Are You Pumping Up Your Google Plus Strategy in 2014?

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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.

SteamFeed Google Plus Posts

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?”

The SEO case for being active on Google+ has been well stated. See Google+ & SEO: How Google+ Impacts Search Results by Eric Enge

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.

Google Plus Lunch Bunch G+ 2014

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.

Content:

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:

1. A new Hangout user interface, (Ronnie Bincer - New Google Hangout on Air Interface )

Ronnie Bincer Google Plus Hangouts On Air New Interface

2. A new way to schedule Hangouts On Air with Scheduled Hangouts On Air (SHOAE’s) See Paulino Brener’s early test run here:

paulino_brener_Google Plus Scheduled Hangouts On Air demo

 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

 

NewRayCom YouTube Live Events

 

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.

Networking:

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.

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Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Social Media Strategist with management roots in restaurant, hotel and performing arts. He's a believer in the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking. Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus on his blog: NewRayCom.com. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and freelancers. Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.
Ray Hiltz

@newraycom

Social Strategist. Tweet recipe; mix generous portions social media & Google Plus into marketing batter. Cover w/ personal observations & bake. Share when done.
: Top 10 Spundge Curated Google Plus Posts http://t.co/Tzsfvy43in - 31 mins ago
Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz
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Comments

  1. An excellent article Ray on how to approach and use Google+ and more importantly, you didn't skimp on the tactics so many people over look when posting and sharing on Google Plus.
    My recent post Dominate Page 1 Search Results using Social SEO

  2. Another tip: Include more GIF images that relate to the text within your status. It can be funny or simply amazing, but this will increase engagement. Don't forget to ask people to add you

    Also you added that about starting communities? That's a tremendous way to build your circle (if you have time to moderate spam that is) most of these moderators have 50k followers.
    My recent post Learning Your Foes Makes You a Better Hero

  3. GIF'S certainly do grab attention, Luke. Martin Shervington does a great job in using them to do quick tutorials.
    You're right that Communities can mean a big time investment. If it's a popular one, key is to recruit good moderators.
    Appreciate the feedback. Thanks.
    My recent post How Business Can Use Google Plus Hangouts On Air

  4. Recently, I was on Google Hangout. The man speaking, his mouth movement was not keeping up with the his actual speaking. I finally gave up and left the hangout. Is this common with Google Hangout?

  5. Howdy Ray. Which is a better tactic for building Google+ authority and SERP rankings? To publish new content on Google+ or publish new content on my blog and share it on Google+? Thanks
    My recent post The Facts About the Obamacare Tax Credits

  6. Linda Dessau says:

    Hi Ray, can you explain this a bit further for me? "Links inserted inside the post are no follow so don’t add page ranking to original site." Thank you!

    • Sorry for the late response, Linda, just saw this.
      There's 2 basic ways we choose to share posts on G+. One is to capture attention by posting a photo from the original blog, then including the link to the site inside the text description. This is a "no follow" link meaning Google won't attach any attributes to it, it's treated as simple text.
      On the other hand, if you embed the link, either in the "link" window or in the text, if no photo is selected, you'll get a thumbnail image of the original post. This link is a "follow" and Google will attribute any ranking to the site it points to.
      Hope this wasn't confusing.
      Suffering a bad cold and head a bit stuffy ;-)

      My recent post 10 Tips To Help Your Google Plus Resolution Succeed

  7. Wow! Thanks so much for sharing my early test of SHOAE here! You rock, Ray!

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