social media how to

Are you marketing on Google+?

Do people pay attention to your messages?

In this article you’ll discover five ways to strengthen engagement on Google+.

improve google+ marketing

Discover how to improve your Google+ Marketing.

#1: Follow the Formula

If your intent is to encourage engagement, writing a post that is formatted properly for Google+ is practically formulaic:

1. Create a post title that is no more than 40 characters long and use asterisks at each end to make it bold.
2. Summarize the post so the reader knows what to expect. Keep your summary close to 159 characters and you’ll have exactly three lines of text, which ensures that most people will see the whole thing without having to click Read More.
3. Include a link to the destination post if you’re using an image or video.
4. Add some personal insight (in your brand’s voice) to create a connection with the reader. Ask a question or include a call to action to help boost your engagement.
5. Add three to five hashtags to improve discovery in Google+ and Google search.

formula shutterstock 198636392

Using the simple best practices of a formulaic post gives you an edge and makes it easy for your target audience to engage with you and share your content. Image: Shutterstock.

#2: Stay On-Topic

Just Guns, based in Sacramento, California, has a few challenges they’ve had to overcome to create their Google+ community. They don’t allow transactions on their website so all business must be conducted at their store. To make matters more complicated, they have to limit their audience to 21 and older when it comes to Google+.

How can a brand page with so many restrictions engage with their target audience and see benefits? The answer is in the style of their posts. Just Guns consistently gears their Google+ updates toward educating their audience, while also providing entertainment. Each post is on-topic for their company and both people and Google can understand this.

Curious about just how well this tactic is working for them? Not only is their audience interacting with them regularly, Google Local drives over 2,000 visits a month to their website and more than 600 new calls a month to the company.

The key takeaway here is that while you can mix it up a bit, it’s important to keep posts consistent and on-topic.

#3: Share Business Posts From Personal Pages

As a marketer, you’re short on time. Managing both your brand page and your personal page can become time-consuming. However, by combining your efforts on both, you can extend your company’s reach and reap great dividends.

The first step is to share your initial post to the company Google+ page, then share that Google+ update from your personal Google+ page (and ask your team to do the same). You could also link directly to the post from your personal page if you prefer.

stone temple consulting gplus post share

CEO Eric Enge shares a post from his business page on his personal page.

Stone Temple Consulting uses this sharing technique when promoting their Here’s Why video series. When the team shares or links to the article on their personal pages, they always add some personal thoughts and value to the shared post.

By sharing your posts from multiple accounts, you reach a much wider audience. Adding a level of personality to your posts (via customized insights about them) helps humanize your brand and adds a personalized punch to the content, which in turn expresses expertise, authority and trustworthiness.

#4: Post Third-Party Content

It’s OK to link to other blogs or share other people’s posts. In fact, a good rule of thumb is to provide 80% content that is not promotional in nature (including content from someone else) and 20% that speaks to what you do.

Add your own insights or opinions to the third-party content you share to increase your authority, as well as the chance that others will take the time to read what you share and engage with you.

Bill Gassett owns Maximum Real Estate Exposure. He understands that to be perceived as an educator, he has to show his audience that he knows the market, and in some cases that means posting information that isn’t his own.

bill gassett gplus post

Bill shares a helpful post from an industry colleague and adds his own thoughts on why it’s a good read.

Bill has built a community called Real Estate where he shares posts from others. Through this community, he’s able to broaden his reach and create trust between his audience and his brand (and by extension, himself). The community he’s built influences how people perceive him, not to mention how Google sees him.

You’ll make an impression and show that you truly know what you’re talking about by posting topics that are important to your audience, even if that information is from an outside source. Remember: It’s not always about you.

#5: Track Standard and Unique Metrics

When you know what moves the needle for your business, it’s easier to measure the metrics that relate to it.

As you analyze metrics from the Google+ dashboard, you might also want to look at the momentum in metrics like the four below to determine whether your social media efforts are working. As you note trends in these metrics, you can tweak your tactics as necessary.

For example, to build a community of fans and create buzz for Canva, Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick launched a massive number of Google+ Hangout on Air appearances.

canva gplus header

Canva has grown a large community. Image: Placeit.

When asked how Canva looks at the return on investment, they stated they’re not measuring views, social signals or traffic from Google+. Instead, they look at onboarding (new signups), completed designs, follower count and overall web traffic.

Wrapping Up

To reap the benefits of Google+, let your company’s personality shine through.

Stay on-topic, share helpful information from others, leverage your network of existing connections and interact with them and try following the posting formula I mentioned earlier.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these Google+ tactics yourself? What’s worked best for your Google+ marketing? Let us know in the comments below.

Laboratory formula photo from Shutterstock.
Canva Google+ header image from Placeit.
how to improve google+ marketing

Tips for improving your Google+ marketing.

