How To Connect Google+ To Twitter Using Hootsuite

Connecting Google Plus and Twitter

Connecting Google Plus and Twitter

Google+ has a lot of potential as a social platform. It’s growth isn’t surprising considering the leverage Google has. 90 Millions users in under a year is a great achievement. It is likely to grow further and faster in coming months, especially as Google tie the platform more and more into it’s standard search product.

The likely beneficial search engine effects of having a presence on Google+ is drawing even more to sign up. The problem for those using these platforms for business is justifying spending time on a platform with relatively low membership. Let’s not forget Facebook has over 800 million users and some businesses are still struggling to justify an active presence.

UPDATE: Hootsuite has now introduce Google+ Pages integration directly into it’s system. Please have in mind this integration is only for Google+ Business Pages currently and doesn’t allow you to manage a personal account through Hootsuite.

The Google+ Challenge

The challenge therefore is to not get left behind if the inevitable happens and Google+ becomes the social platform of choice for business.

What we need is a way you can use Google+ without it taking anymore time than you currently use updating other social platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. This will give you a chance to get used to Google+ and create an active presence, at no cost.

I have been testing a few different ways of doing this but haven’t been satisfied with the results until now. I wouldn’t usually advocate what I am about to show you, but currently it remains the best way I can find to justify using Google+. Unless your business has a social media resource that can dedicate time to new and emerging platforms.

How it Works

What we are going to do is take posts made on Google+ and then deliver these to alternate platforms, we’ll also collect analytics about our post while we are at it. So if you were going to post an item to Twitter, you could post it on Google+ instead and it would also appear on Twitter with a link back to Google+. Because Google+ allows you to post more than 140 characters, you have the ability to write far more extensively on Google+. Your post will be truncated and a link added.

Using this method not only do you save time in posting to two platforms, you potentially expose more people to your presence on Google+.

Putting it Together

To do this effectively we require two things:

  1. An RSS feed of your Google+ posts
  2. A Hootsuite account

Google+ RSS Feed

Google doesn’t naturally provide RSS feeds for posts, so we have to create one. This is the area I have spent much of my time testing. Many of the tools I have found to do this don’t produce a reliable feed, and there is no point doing this if we have to keep refreshing the feed manually.

To create your RSS feed visit your Google+ profile page. In the URL you will see a long number after the domain. This is mine below:

Screenshot of Google+ URL

Google+ URL

Append this to the following URL http://macno.org/plus2atom/. This then creates an Atom based RSS feed of your public posts, courtesy of the guys at http://macno.org.

Here is my public Google+ RSS Feed: http://macno.org/plus2atom/100646878145460800662

This is only the first part, now we need to get this feed into Facebook or Twitter. Personally I prefer feeding it into Twitter as that is where I spend much more of my social media business time.

Using Hootsuite to Distribute Feeds

Over the years I have become more and more a fan of Hootsuite. At the personal end there is a free version that works on all mobile platforms. Yet it scales right up to an Enterprise version if required.

Hootsuite are currently working in partnership with Google to integrate Google+. Beta testing is only open to Enterprise users at present and comes with a hefty $1500 per month price tag. Hopefully integration will roll out to all account types eventually, in the meantime we can take advantage of the RSS feature in Hootsuite to load our newly created Google+ feed.

If you are using the free version you will need to upgrade to the $9.99 per month subscription to access this feature, but if you’re using social media professionally this shouldn’t be too much of an overhead. You could use other methods to parse your feed into Facebook or Twitter, but the additional benefit of using Hootsuite is the built in analytics. Absolutely essential for any business.

Here is how to add your feed:

That’s all there is to it. Now every time you post to Google+ it will also appear efficiently on your other social platforms.

As I said earlier, I wouldn’t normally post across platforms, but until the Google+ user base expands this is the most efficient method of taking part on the platform.

About Sean Clark

Building successful online companies since 1999, we help you market your business online. Whether you need help with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Paid Search (PPC) or Social Media Marketing call us today on 01603 343477 for a free initial consultation.

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  • Scott Allen

    Alternatively, you could use iftttt.com or dlvr.it for free.

