If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering how you can possibly fit one more social media thing on your busy marketing calendar. After all, isn’t Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn enough? I know I used to think “enough already!” It’s an unfortunate fact that most of us are so linked in to our computers and the internet these days that we’re probably looking for a way to spend less time on the computer rather than more. So the idea of one more social marketing network to be aware of and use to market our books is just one more too many. That’s what I used to think anyway. That is until I realized one fact, and this is a fact that bypasses Twitter, FB, and even LinkedIn. I’ll bet you’re wondering what it is. Well, it’s this teensy tiny little fact that makes Google+ different than just about every other social marketing tool out there; what you post on Google+ shows up in the results on Google’s search engine. So, if you’re key word, hash tag (yes, you can use those on Google+ too) and even slightly marketing savvy, then you can save a lot of time and energy if you use Google+. Now am I suggesting you shut down your Twitter, FB and LinkedIn accounts? No, not at all. Those social media serve their purpose, and you’ve probably already really built up followers on those and it would just be stupid to miss out on them.

So, how can you best use Google+ if you’re an author? Here are five different tips for utilizing Google+:

1. Make sure you set up Google+ so that it will link to any content you create. This can be articles you write for others, even non-fiction articles, blog posts on your blog and other types of internet content. You can learn how to set up Google+ authorship here.

2. Use Google+ Events to send out invitations to author events such as online chats, book signings etc.

3. Interact on Google+. While it’s true you may not have a ton of time to be on the different social media, you can do searches for information relevant to you and your writing, and books and then comment on those posts you think are relevant. The great thing about this is that others see the comment and then visit your Google+ page and if you’re lucky your website!

4. Use hash tags and key words sparingly. There is nothing worse in my opinion than a Google+ post that is mostly hash tags and key words. Don’t get me wrong, both are great and definitely have their uses, but use them sparingly for more pop and zing to your Google+ posts. One or two is fine since in most cases your posts are only going to be a sentence or four.

5. Use circles to find like-minded people. The great thing about Google+ circles is you can create them, as well as, join them. If you’re an author and want to reach readers then you should look for circles of readers to join. Yeah, I know this is pretty much a no-brainer, and yes it is that easy. That way whenever you post about your latest release, a book signing or online chat, readers will be seeing these posts. Since readers are your target, marketing this is a great way to create book sales!

If you keep these five tips in mind, you’re sure to use Google+ to your best advantage as an author, and make book sales too!