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  • Hi Ben. Interesting read. We’re about to have a meeting about improving our social media stats.. We’ll use this as reference for Google+. Any tips on how to get more followers? Thanks a lot! 🙂

  • Bonnie Burns

    Interesting …but I also read last month that…”Some major restructuring is going on at Google+, and it looks like it’s the end of the social network as we know it—if that label was ever appropriate in the first place. Long-time Google VP Bradley Horowitz has announced that he’s taking the management reins from David Besbris and splitting Google+ into separate services called Photos and Streams at the same time”

  • @wogteam:disqus Thank you. G+ can not only help you improve you Social Media stats, it can have a direct impact on your overall business, if executed well. There are a lot of tips on getting new followers, but the real trick is to work on it every single day and look for active/engaged G+ users and brands. Follow them, and then engage with them.

  • Hi @disqus_ZEhyVoPwIs:disqus , the “restructuring” myths is all hyperbole by media to garner page-views. One thing to understand is that Google has referred to G+ as “Streams” since the inception (internally) and made that public in an announcement made in 2013, when they first initially talked about Photos, Hangouts and Streams. — There has also been confirmation by Yonatan Zunger that there will be no big user facing changes — meaning they are not being split off 🙂 G+ is not going anywhere at this point, but up. There is real value for businesses, people and more importantly for Google.

    Ok, one last thing, they continue to improve G+, just yesterday they released “Collections” as a way of following topics from people and pages.

  • @disqus_fhwBVhgYNK:disqus I feel lot of businesses adopt Google+ due to its affinity with search/search engine results. Lot of brands, have still not been able to nail whether google+ posts automatically appear in search results? Previously the posts were prominently displayed on the right side of search results. However, the display of posts is very subjective now and sometimes they don’t appear at all.

    The other thing several brands usually ask is how to grow their followers? on Google+ This usually becomes a burning need when they see their competition which is doing much better.

  • Great article Ben. Staying on target is probably the best advice for brands and especially now with the new collections feature!

  • Well done Mr. Fisher! And that’s the way it’s done. 🙂 Great article.

  • Great article thanks for sharing good ideas to me..& Keep posting

  • Nirmala Santhakumar

    I’m a dedicated blogger who uses G+ in a wise way to promote my content and connect like-minded people. Your marketing guidelines are awesome. I aware of few G+ stuff which you’ve mentioned here, but I’ve learned new ideas through your post. Yes, I’m sharing other’s content and keep an eye on unique metrics in Google Plus. Thanks for contributing such an excellent G+ post for us, have a great day 🙂

  • Michail Mavrovouniotis

    Thank you Ben,great ideas

  • Bonnie Burns

    Thanks Ben, I know of Google’s new ‘lets see if we can do better then Pinterest’ new Collections. I had to check that out as soon as I heard about it yesterday as well. I wonder if Google will adjust their algorithm in a few months down the line to make it a must use for better viability as they did with G+ just so it gets used. Though I have a G+ account and ensure all our clients do because it is ‘ a must have’ for our SEO work, I find very few receive any benefit from it or traffic to their site. I think Google needs to learn you cannot take over everything 🙂 Will keep and eye on this Collections. Have a wonderful day!

  • Thank you for the tips Ben, I will definitely try this on my account.

  • Very Informative content I must say article wrote would be great help for people who don’t know how to drive traffic from google + .

  • Ragavi Roy

    Great post. Useful guidance on marketing, thank you for sharing.

    Ragavi Roy

  • Thank you @ragaviroy:disqus

  • Thank you @clicktechtips:disqus

  • Great @cyphermp:disqus – let me know how it works out for you.

  • Thanks @michailmavrovouniotis:disqus

  • Thanks @christinedegraff:disqus loving the new collections.

  • Thanks @wogteam:disqus

  • Bryce Thomas

    Great post Ben! That formula will help a lot. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

  • thanx for a great post discussing trhe essentials of all SEO efforts.

  • Thank you @4u2discuss:disqus

  • My pleasure @bryce_thomas:disqus

  • Great article thank you for sharing and good ideas.

  • Thanks for this helpful article. It’s difficult to be successful on Google+ but it’s really important for SEO.

  • Shall we also use some keywords in G+ posts ?

  • Great post! I personally have taken the same line as Bill Gasset and started to share and write my opinion on topics. This not only provides great content for me to share, but it also gives me a more structured process to hone my thoughts and deliver my argument. On top of all the personal benefits, I see it as benefiting the community because I am extending the reach of true experts on particular topics to audiences they may not have reached. As usual, you have given me plenty to think about here…

  • KOFO

    Hmmm… Practical Tips. Worth trying.

    Still a bit sceptical about the use of third party content and employee advocacy for financial services (such as banks). Ben Fisher Please can you offer some insights that could help in this regard?

  • Candice Carter

    Hi Ben,
    Great article I use Google plus to share my content and am unsure how it helps SEO Alsp the Google business page is it similar to hiw Facebook have set theirs up? What are the benefits over a personal profile. I think I definitely need to dig deeper into G+