Have you ever taken advantage of a social media site, to only realize you don’t exactly have the followers you had hoped for? I am always on the lookout for more ways to make money online and one of those ways is by marketing myself, my articles, my products, and my affiliate programs. I use social media sites whenever I can. If you aren’t already using Google Plus, you may miss out on a great marketing opportunity.
Unlike a lot of other social media sites, there are no penalty for followers. A person can be followed by as many people who want to follow him and, he can return the favor since there is no max on this unlike Facebook or Twitter. I wouldn’t race to grab as many followers without trying to find followers who are active on the site.
When Google says, one account for everything, they weren’t kidding. Google is everywhere with their email, YouTube, Google Plus, blogging platform, etc. Google has simplified my life with its easy connecting features.
Google Plus is not your average social networking site. Google Plus has incorporated lots of uses including some of the most business-friendly features you could ever ask for in a social network. With over one billion registered users, it’s no wonder it is becoming one the of the most go-to sites for business networking. Picture Google+ like a better form of Twitter.
Google Plus can improve your search engine rankings and, after all, it is the number one search engine used by many. If you want to give your business a boost, go ahead and join this social networking site and watch your business take off.
Optimize Your Profile in All the Right Ways
I cannot stress this enough, optimize your profile page. A person’s profile has to stand out to deal with competition. Check out other Google+ users who have a ton of followers, see how their page is and how it relates to yours, what is different about theirs, why is it you think their page might stand out? I always follow people who have an authorship in my niche and try to understand why someone in our niche might be drawn to them opposed to me. Take notes and then try to make yours more interesting, always having the users in mind. Fix your profile and make it stand out.
Profile pictures should be a head shot and remember Google Plus will crop the photo. Use a picture of yourself and make it a clear high-resolution photo. These photos work best. The profile picture is the first thing that anyone will see when you comment, share, or +1 so make it a good photo.
Check your settings to make sure your profile is set to show visibility for photos, videos, +1’s, reviews, allows people to send you messages, allows others to discover you, and shows how many times your profile and content has been seen. If you want more followers, you have to let the public know your profile is alive and active.
Your profile should be completely filled out for when Google indexes it. A profile should have the story section completed with keywords, links, and information about you. Fill out this section and make it easier for people to find you among the search results. I have added hyperlinks in my story section that lead back to my other social networking sites, blogs, and websites.
Make Your Business Page Stand Out by Creating a Personal Profile Along with It
When a person uses their personal profile alongside their business page, it allows people to see a face with the name of the business. The trick to make this work is to invite your friends, family, and workers to join in on the conversation. Every conversation doesn’t have to be about your business but, if you throw it into the conversation sporadically, people will talk about it. The more who mention your business, the more it will grow through social networking.
Use Google Plus Like a Facebook Page
I learned a long time ago that social networking on Google Plus should never be a one-sided conversation. I treat my Google Plus page like I treat my Facebook page; with post of my own which are valuable and makes others want to talk about it. Whenever I have a comment on one of my post, I try to always comment back. Comments keep the post live and helps it get bumped back to the top.
I like to share content on my Google+ profile, doing so seems to help it get indexed faster. When an article is indexed, it makes it easier for people to find. Since social networking has bloomed over the years, we no longer have to manually index our articles; we can simply share the articles to social sites and watch them spread.
Google+ also lets you add your contributor information to your page. Go ahead and fill out all the sites you contribute to. Don’t be shy with this since it can make your authorship even bigger.
Follow Lots of People
There has been some backlash about this and I totally disagree with keeping people you follow to a minimum. Why do I feel this way? Well, it all depends on the people you follow. I only follow those that are within my niche, those who interest me, those I could picture myself sitting down with and picking their brains. The more people you follow, the more that will follow you back. I don’t recommend following those that don’t interest you at all since their post will show up in your news feed and, do you want to sift through the bad stuff find what you need?
Google+ allows the number of people who follow you to be public but, the number of people you follow doesn’t have to be; this can be changed in the settings. Follow as many people as you want, or need to. The more people who follow you, the more trustworthy you seem and, the better your reputation is.
How Can I People Notice Me?
If you want to catch someone’s attention, mention them in a post or share a post with them directly. Google has a notification center which notifies individuals anytime they are mentioned or sent a message. I use this to my advantage, especially when I want to catch the attention of an individual who has a lot of followers.
