Google+ is the latest addition to the suite of social networks companies can manage through Sprout Social. The channel can play a crucial role in not only building your company’s audience, but ensuring that you have a strong presence in search results. It’s a worthy part of any social media strategy.

Now, Sprout Social is making it easier for you to cover all your bases, no matter which social networks your brand prefers. Here are the features for Google+ that are now available to Sprout Social accounts.

Get Google+ Connected

The first step is to connect your Google+ Page to your Sprout Social account. From your dashboard, a list of the currently connected profiles appears on the far right column of the screen. Click on the plus sign icon to add another profile to the Group. Or, from any page of the tool, you can click on the same plus sign icon at the far right of the top menu bar. Either button will generate a screen where you can select the social network you’re adding.

Make sure that you’re already signed into the Google+ account that you want to connect. Verify that Sprout Social is allowed to access to the social media page by clicking “Accept” at the bottom of the screen. Once you’ve agreed to the permissions, a list of all your available Google+ Pages will appear within Sprout Social. Pick the ones you want to link as Sprout Social profiles, and click the green “Connect” button.

Integrated Google+ Management

Once your Google+ Page is connected to your Sprout Social account, you can integrate the network into all of the other classic features of the tool. Content from your Google+ account will appear in your Messages section. You can toggle the Smart Inbox to include Google+ posts, or comments, or both. The inbox defaults to displaying all the profiles included in a Sprout Social Group, but you can uncheck the other profiles to show only material from Google+.

When you’re in the Smart Inbox, you can pick and choose which network is your focus. In addition, any Google+ post from the Smart Inbox can be turned into a to-do item for somebody on your team. The network has been fully integrated into the Tasks section of Sprout Social, so the appropriate person can be assigned to respond to any conversations on that channel.

The bulk of Sprout Social’s features for Google+ center around publishing content. When you schedule social media posts, you can add Google+ to the publishing list. Click on the “Publishing” tab from the top menu. In the “Scheduled” section, when you begin to write a new post, click on the photo icon at the far left of the dialog box. This will bring up a dropdown menu listing all of your available social media networks. If you want to publish only to Google+, select that profile from the dropdown. If you want to publish to multiple networks, including Google+, click the “And” button below the profile photo to select the additional social media profiles.

For posts to Google+, you can set the visibility of the post within Sprout Social. The tool defaults to public posts, but you can also toggle the audience to other levels of privacy. You can opt for a post to appear only for people in all of your Circles, in your extended Circles, or in a specific set of Circles. You also have the choice of disabling comments on your post. No matter what type of content your business wants to share on Google+, Sprout Social will make it happen for you.

The Google+ profile will also appear as an option in the “Sprout Queue” and the “Drafts” sections of the Publishing tab. Double check any of the posts you have in the pipeline for your Google+ profile in the Queue. With Drafts, you can share future messages on Google+ with your entire team, or submit a post for approval. These tools can give a new layer of organization and control to your Google+ content, making it a unified part of your brand’s social media presence.

If you’re curious about how Sprout Social can improve your brand’s approach to Google+, sign up for a free trial to test out our Google+ Page management features and more.

[Image credits: Chris Wetherell, Eric Skiff]