+ and to be in their circle.

Mike: Okay, very good, now let’s take a moment to look at another component, the business page in Google+. So If I am a business owner, business marketer and I have my own Google+ profile and then through that I can create a business page, correct? Do you want to expand on that?

Ray: Yeah, you need a personal profile to create a personal business page of course. Business pages can vary if you are a local business, a restaurant, a salon or a shop – it’s imperative to have a Google+ page.

First of all they’ve merge features, remember the old Google Places? That is now called Google local. So now a Google local page is merged with a Google+ page. So when someone does a search you’ll appear on the knowledge graph, which is the block right next to the left hand column of your search result, with a nice big area with a map, and with the review option that will link directly to your Google+ page.

Google tends to like business pages. So it’s definitely an advantage, but having said that, your strategy for creating a Google+ page is to usually align your Google+ pages with your digital online office, or your work space or your shop. That’s where people go to find out what you have to offer whether it is a product or a service.

However, you should lead in terms of making connections and relationships and content marketing with your personal profile. I see that a number of people are putting up business pages and they’re kind of treating that as yellow pages. But it doesn’t work that way because everything, specially with authorship, is connected to your personal profile and that relates back to your business page, to your content and to your blog. So there’s definitely a strategy on a strategic sense that you should definitely do most of your work as your profile. Basically humanize your brand, put your face up there for your company.

Mike: Okay, now you answered a question that I didn’t even ask and that was brilliant because I wanted to get to that one. So leading with your personal brand and profile is key but also having that company page as kind of your information source to go to, the source about you on Google+ is important?

Ray: Definitely Mike! You know, it’s totally reflective of how we act in real life, right? I mean, if we were in a town and we go to meeting or networking meeting or chamber of commerce meeting, we go there, "as Ray Hiltz".

I’ll come up to group of people talking, maybe I’ll find something in common that they are saying, for instance, if they are talking about fishing and I say “Yeah, we were doing a lot of trout fishing last summer and I found a great spot,” and we have this trout fishing in common and then they’ll say “Oh well, good to meet you Ray, good to meet you Ray. So what do you do?” and then I’ll say, “Well I’m a social media strategist, I’m a Google+ coach and oh, this is my business card and if you’re interested you can come over to my office". It's the same with my Google+ page, or my blog and that how it’s work in real life you don’t open up basically shoving a business card on someone’s face. You let them know who you are first so that they can relate to you and you can reach them on more personally emotional level.

And that is how it works online, people aren’t interested in making relationships with brands, they are interested in making relationships with people. Once that happens, once that relationship happens then you start to build trust and trust is essential in the whole final process, the whole buying process.

Mike: Yes, Absolutely. Yeah, I think that is a great point about the personalization and how you lead with your personal profile. So from a business stand point, if it is going to be individual, it’s going to be sharing things on Google+ as your profile. Let's talk about growing your community and interaction.

Obviously if Google+ gives you an opportunity to follow people and their circles and their community. So why don’t we kind of dive into that. Let’s say I am a newbie and I have a Google+ profile and I am looking to begin, to explore, to maximize, to help my business connect better on this platform. What are some things that I need to be aware of?

Ray: Well, a circle is kind of the foundation of Google+. It is kind of what sets it apart from the very beginning. I mean circles and then hangouts were the most popular things in the community. If you are just starting out, I think you should start out like if most social platforms are missing, set up some basic circle for instance. Set a circle for your friends, invite them over but then start doing a search and Google+ has a hashtag search and it is extremely accurate and they are very helpful.

So you can do a hashtag search or you can just search for whatever industry that you are in, search for your competitors. But search for your interests. So if I am in a restaurant business, I’m going to look for chefs, I’m going to look for restaurants, I’m going to look for people who have food communities, that kind of thing.

And if I want a local business I’m going to just click on the geography into the search. Then what you do is you create a circle, say I have a restaurant circle, I’ve got a Google+ consultants circle, people who were in Google+ can talk about Google+ and how they use Google+ search. There’s a whole bunch of details that I want to arrange on those if you’re using it for a lead generation, there’s a whole process that I use for instance. So for instance I’m looking for my target market agencies and consultancies and entrepreneurs,so I’ll look for those and I’ll look for people who are working on those kind of issues that I am interested in. And if I don’t know them very well, I put them into a very general circle, and I use to call that my “pergatory” circle, because I don’t know if they go vertical up in the finals or down in the final because they are in the middle.

And then as I write post or as I come across their post commenting or wanting me or there are some interactions I move them up because on the top of our screen we have four buttons basically. We have explored them; we have the four top circles up here on top of your screen. So those are the ones that you going to access most often, that is what you want most interesting and the relevant people in. So I moved them up that way, I think a big advantage, in terms of businesses, is communities. Circles is good because you can choose what circle you want to interact in. When you open up your Google+, your default is the “all” something like Twitter right? You have the “all” default which I rarely ever go into.

You have your list so I go into my engages, I go into my social media master mind group all these list is what I look into and you do the same thing in Google+. I tend to go to into circles.

Communities on the other hand are much more focused, that is where networking really happens because first of all there are not so many people in it but it is very focused on one particular topic. So you can check whatever your interest is, find a community for that and then start engaging in that community and comment in that community and that establishes your expertise, that establishes who you are whether you are an engager or not and that I think probably is the quickest way to gain a following and a network on Google+.

Start with circles because you want some things happening, you want to use them primarily at the beginning for listening to see what people are posting and how they are posting it.

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