  • The Google+ rss feed creators have come and gone over the past few months. What makes this outfit different?

  • Todd,

    I have tried a few of them, these seem to have been around some time, and the feed actually works. Please have in mind this is only meant as a temporary solution until you have decided whether to integrate Google+ into your Social Media marketing.

    Thanks
    Sean

  • Scott,

    Thanks I did try http://ifttt.com but couldn’t seem to get it to work reliably. Also I am already a Hootsuite user so I get the benefit of the Analytics when doing my reports.

    There are probably many other ways to cut this and some may work better, and I am sure there will be a solid solution from Google itself at some point.

    Thanks
    Sean

  • Pete Cogle

    The problem I still want resolved is automatic posting to g+ from my blogsites. I can do this perfectly well to Facebook and Twitter via Twitterfeed because both FB and T have an open API. Google are still insisting people enter g+ manually, which I can sort of understand, but it’s never going to happen (at least for me).

  • @91a3fef659c3936de8936e96eedd4f8b:disqus You’re right this is a big obstacle for a lot of people. Google want their application to be the central place for updates and then feed out from there. I can’t see an API that allows feeds into Google+ coming any time soon.
    And the more Google keep connecting Google+ up to to the main web search the harder it is going to be to avoid using if you want a chance of appearing in the results.Sean

  • Thanks Sean. Interesting to see how this can be done. Hootsuite are an official launch partner for Google+ and do have a few trials running at the moment for Google+ integration into Hootsuite, so hopefully this will be launched soon. But this is an interesting idea in the meantime. 

    Reference Hootsuite feedback: 
    http://feedback.hootsuite.com/forums/40182-hootsuite-com-web-dashboard/suggestions/1990755-add-support-for-google-social-network

  • Mark,

    Yes I would much prefer to use an official integrated method. When it launches the Google+ integration is likely to result in a big uplift in the Google+ user base.

    Sean

  • Thanks ! It is really helpful ! 🙂

  • Useful indeed, thank you. Looking forward to seeing much tighter integration with the Hootsuite client – since G+ came out, I’ve gone back to 3 tabs – Hootsuite, Facebook and G+ – I post to FB, Twitter and ping.fm through Hootsuite, but every G+ post is separate – so I end up posting different things there… which is probably a good thing, when I think about it 🙂 

  • Anonymous

    Systems does not appear to be working anymore, or I am doing something incorrectly…..

    Got it working thanks!

  • Kevin,

    Just checked & worked with my last update for me. Check it was a public post & give it an hour to feed through. Also load the feed URL in a browser to ensure your posts are in there.
    Thanks
    Sean

  • Yes, working fine with my Google + Profile … does it work with Google + Pages? 

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  • LD

    Can you take RSS feeds from other Google + pages, or only your own?

  • @5bcbe6df9610eb9da4253c4d480faed8:disqus In theory you should be able to do this with any profile, just use their profile ID number in place of your own.

  • John Ellsworth

     I just started…  and it still is not pulling my feed…  is there a start-up delay before it starts working?

  • @google-d89b6b89e785417a52f424107fac1710:disqus Ensure your post is public, copy the feed URL into the browser address bar just to ensure your article is in there. 
    Hootsuite will check your feed once per hour, so make sure you give it at least an hour to show. 

  • John Ellsworth

     My public feed seems to be up and running: http://macno.org/plus2atom/107848396723154119052 .

    But nothing shows up on http://twitter.com/johnellsworth76

    And HootSuite is set as described. 

    I am attempting to have it post to my twitter and facebook, but HootSuite is not sending the feed items. 

    HootSuite suggests I can have the feed go to multiple profiles, but might that be the problem?  Should I set a feed to only go to one profile?

    I am bummed…  this was the most promising solution so far…  and it uses HootSuite, which I love.

  • John Ellsworth

     That’s it…  things are working beautifully now…  I can only put one profile per atom/rss feed…  but I can add the same feed multiple times to go to different profiles.  So I have the http://macno.org/plus2atom/107848396723154119052 feed listed twice on hootsuite…  once to post to my twitter and once to post to my facebook.  And now when I post to google +, it goes to all three.