Going round in circles on Google+?

Google+ is a strange beast. It’s curious how those around its fringes are negative and sceptical. This platform is certainly powerful, have no doubt.

But many are unsure how it might be utilised for business. This is probably what’s fuelling the ‘Google+ is dying’ comment. So let’s lay that one to rest once and for all.

It is true that “not every social media network is right for every business type.” Google+ may not be a good use of your time and resources. Live with that and quit fretting! For those who are curious, frustrated or want to review their Google+ approach this article is especially for you.

Curiously I must thank my LinkedIn Google+ group, who have now migrated to Google+  training circle for the inspiration behind this post. Thanks guys!

14 ways to improve your Google+ profile

 

14 ways to improve your Google+ profile

1.Find people who have influence on Google+

klout.com,  peer index and topsy are useful. Klout will help to find individuals offer advice on how to connect and network.This kind of research will impact your Google+ growth.

2.Learn who is active on Google+

Pew Internet Research Social Demographics is profitable research for data. Or try Ripple  Of course Social Media Examiner have something to say about this too

3.Understand the demographics of Google +

Google+ is 67% male. Worth bearing in mind but may not mean much to others!.

Average age is 28.

Google+ remains the second most actively used social network with 318.4 million active users in 31 markets.

Google+, as LinkedIn, is professional heavy. Engineering, software and design industries are highly active. Photos tend to be skewed towards the professional or arty rather than selfies or pets.

Google+ users on average spend about 7 minutes per month on the social site. So, be warned: content has to be useful, engaging and highly clickable. No pressure there!

Right now companies are perhaps slightly less active on Google+, than say Facebook or Twitter so you have a valuable window of opportunity.Understand the value of Google+ circles

 

4.Understand the value of  Google+ circles

When you follow someone you put them in a circle you have created especially. You decide which group can see what. But don’t go round in circles. Add to your circles judiciously. Peers, influencers and even potential prospects are useful. What’s the point in connecting with everyone? It looks unprofessional. Also it clutters up your home feed and no one has time to sift through irrelevant information.

Certainly people do generally reciprocate a follow; it’s social media after all. However, the proviso is to check out people who will add value to your business and to whom you might have something in common. After all, what you share needs to add value to a community wherever you are.

You might want to consider a “Following” circle. This allows people to see who is followed by your business. “Clients” circles can be useful too. This may help when you are starting out and importing offline information to kickstart a profile. For a circle course try this

5.Understand the power of communities

Google+ excels at communities. These are similar to FB groups, but not quite. When you create a community on Google+, people can see your business created that community. In the info, they can follow your business’s Google+ page and you can add company details in there. This improves connections between the community and your business. You can also create sub topics within the community.

You might want to find a niche in your customer’s business or industry that is not represented in existing Google+ Communities. For example, direct customers to problems, queries or other questions etc. Then you can help people and they can communicate with each other right inside your community.

You could then try promoting that community in other channels, through emails and newsletters etc.

Obviously Google+ Communities assist with relationship building and the engagement that follows. Inevitably you will connect most meaningfully when you are active with like minded and within highly relevant communities. This is probably a significant feature that differentiates Google+ from other social platforms.

6.Understand Google+ is good for SEO

Google+ does have SEO advantages. Ensure page verification and connect the website with the Google+ page  Here’s a guide to optimise your Google+ brand page.

7.Understand the Google+ tone

Google+ a more serious platform than some content should reflect this. In general it’s more professional that some and has a different atmosphere. However, that doesn’t mean boring, just well researched, lively and useful.

8.Treat Google+ almost like an alternative blogging site

The difference is short, sharp, succinct and new is attractive. Look for like-minded individuals who might be happy to explore new ideas or float potential collaborations, observations or innovations. This will only work if you know your audience well. Make use of influencers and quote them.

9.Remember, long form does well  on Google+

People are up for information on this platform. Try to create something bespoke. It’s not the place for Twitter shares. Commenting intelligently to add to a post is de rigeur too.

10. Be a giver not a taker

11.Titles on Google+ are vital to SEO as they are on your blog

Try using an asterisk each end of a word to create more impact.

Google+ top tips to promote engagement

12. Take care with images

It’s worth not relying on the default image setting and upload pics directly.

13. Get to love hangouts

These are great networking events when you choose the right one. Commenting carefully, adding value is a great tip. Once you add value people often come looking for you!

14. Be active, add value and expect nothing

Be human, be helpful and be worth knowing.

“Be active” Obviously, the harder you work it will pay off. It’s all about relationships as it is everywhere in the business world. Just posting will never gain friends or influence people.

Recommended reading

 What the Plus! by Guy Kawasaki published in 2012 but relevant.

Strategies for managing your Google+ Circles Stephan Hovnanian

The Art of Social Media Guy Kawasaki & Peg Fitzpatrick

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