Google+ is fast becoming one of the most crucial additions to any business’s social media strategy. According to Business Insider, Google+ has 359 million active users, which shows a 33% increase in the last year, and puts Google+ ahead of Twitter, and second only to Facebook. Since Google+ is part of the world’s leading search engine, it is one of the most effective ways to circulate your content and identify your brand to the widest possible audience.
Follow these five steps to make the most of this up-and-coming social network:
1. Put your best face forward
Your cover and profile photos are the first things people will see when they visit your page, and it’s vital to make a good first impression. Think carefully about how you want your business’s identity to appear visually. You might decide to include a picture of one of your products or premises, or to showcase the personalities of your company with a team photo. Make sure there’s a good contrast between your cover photo and your profile photo, and that they are both updated regularly.
2. Optimise for Google search
Since Google+ is part of the world’s biggest search engine, it’s definitely worth using relevant keywords in your posts in order to make sure your content reaches the widest possible audience. Google’s Social Search also takes into account social connections, meaning that your posts are more likely to show up ahead of other results in your followers’ searches, so it’s just as important to have a well-connected profile in addition to well-written content.
3. Engage in the community
There is no short-cut to an influential presence on Google+: you have to join in the conversation to build up a credible presence and reputation. Use the Circles and Communities features to identify the areas where you have something to contribute, and make sure that you add value to the conversations in which you participate – people are more likely to follow you or +1 your comments if you have something substantial to say, rather than just agreeing with what’s gone before. Make sure you always respond to direct mentions of your company and its products and services.
4. Use your personal page
If you only use your business page on Google+ you will limit your reach, as your business page can only circle someone once they have already circled you. Use your personal page in tandem with your business page, to build up relationships and provide a conversational route towards your business content.
5. Register for Google Authorship
This is perhaps the most effective way of building your personal brand identity on Google+. Google Authorship takes advantages of the SEO benefits of Google+, promoting your posts in Google search results, and displaying your photo next to them, identifying you as the author of the content. Adding a human element to your content increases your trustworthiness, and Google authorship will also protect your post’s original ranking position, keeping it higher than other posts that have syndicated or scraped the original content. Check out Write My Site’s easy-to-use guide to Google Authorship.
Finally, don’t forget to link your Google+ profile in with the rest of your social media strategy – use it alongside Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and your website, to promote your business from all angles.