Google+ is a polarizing social media platform. There doesn’t seem to be very much middle ground in it’s usage, people either love it or hate it. No matter which side you fall into, since it is Google, it’s probably a good idea to utilize their social media network as much as you can, since it may help your search ranking and increase the reach of your blog posts.
Like any social media network, you’ll want to test and see what works best for you, but the following steps have been throughly tested and thus far have proven to increase engagement and grow your Google+ page following.
- Add the Google plus follow badge to your website to create awareness for your page via your most natural traffic platform
- Stay active by posting daily to keep your content discoverable in search
- Photos, animated GIFs and short videos drive the most engagement. These directions explain how to create them using the Google+ Auto Awesome photo feature
- Make your article postings more eye catching by inserting a photo, caption, and link using the Google Shortener to post the link within the text
- Use hashtags, either your own or those that are trending on G+
- Tag other people and pages in your profile by typing a “+” sign before their name (FYI, it is easier to tag people when you have circled them beforehand)
- Formatting, like Bold and Italics can make posts look more appealing (example)
*bold* = bold
_italic_ = italic
- Science and technology are popular on Google+, so try different post types such as product details, the science behind different health/fitness topics, and other relevant news that your audience might enjoy
- Engage with your audience. Leave room for conversation and ask questions of your followers
- Post content from a variety of sources, not just your own
- Additional resources can be found on creating conversations on Google+, scheduling a Hangout On Air, using G+ Communities and relevant case studies
Pages and Profiles Using Google+ Well
There are a few companies and individuals who do an exceptional job of using Google plus. These pages are a good example of those using the platform well:
- Lorna Jane
Using Google Plus for a Program or Series
You can also use Google+ to promote a program or series. These pages are excellent examples of doing just that:
- The Golden State Warriors gave viewers a live look into a practice including a behind the scenes tour of the Warriors Training Facility
- Tony Horton hosts a conversationon the mental side of fitness
- Biggest Loser Hangout Series:A 5-week series focused on key Biggest Loser lifestyle topics, with each Hangout offering a different interactive experience or special guest discussion. Hangouts ranged from panel discussion to live workout to cooking demo
- Universal Music Group updated their Google+ page with updates from SXSW through the use of Auto Awesome animated GIFs.
When posting to G+ from your own blog, formatting it like this tends to work the well:
Write up a description of what the post is about, link to the post (using the Google link shortener), and add relevant hashtags.
You should mix up posting both your own content and articles from others that is relevant to your target audience. If you find a blog post or article from someone else that is a good fit, share it using the same strategy and format as above.
It’s always a good idea to regularly check the comments and notifications on your Google+ page. Respond to questions and comments as appropriate, since engaging with your audience will help build community, readership, and loyalty. One note of caution though. If you start getting negative feedback from commenters who are obviously just trolls, don’t engage them. Either ignore, or delete their postings.
Try these tips out for the next 30 days and see how your Google Plus following improves.
Are you using Google+? Have you tried any of these tactics to improve it’s use?