I know the thought of adding another social network to social media strategy is not something you want to think about. You’d rather be thinking about a beach vacation. I know, I get it. BUT, if you haven’t started using Google+ or you have an account but you haven’t done anything with it, let me tell you why I think adding Google+ to your social media strategy is a smart move. After all, we want to work smarter, not harder, right?
Let me be frank, it’s Google. We’re online to be found, to network, to share our valuable content. Where do you go when you search for something? Google. What map do you use online? Google Maps. The advantage that Google+ has over other networks is quite simple: SEARCH. Your content on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter may get lots of shares, repins, and retweets, but it’s effect will stay within that social site. On Google+, your efforts extend beyond the social site realm and into other Google products. Search has now been enhanced by social! While tweets and Facebook posts have a short shelf life, Google+ posts can be found in search by someone in your network regardless of how old that post is. Wow.
Based on who is in your Google+ circles, your search results will have relevant articles, tips, photos and posts from your friends and colleagues, along with any other content that is relevant to your search terms. This means social activity affects search results. It takes social recommendations and social proof to another level.
Makes sense, right? This is why it’s a smart move.
What are some ways to grow your online community with Google+?
- Link Your Page. Be sure to include a link to your Google+ page on your social networks and email footers. This is a simple way to drive people to your Google+ page.
- Add a google+ badge to your blog or website. One click and your visitors can connect to your Google+ page.
- Engage. This is non-negotiable. Google+ users value great content. Share valuable content and show up. Don’t just show up to share your own posts. Show up and take a genuine interest in your followers by commenting on their posts and sharing their content as well.
- Make your posts public. This will make your content searchable so that people who are interested in your type of content can find you.
- +1. Make sure that the content on your blog or website has the +1 button added to it. The +1 button is a valuable recommendation. By using this button, it allows users to recommend your content to their friends, circles, contacts when it matters most: in search results! It also lets them be able to share that content on Google+ with the circles of their choice without even leaving your site to do it.
- Educate. Appeal to your audience by sharing what you know. People appreciate valuable information that solves problem or answers questions they have relevant to their needs. Host a hangout to share your expertise on a specific topic.
- Find other businesses to follow. The more you interact, share content, make comments and have conversations, the greater your visibility will be, and potentially the further your reach.
The kind of reach you get with Google+ provides a considerable advantage. If you don’t see many people in your industry building a presence on Google+, why not get ahead of them? Be an early adopter. You want your efforts online to reach as far as they can. You want your content to be as impactful as possible online. You want to rise higher in search results. You want to enjoy the benefits of social proof and recommendation. Google+ is a network where people are actively seeking good content. It’s not necessarily a site where people are socializing with friends and happen to stumble upon something they weren’t necessarily seeking. These are all reasons why adding Google+ to your strategy not only makes sense, it’s just plain smart.