11 Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google+ Business Page
Are you looking for ways to get your Google+ Page noticed?
Most people broadcast their content on Google+ and hope for engagement, but there are better tactics to grow your audience on Google+.
In this article you’ll discover 11 ways to get more followers for your Google+ Page.
#1: Share Page Content From Your Profile
One of the first tips I give people is to use your Google+ personal profile to interact with your Google+ business page content.
Here’s how it works: Post excellent content from your Google+ business page account.
Switch to your Google+ profile, then +1 and share your page’s content from your profile.
Anything you +1 and share can show up in your followers’ streams and that increases the chances of your content being seen and shared by even more people.
Your Google+ personal profile probably has many more connections than your business page (especially if you’re just getting started). If you have a strong network connected with your personal profile, make the most of it. Those personal connections are an important way of extending the reach of your business page’s posts.
#2: Use Hashtags
People search content by words, phrases and hashtags. Most people think about words and phrases, but new Google+ users often overlook hashtags.
You’re probably already familiar with hashtags (#hashtag, for example). They’re an easy way to tag and track conversations—you see them on Twitter in particular.
Just as on Twitter, when you add hashtags to a Google+ post, the post enters the stream of that particular tag. Anyone watching that hashtag stream or looking for information related to the hashtag can easily find your post.
I tend to add two or three hashtags to my posts. Any more than that looks a bit spammy.
It’s easy to overuse them, so try not to. Google+ isn’t #Twitter and it looks a bit #odd to people on #Google+ if you make your #awesome posts look like this!
#3: Follow Memes and Trending Topics
If you haven’t heard of memes, they’re an idea or behavior that replicates throughout a culture—and there are plenty of cultures on Google+ built around memes.
Some memes are shared whenever the mood strikes and others are shared on specific days (e.g., #SkySunday or #weekend), but all of them include specific hashtags to make them easy to follow.
If you consistently participate in a weekly meme, your content may well have a long life as people continue to search the hashtag.
Not every hashtag is associated with a meme. Creating content around popular topics and including a relevant hashtag is a smart way to help your page and its content get noticed.
For example, if it’s the 4th of July, you know that relatable content includes fireworks, flags, BBQs, etc. So creating content around those topics—and including the appropriate hashtags—helps your page get the attention of people who are interested that topic. As they +1 and share your content, it begins to surface in more Google+ streams.
You can prepare for upcoming trends by building an editorial calendar with content and hashtags based on events around the globe. Just be sure to include some wiggle room so you can jump on a hot topic (like breaking news) as it’s happening.
#4: Get on What’s Hot and Recommended
Google+ has a list of content that’s hot, and anyone can get on it—if they know how.
Here’s the short version of how to get on the list: Create viral-friendly content on your page and promote it. It sounds easy enough, but this isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it deal. There’s some work involved.
To get on the Google+ What’s Hot and Recommended list, your content has to get enough shares to trigger the algorithm that tells Google+ to take notice. The easiest way to get more shares is to share your page content from your own personal profile and participate in meme days (both discussed above).
So, what kind of content should you post to get the most shares? Probably cat GIFs—they’re especially good on the meme day #Caturday (yes, Saturday; and it’s huge on Google+).
I’m being a little tongue-in-cheek, but I’ve used this general method to boost my numbers before. Why? Well, if your post is getting thousands of +1s and hundreds of shares, more people are seeing it and sharing it. Many of them will follow your page to see more of your good content.
While I’m a huge proponent of finding your 100 brand evangelists, I’ve had success appealing to specific groups and hashtag followers in order to increase my numbers. And for many consultants and social media marketers, showing a boost in numbers is what the client wants to see.
You won’t end up on the hot list on your first outing; you’ll have to try several times. But you’ll often find that once people become familiar with your page and your content, you’ll get more shares and attention—and end up on the list.
#5: Ask for Follows
Asking people to follow your Google+ page can be tricky. You don’t want to appear as if you’re begging, but you also really want to grow your fan base. The key to success is a strong call to action (CTA).
When you post, share or +1 content, include a CTA that tells users what you want them to do and how it will benefit them. For example, instead of a generic “Please circle us on Google+” try “Please circle us to get more great #caturday content!”
Try it out and see if that approach gives you an uptick in followers.
#6: Circle Other Profiles and Pages
Circling others is an easy way to grow your Google+ follower base. To segment your followers, you can create circles specifically for location, industry, niche, etc.
For example, if your brand page has a particular physical location, create a new circle that’s just for people and businesses in your area. Start adding people and business pages. If those people already have circles related to the same area, add those circles as well.
When people see that your business is in the same area and you’re connected with similar people, they’re more likely to circle you back.
You see the two-way link in the image above? (It’s at the bottom of the Canva image.) It means that both pages have circled each other. If only one liked the other, there would be a one-way link. Those links are an easy way to tell if a page is following yours or not.
If you want to build relationships, having people in circles already makes it easier for them to add you back.
#7: Add a Google+ Badge to Your Website
I’m always surprised when I find a website or blog that doesn’t have a clearly visible Google+ badge so people can immediately follow their page.
These badges make it super-easy for people to add you to a circle and Google+ notifies you when someone adds you to a circle. It’s good to know when someone starts following you. You can visit their Google+ profile, interact with their posts and begin to build a relationship.
#8: Be Personable
Very simply, act as your business page, but let people know it’s a real person posting. In the image below, you can see that I put my name on my comment so people know it’s me responding, not just a faceless business.
If you have a team of people handling your Google+ page, you can ask them all to put their names on their posts and comments so people can connect your brand with real people. When people feel like they know you, they’re more likely to add you to their circles.
#9: Share Content in Communities
Whether you’re participating in a community as your personal profile or as your business page, consider sharing your content there. If you’re looking for reach, Google+ communities can definitely help. However, check each community’s guidelines to see what kind of sharing is OK.
If it is, you’re good to go. If you’re sharing relevant, quality content that adds to the community, many members will add you to a circle.
#10: Attend Google+ Events
You can almost always find a Google+ event that’s relevant to your industry, niche, product or audience. Try to attend those events when you can because the discussions are usually lively and enlightening. You can gain all kinds of insight there.
You can also get to know a lot of people when you engage at an event. Relate to people. Talk with them. Offer your take on the topic at hand. When you share the stuff people like and they feel like they know you better, they’re likely to add you to their circles.
A Google+ event may take an hour of your time, but if you get an additional 10 or 15 quality followers, wouldn’t you be happy? Sure!
#11: Use +Post Ads
When you use Google Adwords and +post ads to promote your page content, that content flows across the 2 million sites that are part of Google’s Display Network.
The interactive +post ads encourage people to engage with your page even when they’re not on Google+—viewers can +1, share and yes, even circle you right from the ad.
I encourage you to test out the ads and track whether the uptick in new followers and other engagement metrics justify the spend (i.e., the cost per acquisition for a new follower).
Over to You
Many businesses have trouble building their Google+ business page, but it doesn’t have to be an uphill struggle. Instead of broadcasting your message and crossing your fingers, try a more targeted approach.
Use your existing connections to extend your page’s reach, participate in memes to keep your brand personable and attend Google+ events to network with like-minded people. Any of the tips I’ve shared here will help you grow your followers.
What do you think? How have you grown your followers on Google+? Do you have even more tips to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Martin Shervington is a Google+ marketing expert, consultant and executive coach. He manages two communities on Google+, Plus Your Life! and Plus Your Business! and has authored numerous books including Developmental Coaching. Other posts by Martin Shervington »