I also share a post related to a circle I am in with that circle. People are in circles for a reason and why not take advantage of this? Show them something interesting that you are a part of and spark their interest even further.
Without spamming, comment on post which interest you. I am sure you can find a lot of different post that are controversial, interesting, funny, etc. Just comment every once in a while and those people will start to engage with you. Commenting on someone else’s post makes the feel special. Keep the conversation going as long as you can to build a bond between you and them.
Use Hashtags for Business Marketing
In social networking, hashtags are like keywords. Hashtags make it easier for people to find your content. A person could post today and, ten years from now, they could find that conversation by searching a particular hashtag. We use hashtags for topics which are trending, valuable content, and to start a conversation.
A hashtag is clickable, so if a particular conversation used a hashtag, a person can click on it to gather more information on the subject. I use hashtags to make myself more known. Click on trending hashtags and then join the conversation. Offer up valuable information or your opinion. People curious by nature and will click on the name associated with the genius comment. Boom! There’s free advertising for your business. See how easy it was?
Gathering People for Your Circles
I love to make circles which are relevant to my interest. I am a freelance writer and therefore I have different circles that pertain to my writing topics. I have circles for writing clubs, authors, book clubs, personal finance, profiling, etc. All of my circles are for topics I write about. When you add people to circles, chances are they will add you back.
Most of your networking should come mainly from your personal profile since it is viewed as human and ran by the face they are associating with the account. People think a business’s page is run by several individuals and not personal enough. I don’t add circles to my business page, only my personal page. The goal is to share your business post with those individuals who you have talked to through your personal page. This is the best way to gain exposure for your business.
Engage with As Many People As You Can
Always use your personal Google Plus profile and engage in relevant topics which coincide with your niche. When you +1 a post, people in your extended circle could possibly see those post within their stream. Try not to engage in anything that isn’t relevant to your niche, so you aren’t feeding post to people in circles who aren’t interested. If there are too many post ran through someone’s news feed who aren’t interested, they may delete you from their circle for lack of interest. Make sure you make awesome comments and they will usually return the favor.
Check Out the Trending Topics and Make Them Work For You
Check out the trending topics and find out what’s hot in your niche. Keep tabs on trends within your subjects. If you find a subject that is trending, you can mention this on your Google Business Page and often get +1’s which makes it run through the news stream more often. Share this information on your personal Google Plus page so it can be seen by more people. This also helps more people find your page when their friends begin to talk about it or, when it is ran through their extended network through the use of +1’s.
Focus on a Target Audience
Engage people who are targeted towards you. I use the search feature to find people who have active profiles and who have a higher authority. With a higher authority, more people listen to that individual and these are the people you want in your circle so when you post, it can be shared with them.
Posting at Different Times During the Day
Dependent on your age group, sex, and the region in which your targeted audience spends most of their time, should also depend on when you post. If you want maximum exposure, you need to figure this out so when you post, more people will see it and engage in it. I made a mistake of not doing this before and, as a result of not paying attention, I lost a lot of valuable exposure. Once I figured this out, I was able to share and create the best opportunities for myself and my business.
The only way to figure any of this out is to post at different times and test it for yourself. I don’t believe there is some magic tool, as of right now, that can give you an estimate of when you should be engaged with your audience. For me, it isn’t just the time of day, it is also on certain days of the week. If it isn’t feasible for you to post during those times, you can use a tool like Buffer that allows you to preset your post to go out during those times.
Know What Spamming is and Don’t Do It
There are a million different ways to spam an individual, one of these ways is to send them constant messages. I get spammed all the time and it can be annoying. Some think it is okay to introduce yourself or to thank someone for adding you to their circle or for commenting on a post you made. Don’t send them a message unless it is to send them valuable information or to ask a question. Check out what others think is spam and try your best to not do it. If you think you are being spammed by notifications, visit the Google Plus settings page to update how you want to be notified.
Hangouts On Air Can Build Your Authority
If you feel pretty comfortable with Google Plus, you should check out Hangouts-On-Air. I haven’t personally used this feature but I hear great things. I have set in on a conversation though, I haven’t personally been the one to organize one yet. I say yet because I would like to someday, I just haven’t had the time.
Hangouts-on-air requires a lot of planning, studying, and possibly deep breaths just to put one together. If you can do all of this, then you may have what it takes to host one and, by hosting one you can gain more authority on Google Plus when you become popular among those in the hangout.
