Cheat Sheet: How to Win on Google+ in 2014

By Kelly Byrd

Dare I say it, Google+ is still an underrated network. For all of it's capabilities, many are still not sure how to capitalize on the platform.

Here's a short cheat sheet (with some features reminders) for your G+ use in 2014:

Be Specific: When deciding which networks your brand should be on, remember that it is easy to target accounts on Google+. Posts can be sent publicly, to a circle, or to an individual. Tagged users or brands will be notified, and tagged posts can serve as a private message.

Be Active in Your Community: A lot of conversation on Google+ takes place in Communities and their discussions on specific topics. You may post to a Community from anywhere on the platform. If the Community is public, your post will also show up on your profile page.

Be Friendly: There are three types of Hangouts - text chat, private Hangouts, and Hangouts On Air. Both video options allow hosts to chat with up to 10 accounts. Hangouts On Air are public and archived as YouTube videos, so your G+ account must be associated with a YouTube account. If you're hosting Hangouts on Air, know that there is an audio-only mode as well as a bandwidth slider.

Be Up-to-Date: The platform is still evolving and adding new features. For example, on the top right of each post you may open a menu of options such as viewing post activity, embedding the post, muting the post or linking to the post.

The newest feature addition, +Post display ads that are created on Google+ in the standard public post format but run on the Google Display Ad Network of 2 million sites is a possible game-changer. With this addition, currently in Beta, brands will be able to promote photos, videos and Google Hangouts or group chat sessions hosted in Google+. Users may see their likenesses and comments packaged into social ads, but Google+ will remain ad-free.

As our CEO Carrie Kerpen said, "Don't fall asleep on Google+."

What are your favorite Google+ features? Will this list help you use the platform more in 2014?

Let's connect on Google+ - gplus.to/KellyByrd