10 Tips To Get The Most Out of Google Plus
Google Plus is a great way to meet new people, connect with prospective customers, and cultivate relationships with your consumers. And while Facebook and Twitter seem to be the “go to” social media brands, what some overlook is that because Google controls both G+ and Google Search, Google Plus pages are helpful for search engine optimization, and one of the reasons G+ is such a valuable social media channel for your business.
By some accounts, Google Plus is the second-largest social networking site in the world after Facebook. 540 million monthly active users are part of the Identity service site, by interacting socially with Google+’s enhanced properties, like Gmail, +1 button, and YouTube comments.
In October 2013, Google counted 540 million active users who used at least one Google+ service, of which 300 million users are active in “the stream”. Real Wire notes that the sharing of online content by Google+ users “is set to surpass sharing by Facebook users by February 2016, according to a new US study from search and social analytics specialist, Searchmetrics.
“While it still has a relatively small base, Google+ activity and users are growing at an insane speed. And the unthinkable is possible – in terms of the important area of sharing activity at least, our data shows it could actually catch up with Facebook if the trend continues,” explains Marcus Tober, founder and CTO of Searchmetrics, whose company maintains a global database of data collated from social networks and search engines which it uses to power its analytics software for search and social marketers.
According to the investment firm Kabbage, the Google Plus audience tends to be interested in reading longer, more in-depth and practical posts than the Facebook and Twitter audiences. As a result, longer posts with detailed descriptions of your newest product may be best shared on Google Plus. And if you don’t have a blog or website, you can post company updates on your G+ page, and link to these posts from your other social media channels.
Google Plus can be used to find potential customers with Google+ Communities — Google Plus’s version of Facebook and groups. Google Plus communities contain people who want to learn, value their communities, and are more willing to listen to advice when compared to Facebook group members. You can join relevant communities to share information to potential customers about your business, and learn about how you can improve your business.
Social Media Today claims the G+ platform is a “different type of platform, with a different target audience,” so the biggest Google Plus benefits are for the business users since this is the target audience.
Just why do people think of Google Plus as a ghost town?
Julia McCoy, the manager/CEO of Express Writers, points out that it’s primarily due to the platform and target audience difference. “For folks who prefer the lighthearted interaction of who’s baking what and when, Facebook will immediately appear much more active than G+. But for businesses and professionals, G+ is bustling with professional activity promoting growth and connectivity with allies and the competition.”
As of February 2014, Google Plus houses over 1 billion registered users. Facebook has 1.19 billion. Says Hot Hardware, “It’s true that Google+’s stats are somewhat artificially inflated due to Google integrating accounts for its various services. However, Courtney-Brown [SiteProNews] says over 540 million Google+ users visit their profiles every month to share photos, update their statuses, post comments, and more. And that +1 button is clicked over 5 billion times a day across the web.”
We Like Julia McCoy’s 10 Tips To Get The Most out of Google Plus
1. Tag people. One of the best ways to get noticed on G+ is to tag people. Tagging can accomplish two things. First, it ensures the person tagged sees your post. Second, it can prompt them to interact with you. Every time you tag a person, they receive a notification (unless they’ve disabled notifications). Tagging is a prime means of being seen.
2. Set up Google Authorship. This is also known as using the “rel=author tag” on your blog. Thanks to Google Authorship, you will see your photo beside your published content in Google search results. Not only does this feature mesh perfectly with Google+, but it’s also extremely important for search engine optimization. You should use the rel=author tag on your guest posts as well.
3. Post on Community pages. This is a tip easily overlooked by a lot of G+ users. According to Blog Tyrant tips on Google+ “You don’t get a lot of traction from just posting ‘public’ unless you already have a lot of followers.” The trick to gaining traction is posting valuable content in relevant communities. Communities are populated by people who have topic specific interests. By posting valuable content to these communities, you can tap into an audience you might otherwise have not realized existed.
4. Cross post to G+. If a topic is trending as popular on Facebook and Twitter, cross post it to your G+ account for those followers who are exclusive to your Google Plus network. Don’t cross post everything, though. You’ll likely have some diehard followers who follow you across all three networks, and they won’t want to see the same content three times over all of the time. Instead, pick and choose the really prime content to cross post.
5. Use Google+ Events to launch products. Google+ Events will automatically e-mail your social circles about a scheduled launch while simultaneously adding the event to any user’s calendar who accepts the event invitation.
6. Use G+ to write long messages, and then tweet the link via Twitter. One of the most irritating things to most people is the character limit instituted by Twitter. One workaround is to use G+ to write a long message, and then tweet the link out via your Twitter account. Not only does this allow you to share more, but it lets your Twitter following know that you’re actively using Google Plus.
7. Incorporate keywords. In 2014, keyword optimization has seen some massive evolution in SEO. But keywords still have a place on G+. You can use keywords in your profile page, which is uniquely effective should you want to be associated with them for either your business or blog.
8. Use images. Images are a great way to generate greater attention. Some of the “geeks” recommend uploading the image separately because it comes up bigger and generates more attention. Create a new title, and subsequently tag the person from the original post for maximum exposure.
9. Use bold and italic text styles. One of the exciting features that sets Google Plus apart from other social media networks is the capability of posting with bold, italic and strike through text. These styles can make your posts stand out while also making them impactful. Take advantage of these capabilities. This image from Blog Tyrant shows you how:
10. Emphasize G+ on your website or blog. G+ is a massively growing social media platform, but a lot of people don’t realize just who is using it! You can show you’re actively using it by emphasizing it on your website or blog. Do this by displaying the +1 button on your posts and pages, and actively promoting your G+ profile link.
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