Google+, a platform the not-so-social users out there may find daunting, and less important to your digital social life, particularly in comparison to chart-toppers Facebook and Twitter. Have you overlooked Google+? Think again…Google+ has its purpose!
This is your quick-fire guide to increasing your Google+ following but firstly, it’s important to understand why it’s essential to put time and resource into promoting Google+. Common questions include; why shouldn’t I just continue my focus with the more prominent platforms? What does Google+ do for my business?
For me, Google+ is a platform that merges the capabilities of Facebook, Twitter and other sharing sites including Pinterest (thanks to Google’s recent enhancements). But behind all the fabulous features and content, there is a greater need to maintain and be active on your profile – almost everything you do on your Google+ page has a direct impact on your ranking in search engine marketing.
Google indexes any text, link, image, or video you post to the public – just posting, sharing a link or +1’ing someone’s post, even making a comment will enhance your search rankings.
1 – Don’t run before you can walk!
Okay, so now we have a brief understanding into the importance of using this platform, we need to start at the start! It seems obvious, but much like any other platform or activity on the web – make sure your profile is completed, welcoming and a good representation of your brand. The amount of pages I have stumbled upon where tone of voice and branding are different to other platforms and websites is astounding. Be vigilant, even down to the thumbnail detail (so it’s recognisable from other social sites or when traffic is driven to your commerce site).
This is your chance to let everyone know what you’re about, and make it easy for people to find you via the Google Profile search (turn off the privacy settings for the parts you want to be public). Also, write a fitting bio with your ideal audience in mind, and describe yourself to them—who you are, what you do, and what you’re interested in. Other pointers may be to advertise the fact you are using the platform on other social sites and of course your own site, perhaps even extending to your offline marketing efforts.
2 – Invite people & return the favour
Returning the favour of a follow, like or tweet in social media is the digital equivalent to the handshake! It is courteous, friendly and most importantly an introduction where you can extend your welcome. Remember the span of the WWW could be potential leads, prospects and one-day customer, so treat them as exactly that. Circle back your followers.
One of the primary interactions should be to invite people to add you to their circles. After all, if no one knows you have an account, then no one can add you either. Inviting your contacts is pretty easy.
After adding people you do know, seek out people you don’t. What and who are you interested in? You’d be crazy to add everyone, so be judicious. Add people you are genuinely interested in—people you’ll actually want to interact with.
Once you’ve added them, you should talk to them. +1 the posts you like, comment on their posts if you have an opinion, and share great posts to your own circles. This way the people you follow know you are interested in them, and they’ll be more likely to follow you back. Be Social!
3 – Write and source content that is original, engaging and interesting
Diversify from the masses and produce content that is going to make you stand out! Whether it’s using different platforms such as video, infographics, white papers or one of the many alternate content sources, remain to the point and interesting!
You can always crowd source content, such as photos, similar to how we would traditionally use testimonials – a good way to do this is through incentivised marketing. This is where your creativity is free to explore!
4 – Share only interesting content & make it sharable!
Sharing interesting contents can boost your followers. If you posted an excellent topic and it is interesting and exciting, your friends will surely share it. From their shares you can gain followers and continue to build.
Make it public, but remember to not only keep it relevant to your brand but also of interest to your users. Content can be rewarding, thought provoking & of course, knowledgeable!
This advice goes for just about every website out there on which you want to establish a presence. If you don’t use engaging material on a regular basis, people are not going to return. Be thoughtful and have a point of view. You don’t have to discuss controversial topics to generate conversation, but you should definitely ask questions and encourage commenters to not only discuss the topics with you, but also with each other.
As you read your stream, you’re going to inevitably come across other people’s posts talking about similar topics. You can just share the post, and a new thread will be created in your Google+ for your own followers to debate and discuss.
5 – Build your online persona, stay active!
Be inventive, be individual and don’t hide behind the curtain! People like to feel a part of ‘something’ and it could be your online community that they keep returning to. The individuals that comment, +1 and interact with you do so because they want others to know. Once you have their sentiment, keep it. They will be loyal to you!
There is no right or wrong way to do social media, but follow these foundations and you’ll be off the ground in no time!
Content Assistant – Jack Cooper – @Coop_ATTACK