Almost all of us have it, but few people know how to use it. That’s the reason why more and more users decide to let their Google+ page or profile kick the bucket. But … CAUTION: Don’t fall into the same trap!
Google+ is actually a very powerful social network and communication channel that can bring juicy advantages for your business:
- Google+ regularly sends visitors to your website
- Google+ not only sends any visitors to your website, but engaged ones:
Studies show that visitors from Google+ spend more than 3 seconds on a website compared to less than two seconds that Facebook and Twitter users spend on websites. Besides, Google+ users are more likely to comment, share, click +1, etc.
- Google+ generates social proof, since it allows to review products and rate posts by clicking +1. As a lot, lot of people do so, it generates social proof while helping you to grow your audience.
- Google+ is the number one social network when it comes to referring quality traffic, as users look at 2.45 pages per visit.
I know it might seem kind of incredible, but trust me – you just have to know how to use it and you’ll see your audience grow and engagement flourish.
So let Google+’s spring awaken.
Google+ Tip #1: Use a Custom URL
Instead of using a URL that seems endlessly long and full of numbers and letters that don’t make any sense, you should get a neat custom URL with your brand name.
Google+ Tip #2: Get Your Profile Right
Be sure to set up a compelling profile that’s in line with your corporate identity. Upload your logo as a profile picture and show your company’s personality in the banner picture.
In the “About section” your page’s visitors should get to know why it would be helpful or interesting for them to follow you. That means: Call their attention and let them know what they can expect from you.
Google+ Tip #3: Know Your Strategy
Before starting to churn out your posts, you should get straight about your strategy. That means you have to determine the main goals you wish to achieve through your Google+ page. Knowing your strategy is also essential to the next point you should keep in mind when working with Google+.
Google+ Tip #4: Create Circles
Google+ let’s you create and manage circles, for instance you can have a circle for prospects, team members, clients or circles for different interests (all of them should be relied to you industry though) as design, content marketing, web development and social media.
The people you add to your circles should share these interests or fulfill the characteristics of prospects or clients etc. Choose people that are regularly engaging with your content and content from others in communities for example. These users might just turn into your brand evangelists.
Google+ Tip #5: Decide Who You Want to Share With
Sharing your content publicly might have the advantage of having a broader reach than sharing it with a determined circle or community. It is, however, not always the best solution, since your audience is not a specific one. When sharing with circles or communities you are aware of the interests of its members and you know exactly who the persons you are talking to are.
In order to post in the most efficient way, I’d recommend to rather focus on sharing in circles and communities instead of talking to the giant wall of millions of users that aren’t interested in what you might have to say.
Before starting to share your content in communities though, you should first interact with its members so that they can get to know you. This leads us to the next point you should consider:
Google+ Tip #6: Comments Conquer Companions
Got something to take notes? Good, because here comes a fundamental rule of thumb:
Comment more than you create and post your own content on Google+.
Why? Commenting boosts your exposure enormously and helps you to connect to other people and to strengthen your relationships with followers and Google+ users.
In an article that I’m going to hark back to repeatedly in this post, published by Social Media Examiner, the Google+ marketing expert Martin Shervington illustrates how you can get the most out of Google+ by keeping your comments coming.
Since everyone who has commented on a certain post gets notified when new comments are added, it is a perfect way to increase interaction between Google+ users and your brand.
Martin also draws the attention to the feature of disabling comments – a feature that let’s you be in control of who has the last word. You can disable comments by clicking on the arrow that appears on the top right corner of your post, go the list all the way down until “Disable comments”, click on it and voilà – all set.
As he explains, at the point when you disable the comments under your post, you should moderate your action and give your followers an idea of what comes next or what they are supposed to do next.
This is the expert put it into practice:
Another great benefit of commenting is that you can add the people who like your or other’s comments to your circles. This allows you to connect with people that are actually interested in your industry and helps you to create a specific audience.
Be sure to check who liked your comments, who liked comments related to your business area, add them to your circles and build strong relationships.
If you want to notify people that were interested in a former topic you posted about related news, re-enable your comments and let them know about it. That way you target your message to people actually engaged.
Google+ Tip #7: Convince With Your Hovercard
The commenting strategy goes hand in hand with this top Google+ tip. Whenever a user scrolls over another user’s name, his or her hovercard pops up. If you just thought “Hovercard … what?”, let me help you out:
If you are looking for Google+ users to add, publish posts to comment on and share, or communities to join, use the search bar and hover over the profile names in order to get a preview of the page via the hovercard.
Most probably the people who add you did the same thing. So you should really consider posting comments that offer value to the community, join and engage in conversations and discussions and be an active member.
Here are a few tips to do that – apart from posting your own content:
- Ask questions. People love responding to questions, showing what they know and helping each other. You don’t have to add beautiful pictures. Plain text with no frills will do.
- Respond to questions. Position yourself as an expert in your industry and help people out. They might thank you for it.
- When citing people, publishing content of guest bloggers or collaborating with other people on a post, don’t ever forget to +mention them.
- Share, share, share. Share interesting articles, posts, pictures, graphics etc. you find on other pages.
Assure your success.
Google+ Tip #8: Want to Get Viral? Be Visual!
As in most of the social networks, visual content is THE essential thing. People like pictures, it’s as easy as that. You can take it one step further on Google+ though.
Don’t just publish any kind of picture, meme, gif etc. Create marvelous, tall and skinny pictures that occupy a lot of space.
Publishing the image that automatically appears when pasting a link is fine. However, it won’t have the same effect as making a tiny extra-effort to create eye-catching, tall pictures for your posts.
If you want to take it to the top, create these tall eye-catching pictures and add easily digestible stats to them – your followers are going to appreciate the value you offer.
Don’t let Google+’s fire go out. Poke it and gain it.
What’s your opinion on this post? Do you agree with the tips? Do you have any tips to add to it? It would be great to hear about your experiences in the comments below.