Meet the New(ish) Kid on the Social Media Block: Google+

Published on: December 1, 2013

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We’re well acquainted with Facebook, LinkedIn and maybe even Twitter. But how many of us have spent time with Google+? I know what you’re thinking: Why get involved with another social media outlet? As we talk about interdependence, it follows that connectivity has to join the discussion, and Google+ provides more options for connecting and sharing.

In many ways, it’s like Facebook or Twitter: You can share status updates, events and photos with your friends and followers, which you can conveniently group into circles; you can +1 (or “like”) and share your favorite posts; you can create and join a wide variety of small groups or communities; you can even utilize hashtags for post grouping.

But what sets Google+ apart is its video capabilities. It’s called Hangout. Think of it as Skype and then some. Hangout allows you to participate in a free video conference with up to 10 people, complete with file- and screen-sharing. You can also broadcast your hangout live for the world to watch either on Google+ or YouTube. Best of all, your live broadcasts are automatically recorded so you can add them to your YouTube channel or embed them on your website. Google+ works on mobile devices so it’s easy to set up and connect from anywhere. Another added bonus? Having a Google+ profile increases your Google search ranking, which is helpful when new residents are looking for a spiritual community.

So what can churches do with Google+? Here are a few ideas:

  • Share talk highlights and inspirational thoughts throughout the week.
  • Broadcast your service live (and free) on Sundays.
  • Have an online video group to complement your church-wide book groups.
  • The minister can lead a live, weekly video chat as a follow-up to the Sunday talk.
  • Schedule a live session with a prayer chaplain.
  • Lead a live, guided meditation.
  • Connect live with other ministries around the world.

It’s true that nothing beats face-to-face, but these days, social media can help connect those who aren’t physically nearby and for whom this is their only venue. I invite you to experiment with Google+ and expand your reach. A good message is worth telling in many ways.

Image © 2012 Google Inc. All rights reserved. Google and the Google Logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc.
Ogun Holder
Rev Ogun Holder serves as the senior minister of Unity on The River in Amesbury, MA. He is the author of Rants to Revelations: Unabashedly Honest Reflections on Life, Spirituality, and the Meaning of God and co-host of the Pub Theology Live podcast.
Jessica Best
Digital Marketing Evangelist at emfluence
Jessica Best is digital marketing evangelist at emfluence, a digital marketing firm in Kansas City, Mo.

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