Become More Social By Creating Events
If you like the online event planner that Facebook has, you will love Google Plus’s hangouts. A person can create an event inside of a hangout, give it a name, create a banner, invite friends, and use it as your personal chatroom. I like hangouts since it puts you and your invitees in a chatroom setting where you can talk back and forth about a particular subject. There is a lot more that you can do with it and, if you are interested, you should check out their create an event section. It automatically places this in their Google Calendar and will send out a remind to everyone in the event. Pretty nifty huh?
Get Authority Figures Involved
Did you know you can mention other Google Plus users by name and they will be notified? It is pretty easy to do. Just like Twitter, you can add a (+) sign in front of a username and they will be sent a notification. Just the mention of someone involves them into your conversation. I like to write about things which are relevant to an individual and casually add their name to it. I wouldn’t recommend doing this all the time, especially not to the same user, doing so looks like spam. Avoid spam at all cost!
Also use Google Ripples to find people with authority that possess a large following and who are targeted within the same network. Google Ripples helps people see who is making tides and who isn’t. (who’s popular among the crowd) I once read that you should find people who are promoting other people’s content the most and those who are getting their content shared the most. The Ripple Effect can be valuable to anyone on Google+ and is worth a look.
Ask for Feedback in the Form of +1’s
I use to be afraid to ask people to share my content or click on the +1 button. Now, I do it towards the end of nearly every article I write. As a reminder, say something like, If you like this, please share or +1 it to see more relevant content. This is called a call to action. It may be viewed as desperation, but it works.
If you want to stay in the minds of people, you have to give them a nudge every once in a while. By nudge, I mean to post regularly and remind them you are still there and have valuable information to share.
Don’t have anything to say…. Share a photo, YouTube video, or create a review. Doing all of this increases your visibility even when you are stumped.
Invite as Many People to Like Your Page
Don’t be shy about inviting people to like your business page. The more likes you have, the more popular your business seems to be, and the more people will want to interact with you. I am no stranger to getting people to like my Google Page. I recommend you add a Google Plus button to your blog or website, send out the link to your friends and family, and ask them to like your business page.
If You Don’t Have a Blog, Start One
One of my favorite, and free, blogging sites is Blogger. Blogger is owned by Google and is ranked pretty high among other free blogging platforms. A blog is an easy way to for you to be noticed much faster than a website since it is updated often, keeps your readers informed and, you can do a lot more with a blog that you can’t do with a website.
A blog can help you gain more traffic to your business and you can link back to it on your Google Plus business page. I use many blogs to talk about specific parts of my business. I have seen many who have taken a business that offers different services, created many blogs that all had a niche, then used those blogs to link back to a specific service, all while using Google Plus to link back to those specific post. This is what you call smart networking. So, if you don’t have a blog, grab one and it will help you grow your business and your Google Plus page since it is easier to update it with post especially if you use Blogger.
Brand Yourself Everywhere, Including Your Email
I like the signature feature of email. I have always put my first and last name, my business name, phone number, email, address of business, and my social networking accounts in my signature. Doing so allows your contacts to connect with you in other ways and draws more attention back to your Google Plus page.
If You Are an Author, Place Your Google Plus Profile in Your Bio
I have written many articles and have always included my social networking links into them. I have seen people who haven’t taken advantage of this and then wondered why they don’t have many followers on their Google Plus account. If you add it into your author bio, it will contribute to your author rank and give you more authority.
If you haven’t joined any Google communities, you might miss out on an opportunity to grow your business, and name. Google Plus communities are basically forums within Google+. I recommend either starting or joining communities within your niche and interacting with individuals to spike their interest. Nothing is more powerful than the words you say. A person can either make themselves look smart by telling what they know or, they can sit back and hope people will find them smart. Get to know the people who are interested in the same topics your business is in. Those people will become curious and see what else you have to offer them. The internet is no different from the real world when it comes to knowledge; everyone wants to know or have what you have if you make them feel like you know what you are talking about but; they not only want to know you are smart, they want you to show them you are smart.
Conclusion; Google+ is growing daily and, although a lot of users don’t log on to Google+ as often as other social networking sites, it is still a useful tool for businesses, writers, and SEO in general. Google’s page rank system seems to be higher when post is shared on Google+ versus other places. With this being said, if you want people to share your post, comment on them, and give them a +1, you need to have a following on this social networking site. With all the different ways to receive followers, as listed above, your post will be shared in no time. Keep your head up and your fingers working magic on your keyboard.