Use engagement tactics on Google Plus to expand your business and build loyal relationships with fans.
By Amber Smith, Marist College Intern
Google Plus is a great content marketing tool that you should most definitely take advantage of to grow your business. Using this platform allows you to make your blog visible across the entire internet. The best thing about Google Plus may just be that bigger brands cannot overtake your content here. All Google + pages essentially look the same; however, to be successful in getting your brand noticed you must learn to optimize your content and consistently engage your audience.
Engage your Audience on Google Plus with:
Persuasive Sub Headline
Communities on Google Plus are where you can post your influential brand content. Communities can either be public or private. Public communities can be open to anyone or you may select the “ask to join” setting. Posts in private communities can only be seen by members of that community. Keep in mind that you cannot change the public vs. private setting once content is posted.
Communities are free! This means you can have as many communities as you’d like and post as much content as you see sufficient for aiding in the success of your business. You can also utilize communities to help you spread the word about your brand through other members. If you are fortunate enough to be able to find even a few people who are passionate about your brand you can have them share your content and write comments about your services. Putting the power in the hands of your fans will create an enormous sense of trust and loyalty to your brand. Once your fans have established this brand trust and loyalty they will be passionate about your products and services and likely share them with many others.
Public content from Google Plus communities gets indexed by Google. Through this indexing, people can find your community and posts in Google Search and Google Plus’s search function. When you build your community you should always support the other members. The best approach to engage people is to of initiate conversations. When you share your content with community members, they will most likely engage with you. Every Google Plus post has its own URL, just copy the link to share with anyone. Turning on the “ask to join” feature for public communities is a great way to find the people who will be most interested in your brand and are likely to engage with you.
Google+ notifications are always on for people in a given community. All content you or any other community member post will appear in the notification area of everyone in that community. Manage your content to ensure it’s relevant. This is all so very important when engaging in a community through sharing and interaction. You will know instantly if your content is engaging or un-interesting as you will loose followers or get shares and comments if it’s interesting. A great way to generate a following and gain trust is to pay close attention to Google Plus notifications, interact and listen to what is being said, the context of the conversations and what the crowd thinks is important.
Use private communities to create awesome content. Create a private community. You can invite people individually or invite a group of people you want to see your content before the world of Google does. You can drop any posts or ideas into that community, members can give you immediate feedback. You may also want to utilize a Google Hangout, truly a great tool to harness the wisdom of the crowd. As many as 100 people can chat and bounce ideas off each other in real time. Collaborate with colleagues via Google Hangout Video, to get from fresh ideas to make your project the absolute best. In order to keep your posts organized divide them into two categories: Archived and discussion. After the conversation has ended, post your work to a thread and archive it for safe keeping so that you can access it anytime.
Be in control of your community. Take steps to preserve a great thread, once the stream has ended, simply ‘disable comments’, so that visitors can still access the thread, but are no longer permitted to interact. You are in charge of what content is allowed and re-shared. Do you want to keep your content within the community or are you ready to share it in Googleland? In addition to re-sharing you may also pin posts. Pinning is a great way to draw attention to content.
Evaluate your content. Use public community ripples to analyze your content. What is its reach and impact? Analyze your content and identity important influencers and interact with them to energize and extend the reach of your message with influencers who have thousands of followers. Continue to build on these relationships by inviting these people into your community to maximize brand engagement and content sharing.
Posting to existing communities can help your visibility, reach and impact. Most existing communities are niche-driven and targeted well. Publishing on the appropriate existing community means you are sending your content out to a slue of community members that are already invested in your content. If posting on these existing communities results in engagement, foster those relationships. Add those people into circles, answer comments and always make the experience about them. Pave the way for search engine optimization and successful posts and campaigns in the future. Everyone wants to feel important and knowledgeable, use that to your advantage. Be sure to check the community guidelines before posting in an existing community.
Get to know community moderators. Practice proper Google Plus etiquette to build a meaningful of relationship with a community moderator before posting there. Form alliances with influencers who you can work on joint-projects together. Consider sponsorships for influential and highly credible members and communities. Proper relationship-building bring your brand to a new community of potential fans. Keep a list of your connections and continue to nurture relationships.
Below is a helpful infographic on some other engagement tactics and branding strategies that will help you make the most of Google Plus.
Follow the 6:1 ratio Write six professional posts, then one life-style post for your brand, product or service. Post, post, post! Begin the week with posts offering professional advice, promoting your most recent article and post twice a day. On, say, Thursday morning, offer a discount on the service or product you have been garnering reach and impact for. Promote the discount in a way that offers a solution to a client need. Become a trusted brand and resource, not an endless sales pitch nuisance.
More Engagement Tactics:
- Link your Google Plus page to your blog’s home page.
- Write informational posts and include various links.
- Make sure all content is shareable and engaging.
- Add the Google Plus badge to your website and all blog posts.
- Offer Live Video Chat with Hangouts and Hangouts on Air.
- Use tags to reach out to brands and relevant people-tag them!
- Always use hashtags! They make your posts visible in searches.
- Make your text stand out-use different colors, fonts, and formatting.
- Use Circles to manage and organize your networks and connections.
- Encourage your fans to share their wants and needs with you, so you can tailor your content to them.
- Pick a theme hashtag for your posts-this should appeal to a large audience-even people outside your network.
- Use Ripples (a Google Plus feature that identify people who shared a public post, as well as their audience) to build relationships with influencers.
To learn more check out these great articles on how to growth hack across social media platforms:
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Woessner, S. (August 15, 2013). “5 strategies for increasing engagement on Google+.” Retrieved 6/11/15 from http://tweakyourbiz.com/marketing/2013/08/15/5-strategies-for-increasing-engagement-on-google/
Conley, M. (January 3, 2013). “How to grow your google+ engagement.” Retrieved 6/11/15 http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-grow-your-google-engagement/
Conley, M. (September 12, 2013). “6 ways to maximize your google+ engagement.” Retrieved 6/11/15 from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/maximum-engagement-on-google-plus/
Peagler, M. (July 23, 2014). “9 Google+ Tactics to Increase Your Blog’s SEO and Traffic
Retrieved 6/11/15 from http://www.business2community.com/google-plus/9-google-tactics-increase-blogs-seo-traffic-0954336
Photo source: http://www.copyblogger.com/google-plus-content-strategies
Photo source: http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-strategy/10-reasons-businesses-will-start-using-google-communities-in-2014/