In the first part of our series on building a presence on Google+, we discussed how its outreach tools can help you build your audience on the platform. In the second part of our series, we will discuss methods for using content to reach your audience and build a following. Google+ also has unique techniques for presenting content that can help you engage others and encourage them to follow your page.
I think that it is important to note that Google+ is not dead. While the company announced its separation from its other services, particularly YouTube, having a Google+ presence is still invaluable for businesses and brands. In fact, after page authority, the number of +1’s a URL receives gets more search ranking juice than many other ranking factors, according to a study conducted by Moz. Believe it or not, getting more +1’s on your page will outweigh Facebook shares, linking root domains and even keyword usage.
With that said, use these content-related tips to draw and audience to your Google+ page:
Post daily: As with any social media platform, consistency and persistence is key. Posting relevant content on a daily basis shows followers that your intent is to provide value to them. Over time, your audience will build because you remain present in their stream. Commenting on others posts is also critical. You have to give something to get something.
Hashtags: As with Twitter and Instagram, Google+ allows users to utilize hashtags as a method to search for items on their platform. Thus, using hashtags can help people who are interested in your content and industry find your posts. As is the case with using hashtags on other platforms, brevity is important. Only use 1-3 hashtags per post. Otherwise, your post becomes difficult to read and appears spammy.
Tag others in your posts: When you tag others in your posts, they receive a notification that they’ve been mentioned, similar to what you see on other social media platforms. Their audience can also see that they’ve been mentioned. When you want to tag someone in a post type “+” and the person’s name. When the desired person comes up in the tag options, simply click on it. By tagging person, both the person and their audience are exposed to your page.
Use headings and longer posts: Rather than simply posting a lead-in to your link, consider posting a heading first. Google+ allows you to provide formal title for your posts. To do this, put an asterisk at the beginning and end of a title, hit enter, and write the rest of the post. When you click “share” the text between the asterisks will be bolded. These headings can be displayed in search results, which further shows the power and the importance of using Google+. Also, Google+ allows you to create longer posts than other platforms. This provides an opportunity to summarize the main points of articles that you are posting.
Provide visual content: As with all social media platforms, images and video are major drivers of engagement. Where Google+ differs is in the way pictures are displayed. Other platforms have size and shape guidelines for images. This is not the case with Google+. Whether you graphics are large or small, portrait or landscape, they appear in the exact way they were created on Google+. This is another way that you can make your content standout and engage with followers.
Customize your Google+ url: To better brand yourself, claim your custom url (plus.google.com/+username). By doing this, it will be easier for people to find you or your company.
Be Yourself: As with other brand-building activities, authenticity is important. Share media, messages and posts with targeted groups who will most likely interact with it, not just for the sake of broadcasting to a large, nonspecific audience. Sure, sharing GIF’s of hilarious kittens and puppy bloopers will help you gain popularity and +1’s, but it won’t impact the success of your business in a desired way. Update your profile and banner images as your business or brand evolves to show the values, personality and goals of your company.
While there has been a great deal of resistance to Google+, there’s a great deal of value as well. Google+’s tie to search rankings can’t be denied. Neither can business-friendly features like Hangouts that provide a more dynamic way to connect with your audience.
For tips on using Google+’s outreach tools to generate a following for your personal or company profile, click here.
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