[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Many people were skeptical about Google+ when it launched in 2011 and 3 years later marketers consider it a “ghost town.” This is far from the case as Google+ has a reported 300 million active monthly users. While it’s estimated that users spend an average of only 7 minutes a month on the social platform it actually generates a high amount of brand engagement in relation to its users. In fact, it is so effective at brand engagement that 48 percent of Fortune Global 100 companies have a presence on Google+. Of course the fact that Google itself is using Plus to incorporate social signals into their search algorithm also makes the platform more attractive to companies as well. Unfortunately, many companies do not know how to utilize Google+ and therefore do not see the engagement they expect. If you are in the same boat or if you plan on using the platform, these tips can help you build your Google+ authority.
When you first start off with Google+ you might have some built-in connections, but in order to increase your reach, you’ll need to actively find people to connect with. Luckily, there are several different ways you can find the right audience and connect with influencers.
- Google suggestions – Google provides you with a list of “Find People” suggestions based your connections through gmail, interaction with other google products, connected accounts, people in your circles and friends on external sites.
- Topics – if you’re business is involved in a specific market, you can easily find others interested in these by searching their topics. There you can make connections by commenting on other people’s posts.
- Shared Circles – This is simply circles created by other people and then shared with other people. When adding these circles, be sure you take a good look at the members to ensure their credibility and know exactly what you want to get out of adding this circle.
- Communities – This is perhaps one of the best ways to gain followers as it guarantees that everyone involved has an interest in the topic. For best results, leave thoughtful comments on posts in the communities and share insightful information and articles. Don’t use it to promote your own content unless it is relevant.
Unlike other social platforms, Google+ allows you to separate your followers into different categories or “circles.” This means that you have direct control over who sees your updates and who do not. It’s a great way to personalize your content as you can make sure that only people interested in your updates will see them. Ultimately, this will lead to more engagement, shares and +1s.
As with other social platforms, the content you share should provide value to your audience whether it’s information or amusement. In fact, it’s suggested that 80 percent should be entertaining while 20 percent should be promotional. Once you start gaining more followers your shared content can be an even mix of both, but keep in mind that the changeover should be gradual.
The content you post should be a good mixture of images, videos, text updates and infographics and should be posted on a daily basis. It might seem like a lot of work, but consistent posts will ultimately increase your audience size. Luckily, not all of these daily posts need to be unique. You can and should share updates from other people in your industry and then mention them when posting so they know you have shared it. These influencers will see that you have mentioned them and will be more likely to promote your own work.
One of the most powerful features of Google is its formatting function. You can bold, italicize or strike through words to make your posts more exciting and readable. Just use them sparingly as it will lose its effectiveness if you use it too much.
More importantly, engage with fellow Google+ users. This can include responding to comments, answering questions in different communities, commenting on other people’s updates and so on. The more you put into your Google+ engagement efforts the more you will get out of it.
Get Started with Google+
It’s fairly easy to start a Google+ page and if you already use Google’s services you most likely already have a Plus account. Just remember to fill out all of the requested information and then you can get Google+-ing!