Google+ and Contests

Google+ and Contests
Social media is a popular way to promote your product with contests and giveaways. One popular website—Google+— however, is one you may want to reconsider using to attract new customers.

Google+ (simply called Google Plus) is the social networking site that was supposed to be Google's answer to Facebook. It has similar features such as sharing and liking posts (actually you click the +1 button), interest groups and being able to add friends in the form of creating circles of common interests. It also has strict rules regarding contests and sweepstakes.

According to the Policies and Principles page at the site, here are two main points you need to be aware of before you consider placing a link to your next giveaway at Google+:
  • You cannot run contests directly on the site that require using their features. On Facebook, many contests require that you Like a page and fill out a form at the site. This is a no-no on Google+.

  • You can put a link to an offsite contest on your Google+ page.
As with any other contest you run, whether you're a large or small business or an individual artist or author promoting your work, you need to make sure your contest is run within the boundaries of state and national laws. Google+ disavows any liability for the links placed on its site for contests, so your entrants will be coming to you for any legal issues.

Is it still worth the trouble to post a contest on Google+? As long as you abide by these simple guidelines, this site can still be a valuable tool for promotion, especially if you don't just post links to contests and products but develop a presence online that people want to follow. Google doesn't seem yet to have gained the following that Facebook has but it also doesn't seem to be plagued with hackers and some of the other problems that Facebook has had.

A Google+ profile is easy to set up. In fact, if you use Gmail, you may already have a default page. To learn more and create your page, visit the home page.

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