Everyone wants it, but few know how to create it.
While it may feel elusive, creating a vibrant and interactive Google+ community is possible.
But it all comes down to what, when, and how you share.
The Google+ expectation is high.
This makes a commitment to quality vs. quantity and relationship vs. transactional a hard and fast rule.
Ready to boost your Google+ engagement?
The seven tips below will help you grow an enthusiastic group of raving fans excited to share your content and engage with your business.
Google Plus Engagement Tips
Tip 1: Use Images to Draw in Followers
Pinterest has made an art out of transforming images into gorgeous eye-candy. Google+ offers a similar visual appeal.
Its layout accommodates larger images that can quickly and easily capture attention if positioned properly.
The goal is to create an image that’s in line with your brand image while immediately intriguing followers to interact and engage.
You want to use your business colors, graphics and logo to create a consistent look.
I have found that images anywhere from 600 x 900 to 800 x 1200 perform best. The one below is the first of the two options and does well when posted to Google+ and then pinned on Pinterest.
Tip 2: Maximize Your Cover Space
Your Google+ cover image is an excellent marketing and branding tool.
The cover image allows you to display a photo that is unique to your business, including anything from your latest product to an upcoming event.
The key is to keep it consistent with your business look, logo, and message.
Design your own Google+ cover photo with this handy template from Inline Vision.
Stephan Hovnanian of WebSIGHT Hangouts offers a few hot tips to optimize your cover once you’re finished with the design.
Tip 3: Give Your Audience a Reason to Respond
The more interesting, entertaining, and engaging content you provide, the more likely your audience will be to get involved.
Your posts should be informative and easy to respond to.
A few practical tips to increase engagement:
- Spark discussion by asking a question at the end of your post.
- Write posts that make it simple for followers to respond to or interact with.
- Create high-quality, relevant content that solves a problem or provides a solution.
- Be responsive and monitor comments to quickly answer questions or concerns.
- Whenever appropriate, use+ mentions to engage people and drive them to join the chat.
Tip 4: Give Exclusive Insight
Give your followers exclusive insight into upcoming products and make them feel as if they belong to your special club.
It keeps the discussion and interest up, shows appreciation for those who are reaching out to you, and is the ideal opportunity to engage with new people.
Toyota uses Google+ to share exclusive never-before-seen content, giving their followers a glimpse of upcoming changes or updates to the product.
Tip 5: Host a Hangout
Google+ Hangouts, similar to Skype, is a virtual gold mine for your business.
While they’ve been around for a while, many business professionals are still confused as to how to use them.
Don’t overthink this. Your use of hangouts can be as simple as:
- A weekly status update with clients
- A virtual presentation of your product features
- An easy way to share a weekly tip with your community of followers
- Team meetings that include virtual employees
- Answering top questions of current clients
Creating a Hangout doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming.
Don’t get hung up on the technology piece. Once you host your first hangout, you’ll wonder what took you so long!
Tip 6: Join and Share Within Communities
Whether it’s your profession or your latest obsession, communities are an excellent way to connect and engage anyone speaking the same language.
Search keywords to find content that interests you. For example, “searching “social media” within the communities tab offers hundreds of results.
Sift through each community to find one with active participants. Then begin to comment and interact with other community members.
Just like face-to-face networking, building relationships within communities will require that you take an interest in those involved.
Ask questions, share relevant content and spend time taking part in conversations. Not only will this build your reputation, but establish you as an authority within your area of expertise.
However, beware of how you share. Ryan Hanley with Content Warfare offers this important advice,
“[sharing within Google+ communities] is a tactic I want you be very delicate with. If you abuse it people will unfollow you or mute your updates. But when done with tact, shared within relevant Google Plus Communities you can garner significant additional engagement.”
Tip 7: Optimize for Maximum Exposure
Optimizing your content means creating posts thаt search engines (particularly Google) wіll love.
As you craft your Google+ post, thіnk аbоut thе keywords thаt уоu wаnt tо target. In other words, what words or phrases is your audience using when searching for your topic.
Mаkе ѕurе уоu include а keyword іn уоur post title, раrtісulаrlу tоwаrdѕ thе beginning оf thе title іf уоu саn manage it.