Technology

Google+ Dashboard Makes Things Easier to Manage

If your association has a page on Google+, its new dashboard could help ensure you don't get bogged down in the details when you simply need an overview.

It may play second-fiddle to other social platforms right now, but Google+ is working hard to change that. Its latest effort is a new dashboard designed to make it easier for organizations to track what’s happening on the network.

What you need to know:

What it does: The new dashboard allows businesses with Google+ pages to easily update their information, track trends, and launch Google Hangouts from a single point of entry. Previously, information for different parts of the Google platform had to be updated using different interfaces, so the change is a huge time-saver. And for local businesses, it offers other benefits, such as map-tracking and an overview of Google AdWords campaigns.

The intent: Google’s goal with this dashboard is to make it easier to handle all of Google’s social services—including analytics, interactions with other users, and plug-ins—from a single interface. “Today millions of businesses use Google+ to connect with their customers in meaningful ways. Many of these businesses also use AdWords to promote their products; Maps to update store info; and YouTube to publish high-quality video content (to name a few),” explains Pavni Diwanji, a senior director at Google, in a public post. The dashboard is intended to bring these disparate elements together at a glance for the user.

A difference in approach: TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardinois notes that this approach seems counter to how other social networks handle page ownership, which  he sees as both a strength and a weakness. “It’s fascinating to see Google build all of these tools itself,” Lardinois writes. “That’s a big contrast to Facebook’s approach, which has focused on opening APIs to let third parties build presence-management tools for businesses. Google gets tighter control of the experience but can’t provide customized set-ups for different types of businesses.”

Third-party solutions? While the new Google+ dashboard gives businesses and other organizations a good starting point, one thing it lacks is a good way to schedule posts—a key element of social media for organizations manning multiple platforms. If you need something a little more comprehensive, several social platforms, including Sprout Social and HootSuite, also support Google+. Other popular platforms, like Buffer, have yet to receive access to Google’s APIs to allow for such scheduling. A full list of third-party providers that plug in to Google+ is available here.

Will these changes encourage you to do more with Google+? Let us know your take on the network below.

(screenshot via Google)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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