Whilst there has been a lot of discussion around the life expectancy of Google+ in recent times, it’s safe to say that the search giant’s social network still has plenty of mileage in it yet. G+ has become increasingly relevant to search and these days, if you put in a query for anything, it’s likely that you’ll see plenty of results come back that point to G+ pages.
If you’re in business and you’re not yet on G+, you should be. Whilst it’s not Facebook, and doesn’t get the same kind of interaction and engagement when it comes to using the site on a personal level, for businesses, it’s a great way to distribute content. Add to this that +1s have become a powerful social signal, which do contribute to rankings, and it’s easy to see the worth it has to any content producer.
So let’s look today at how you can increase followers and get your content shared on Google’s social network.
Use it Personally
You can strengthen your brand by ensuring that you have a personal G+ account, which you can use to sign up for Google Authorship. This can help you to develop thought leadership and boost your content in the rankings if you consistently produce high quality posts for your own site and others.
Whilst guest posting has been banned for SEO, that’s not to say that it doesn’t have any value, and adding your G+ author profile is very valuable to your content. All you have to do is ensure that you have an email on the same domain as the company blog and use the rel=author link in guest posts. People do follow companies on social media, but gaining engagement can be very difficult. With that in mind, having a personal profile can really help to boost the content that you post.
There are communities on G+ for just about everything you can think of. Have a good look around and join industry-relevant communities and get involved. Here again you can promote thought leadership by answering questions posed by others in an expert manner. Even by just reading and commenting on the posts of others you’re going to get noticed. It sounds like a lot of work, but social media is if you want to be successful in it.
By joining communities you can also keep an eye out for trending topics so that you know what your followers are most likely to want to read.
Flesh Out Profiles and use Keywords
Just as with sites such as LinkedIn, you should ensure that your G+ profile and page is fully fleshed out and uses the keywords that you would like to be associated with. Considering that G+ is searchable, many industry experts suggest that the platform should be treated somewhat like a micro blog.
You should keep all business posts strictly industry relevant, but you have a little more freedom with your personal profile, so try to engage with your followers by talking a little more about you. You can include your interests, things that have caught your eye such as great artwork and more. Just remember to stay away from politics and religion, unless you are in these fields, of course.
You can use keywords in hashtags too, so remember when you’re posting that hashtags may very well be the difference between someone finding you and not and use in each post. Just a couple of tags will do, try not to overuse as this takes away from the aesthetics of the post and looks unprofessional. Hashtag overkill really irritates some users and this could lead to an unfollow, so use wisely.
Use the Search Function
If there’s one thing that Google is certainly famous for, it’s search. Make use of the search function in G+ to find and follow people, companies and communities that are relevant to your business.
As you can see, you can also search Hangouts and Events and all of this will help you to make connections in your industry. Once you’ve joined communities and followed people or pages, it’s essential that you go one step further and regularly engage. Just the odd +1 in the first instance won’t do; if you want to get noticed then you’re going to have to put the ground work in.
With that in mind, you can also tag people in posts just as you would a Facebook post just by adding the + in front of their name. This is simple to do if they are in your followers already, but can be a little trickier if you’re trying to attract the attention of someone with a reasonably common name that’s not on your list.
To overcome this, there’s a Chrome extension that allows you to reply to people easily, or you can simply find the person’s profile and copy their G+ URL into the post. This will then get picked up and changed to that person’s name.
Add to Your Daily To Do List
As I mentioned earlier, there are no shortcuts to gaining a large number of followers on G+, you will have to put the work in. It’s nice to see that so far, there’s not as much buying followers go on on G+, although there are of course companies online offering to sell 10K for $10. However, for the time being at least, G+ is a relatively spam free platform when compared to Twitter and Facebook.
With any of these sites though it does require a certain amount of tireless effort if you really want to make a splash and this involves doing a lot of stuff manually. Try carrying out the drudgery when you’re at the end of the day, or perhaps when you need a break from work that requires a lot of your attention. You will have to take the time to find followers, to interact with others and communities and to post content to the page and profile. This isn’t the most interesting job in the world, so carry it out when you have a natural gap in your day.
Google+ has lots of value and there are lots of ways that you can improve both your followers, the traffic to your blog and engagement with your content and your posts. Do all of this successfully and it’s likely that you will find your content floating to the top of the search pile.