How to Grow Your Google+ Engagement

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Are you looking for ways to improve your Google+ engagement?
Well look no further.
In this article I’ll share five ways you can improve your Google+ experience.

Why Google+?

Because Google+ isn’t just a social network–it’s part of a powerful social platform that integrates with key capabilities like Google Docs, chat, hangouts, email and more.
For that reason alone, Google+ is a high-value opportunity worth investing time and resources to cultivate.
A common misconception is that Google+ is a ghost town. In reality, Google+ is home to vibrant, active communities that foster deep engagement. The trick is learning how to find and take advantage of these communities to build long-lasting relationships with your core audiences.
Here are five effective strategies that will take your engagement on Google+ to a whole new level.

#1: Make Your Google+ Page Findable

First, to make sure your Google+ page is easily findable, add a Google+ Badge to your website. You can add a badge for both personal Google+ accounts and business accounts.
Here’s an example of a Google+ Badge code that you can place on your website.
Badges make it easy for visitors to find and engage with you in one simple click of a mouse.

#2: Network Strategically With Circles

Curation isn’t just for content; it’s an important tool for organizing your relationships on Google+. Circles are an effective way to manage different interest groups and home in on the communities and conversations that matter to you.
For example, you can create circles around themes such as Food, Fly Fishing, Content Marketing, Social Media Experts, Dog Lovers, etc.
curated circles
Curation isn’t just for content; it’s also for organizing networks.
Use keyword searches to identify relevant people/pages/posts to add to your circles.
Here’s a result of a Google+ search.
Using circles is a great technique for building new relationships, as well as for keeping current relationships warm. Strategically curating your circles will make it easy to target and stay connected with the right people.
google+ circle example
Here’s an example of a Google+ circle.
For example, it’s important for me to follow and engage with thought leaders in the social media space. I’ve created a Social Media circle that makes it easy for me to drop in on those people and participate in their Google+ activities without doing a regular search or sifting through my regular feed to find their content.

#3: Include Compelling Content

There are different types of compelling content.
Visual content
Consistent with other social networks, the importance of relevant, compelling content can’t be overlooked. Prioritizing highly visual content such as images, videos and infographics is a winning strategy tostimulate engagement and promote shareability.
At Social Media Marketing World 2013Guy Kawasaki shared one of his pro tips—he deletes auto-generated thumbnail images in favor of larger, visually compelling screenshot images to maximize the engagement on his Google+ posts.
For example, this Mother’s Day post uses a screenshot of a larger, more visually appealing image of the video, attached to the post with a trackable link, instead of using the auto-generated thumbnail.
large image in post
Use large images in lieu of thumbnails to attract more interest in your posts.
Resource content
Another type of content that solicits a large number of comments (especially in Communities) is how-to–style pieces that include links back to other resources.
It’s generally acceptable for these to be text-heavy because they’re information-rich and address a specific question or need. This is a great opportunity to link back to your blog for additional resources.
resource example
Here’s an example of a resource / how-to post on Google+.
Keep in mind you should still include a visually engaging image whenever possible. If it isn’t possible to include an image, here’s a great guideline on how to structure lengthy text posts to maximize readership.
Hashtags
Many people do not realize that you can use hashtags on Google+. And although you don’t need to use hashtags to find information—Google+ search functionality is excellent—you can use hashtags there too!
Adding a #hashtag can make it easier for you to find related posts, follow ongoing conversations and join trending topics.
hashtag example
Here’s an example of a hashtag used on Google+.
Using hashtags makes it easier to follow popular hashtag conversations across social platforms.

#4: Be Proactive With Engagement

Simply put, the conversation starts with you. Merely posting or sharing content isn’t sufficient if you really want to build deep engagement with your community.
It’s equally, if not more, important to interact by commenting on other people’s posts, asking questions and adding your opinion/perspective to existing conversations.
A few hands-on tips to boost engagement:

  • Always end your post with a question to spark discussion.
  • Respond to users’ comments or questions, and ask follow-up questions to continue to drive the discussion.
  • Develop repeatable campaigns that are easy for users to participate in and contribute to. Utilize a unique hashtag dedicated to a campaign and stay consistent (e.g., #FeedbackFridays, for which every Friday you pose a question/idea to your customers).
  • Use + mentions whenever possible to engage people and invite them to join the conversation.
  • Create high-quality, relevant content that is useful to your audience.
  • Quotes, beautified/interesting photos and pithy, humorous content are also categories that are very popular on Google+.

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