Can you really choose to ignore Google Plus this year?
In just over two years, Google Plus has become the second most widely used social network with approximately 350 million active users according to GlobalWebIndex.
If you’re a regular SteamFeed reader you’ve seen many persuasive articles on the benefits of including Google Plus in your marketing strategy.
Google+ is Google and Search is Social
Fellow SteamFeed author, Rebekah Radice’s recent article: Google Plus vs Facebook: Why G+ Should Dominate Your 2014 Marketing Strategy, responds to comments by Ken Mueller who suggested “Google Plus is neither social, nor a place to find potential clients.”
“Google+ is Google. Google is search. Search is where people go to buy. Buying is what makes your clients money, which they then reinvest in your services…Given the fact that Google Plus is indeed “Google,” what role does the search giant play in getting your business found online?”
What’s Your Google+ Plan for 2014?
2014 is the year to take the Google+ plunge if you haven’t already.
The platform is still relatively new so by staking a claim now, you get a head start on your competition.
To take advantage of the SERP benefits of Google+, you need to build trust and authority. G+ helps you to do that giving you an outstanding platform to publish content upon and an equally series of products to build relevant communities and networks.
As in real life, building trust takes time. The sooner you start, the better.
There has been a lot of changes to the Google+ platform over the last year especially with Hangouts.
Google Plus has been called the social layer covering and connecting Google’s suite of products.
But Google+ itself has its own suite of “social” services:
- video conferencing (Hangout Video Chats HVC)
- broadcasting (Hangouts On Air)
- CRM (Circles)
- networking/lead generation (Communities)
- Content marketing (text, images, video)
On our first GPlusLunchBunch HOA of 2014, we looked at what we did last year on the platform and what, if anything, we’d change this year.
You can view the 30 minute broadcast by clicking on the image above. The panel’s experiences may help guide your G+ strategy decisions for 2014. Here are some suggestions from the show.
1. Share more content that reflects personal interest.
2. Create longer posts – Google seems to like longer posts and images when assessing authority.
3. When sharing, balance embedded links (which link back to original article but only show a thumbnail of featured image) with Larger images that invite more interaction on G+. Links inserted inside the post are no follow so don’t add page ranking to original site.
4. Move conversation off Google+ to increase reach.
5. When sharing own blog post, included more details in body of text.
6. When sharing blog posts, write up a teaser or summary but always link back to blog.
7. Match image content and size to context of post.
8. Increase interaction on Google+ by being more active on the site.
9. Repurpose content from Hangouts On Air and other articles.
Edit HOA’s into smaller 3-5 minute segments around specific topic.
Choose to have one blog post share with embedded link (thumbnail) then later post same article with large image but more detail.
Post to different time zones. (h/t Martin Shervington)
10. Lead with personal Google+ profile. Make your profile your default G+ presence.
As in real life, let people know who you are before telling them what you do. It’s important to share personal interests. People will tune you out if you’re just shilling your business.
The Changing Face of Hangouts:
Hangouts have changed a lot in 2013 and is set to really take off this year. In the last two months of the year alone, we were introduced to:
2. A new way to schedule Hangouts On Air with Scheduled Hangouts On Air (SHOAE’s) See Paulino Brener’s early test run here:
3. The ability to do Private Hangouts On Air from your YouTube channel. From my recent post: How Business Can Use Google Plus Hangouts On Air.
Google Plus recently allowed everyone (some countries excepted) the ability to run a “private” Hangout On Air from their YouTube Channel.
Now, all YouTube channels that verify their account and are in good standing will be able to stream live video to the world…you can now launch a Google+ Hangout on Air directly from the YouTube Live events manager. - Creator blog
This will have a huge impact, not only with those who were reticent on using HOA’s because they were by default public and are video shy, but with businesses who want to hold meetings, training, consultations with their clients and want them recorded.
Because we never did make it to this item on the LunchBunch show, here are some strategies I intend to implement this year to build my community and increase leads:
1. Participate more inside communities. From that engagement, build smaller communities of highly engaged followers who are interested in my services as a Google+ and Hangout coach.
2. Create a new public community. I currently have a private community built around my weekly Google+ Tips Newsletter. I hope to find a niche not already covered (a challenge) and build an open community where people can dip in and out of so it builds organically. Any ideas?
3. Share, reshare and comment on more posts. This is the best way of establishing connections with influencers on Google+. An important part of making the most of Google Plus’ search advantages is to have people – Google considers influencers share your content. Beyond that, it’s the best way of building relationships.
I hope this gives you some ideas to carry into your Google+ strategy this year.
What changes are you considering to your Google Plus strategy?
If you’d like to join our Google+ Tips & Topics Community, subscribe to my weekly newsletter and I’ll send you an invitation. Check out our weekly Google+ Tips & Topics Lunch Hangout every Tuesday at 12:15 pm ET.