When Google+ first rolled out, many wereÂ reluctantÂ to welcome another social media network. But soon Google+ (also called G+ by us cool kids) grew to host over 500 million accounts. Â However, out of those only about 135 million users are active on the platform.
Adding G+ to your social media strategy may seem like just one more of the same social platforms, but it’s different. Â G+ allows your brand, or your personal account, to reach a whole new network of professionals. Â Here are three areas of G+ you shouldn’t miss out on:
Organized & Genuine Connections
While there are a small number of active users, those on G+ are quality contacts. Â They are regularly providing quality content and are mostly business professionals looking to network. Â Many are even claiming G+ contacts to be as valuable as links!
After establishing a good network on G+, posts will reach a very relevant audience. Â Thus, helping your posts to receive increased engagement.Â G+ users tend to read posted content and, in turn, share and engage with what they like.
In addition to a qualityÂ user base, G+ has established a genius way to manage your connections. Â You can organize the people and brands you follow into different circles, which can be labeled accordingly.
Here are a few quick tips to build your circles on Google+ (as well as being added to others’ circles):
- Build your profile. Â G+ has added new features to really help you showcase your company. Â Take advantage of all they offer! Upload a giant cover image, fill out your bio in its entirety and make sure to update contactÂ information.
- Avoid sounding robotic.Â Post content that’s relevant to your expertise and be sure to add a bit of personality to your copy. Â Don’t churn out repeated topics and articles without something to differentiate yourself..
- Now that you have circles, when you create a post make sure you’re sharing it with the right audience. Â TailorÂ the copy to speak directly to the circle that will see it initially.
- Get involved in the conversation.Â Â Social media isn’t all about the ‘me’ â€“ it’s about the collaboration with other professionals. Â See what others are saying and respond to posts, +1 them, or share. Â These actions will help you branch out and be noticed by others on G+. Â Google+ Communities will help you take this one step further.
Similar to LinkedIn Groups, Google+ Communities are a great way to gain feedback, spread your content, increase your network and interact with other professionals.
Communities are divided up by career fields, common interests, and even brands. Â These are great areas to strike up conversation with professionals you may not connect with by when you post on your profile. Â Finding a community specific to your topic will really help you gain traction with your subject matter.
Remember:Â no one likes a spammer.Â Make sure theÂ informationÂ you’re providing is of decent quality and provides fresh, relevant content for the viewers.
Many community moderators will remove posts that only self-promote. Â You can prove you are an expert in your field by engaging with others in Communities. Â Comment, ask questions, and get involved in conversation. Â By building that rapport you’ll be able to plug your posts and receive a good amount of engagement.
If you can’t find a specific community, create your own! Create one for your career field or even more specific to your business. Â Invite others to join the community and grow the network.
Beyond the Social Realm
Google+ stands alone when compared to other social networks. While posts and communities seem similar to some other platforms, there is a whole range of tools to use that you won’t find elsewhere.
From YouTube to Google Drive to Hangouts, Google’s interface houses a lot of productivity tools. Â By creating one account, you’re able to keep everything central and organized. Â With G+, its easy to share items to your network and create hangouts with your circles.
One of the biggest pluses (corny, we know) this platform brings to your social strategy is Google Search. Â It’s no secret; Google is the top search engine. Â By using its social network, you have direct access to search results.
One way to increase visibility of your profile and blog posts is by utilizing Googleâ€™s author tags.Â Link your G+ account to your blog posts via these tags. Then if your blog post fits a topic searched on Google, your G+ avatar will show in results with your post. Itâ€™s a great way to get exposure and increase clicks to your post. Â By using the Google author tag, you’ll significantly increase the click-through rate of your post or article in searchÂ results.
Here’s an example:
If you’re not revisiting Google+ as a leg of your social media marketing strategy, now is the time to reconsider. Â If you’re already strongly involved with G+, what success have you had? Â Leave a note below or tweet me @Ripen_eCommerce.
Jessica Kornfeind is the Social Media Specialist at Ripen eCommerce, which has provided comprehensive eCommerce marketing solutions for clients since 2004. Working in close partnership with online businesses, Ripenâ€™s web development, marketing, creative and technology teams build intuitive user experiences that boost online sales. Follow the team on Twitter, @Ripen_eCommerce.