I’m a massive advocate of Google Plus. I have built relationships, generated business and enjoyed tons of engagement on my posts. And yet I feel like a lot of the fundamentals are lost as people approach such an incredible network. I do believe we will all see changes on Google Plus, but for now the dominance is becoming hard to ignore. Google Plus has 300 Million active users. In addition, to that Google Plus has over 20 Million Unique mobile users. And the average monthly time spent on Google + is 7 minutes. (Multiply that by 300 million people, and that is a lot of time spent on Google +) A recent poll indicated that 85% of users say that they feel more connected to a business after they begin following them. Which can easily translate with more site traffic and sales. But breaking through on Google Plus can be a challenge for brands and individuals looking to stay relevant online on this often misunderstood network. That’s why I’m taking time out to focus on some key fundamental strategies that you need to embrace in 2015 and beyond.
Fill out your Personal Profile or Business Page Profile in Detail 89% of Google Plus users who follow a business or an individual are more likely to visit their website. So making a great first impression is essential. This means using an updated company logo or current photo along with an appropriate background image. Your profile page must be catchy yet informational. Synergy is key here. Does your online presence match your carefully, cultivated image offline? Google Plus followers and Google will notice if it doesn’t. Google Plus is a layer of Google, so put all the important information that you want people to know about you into your profile. It is ok to put as much information into your profile as you like.
Stay on Trend and Join a Community – or a few As you many know, Google Plus enables its users to stay atop relevant issues via it’s “communities”. This feature allows you to participate in a community where you can add value to the conversation and engage with influencers and potential advocates. Utilizing these communities, if done correctly, can give companies a much-needed boost in visibility. However, it’s important for social media managers to carefully research the communities to ensure that it is an appropriate one for your business objectives. Joining a few different communities is a good idea as there are so many good ones! You will usually find one that you like best and work within that one on a daily basis.
Show What You’re Working With Sure, thoughtfully written updates can be interesting. And in Google Plus – you want to provide a thoughtfully written post. But if you want to make your posts stand out, consider using high quality pictures and videos. Not only will this possibly generate more interest. But it can also make a greater impression if the pictures are of good quality and drive home the point that your written post is trying to make. I like to use Canva for making fantastic graphic images for my posts.
Be Engaging As social networks goes, Google Plus is particularly focused on engagement. Which is why it is important for businesses to stand out with engaging content. But, you also want to engage with other people. This is the key to success on Google Plus! Engage, and you will be rewarded! Finding the right type of content, however, is the real challenge. I recommend testing different types of material in order to find the best performers for your audience as well as it takes some time to find content that you like to engage with. And timing counts too. Which is why the most engaging Google Plus brands and individuals know when to post their message for maximum impact. I like to use NOD3x a social analysis tool to see what is the best time to post for my keywords. We will cover the amazing Hang Out on Air feature in another post. That is phase 2 of Google Plus Success!
Interact with Influencers Brands and Individuals should look to interact regularly with influencers as these accounts tend to have a strong following of their own. Not only can they amplify your message with a simple plus one (Google Plus!) or a share, but they can have a substantial effect on growing your followers and your rank within Google Plus. Luckily, there are lots of tools available (such asNOD3x) that can help identify them.
Promote your Google Plus URL and your Posts Obviously, this is a very simple concept. But it’s one that is most often overlooked by companies. Staying relevant means including “G+” buttons on everything from websites to newsletters. The most successful brands know that their Google Plus URL is one of their most important marketing assets. And active promotion is one of the best ways to let others learn that fact as well. You can also share the links to your posts on all the other platforms! Again, using programs like NOD3x. Which I will cover in another blog! KEY
TAKEAWAY: Google Plus can be one of the most important marketing tools at your disposal if utilized correctly. Brand managers and individuals must be aware of how unique content and engagement is critical in this amazing platform. And, that it can be one of the most successful returns on investment!