There’s a common misconception out there that nobody uses Google+.
But this absolutely not true. Google+ isn’t just another social network – it’s home to lively, active communities whose users engage deeply and often.
It’s time to explore Google+ and leverage its communities in the interest of building solid and long-lasting relationships with your customers and prospects. Here’s how to get started:
1. Create your Google+ page
…and be sure to add the Google+ button to your website, blog, etc.
2. Focus on creating and sharing great content
High quality content is key to your success in using Google+, just as it is for your other social networks. A couple of tips:
- Use visuals like videos, infographics and other images to catch the eye, and promote engagement and sharing. Hint: Delete images that are automatically generated from links in your posts, and upload the original image, or a relevant and visually interesting image, instead.
- Publish posts that include links back to your blog or website to drive engagement and traffic.
- Use #hashtags on Google+ to make it easy for people to search for and find your content. #Hashtags also make it easy for you to find relevant content, join trending topics and follow conversations across social platforms, not just Google+.
3. Start networking!
- Create communities (Google calls them “circles“) based on different themes that are relevant to your business, and participate often.
- Search for relevant pages, people and posts to add to your circles using keywords.
Circles are a great way to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones. If you are strategic about which circles you create and join, it will make it easier to target and connect with the people who will benefit most from your content.
4. Engage proactively
- Don’t just rely on posting content to build your presence on Google+. You must engage in the conversations there by commenting on other people’s posts, asking questions, or offering your perspective on conversations.
- If they’re relevant to your business, consider participate in the “What’s trending?” topics (found on the Home menu under “What’s Hot“).
- Set a goal to post 2-3 proactive comments, questions or compliments each day (as well as sharing your original content).
5. Join hangouts and communities
Google+ hangouts and communities are designed to cultivate connections between users around specific interests and passions, and they are crucial to building a strong presence on Google+.
There are over 50,000 communities on Google+ at press time. Join the ones that are relevant to your industry and business, and commit to participating regularly. Hint: Self-promotion is not welcome, so it would be wise to avoid it.
Google+ hangouts provide the opportunity to have live, real-time, multimedia interactions with your customers, prospects, etc. They make it very easy to put a human face on your company, and promote conversation, get feedback, and build loyalty to your brand.
How about you? Are you using Google+? How has it helped your business? Let us know below.