A lot of people forget about Google+, emphasizing on the other range of social networks. Severely underestimated by the casual user, Google+ is still highly valued by social media professionals and marketing enthusiasts. Why? Because actually G+ is a great networking tool if you know how to utilize it in its full (or even half-full) glory.
Google circles might seem boring and ineffective to a lot of Facebook or Twitter users for example, but actually they are the perfect fit to bring tight communities with common interests together.
Alright, let’s take a look at some tips and tricks on how to do Google+ networking better and be an influencer.
#1 The most basic step: Tagging people
Tagging is the most important bit of the communication process across all social media. Google+ is not an exception, so do it. Saw someone who shared your content with enthusiasm? Tag him to say a quick “thank you”. Or if it’s the opposite – someone shared his/her original content and it’s a quality piece of information? Go ahead and share it with your circles, tagging the author to tell him how much you appreciate his article.
Now your interaction goes out to a hugely increased audience. Even better – by default Google+ has notifications enabled whenever someone tags you (or alternatively, you tag someone). In other words, connecting is made even easier.
#2 Diving a bit deeper: Setting up Google Authorship
A lot of people seem to skip Google Authorship. I have no idea why since this is a terrific way to increase your influence and earn new contacts. A rel=author tag on your website or blog extends beyond adding a cool photo on your posts. It improves click through rate (CTR), serves as a vital SEO component. Wrapped altogether it is your “face” in a web full of links without facial credibility and autehncity.
Setting up Google Authorship is actually a breeze. Here’s how to do it, taken from Google’s own support central: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2539557?hl=en
#3 Back to basics: Discover what Google+ post editing actually is
Google+ editing is, obviously, still the option to edit your posts, similar to how Facebook lets you edit your content.
Wait, no it’s not.
Actually Google+ is absolutely terrific regarding the freedom it gives you in the above mentioned editing process. Facebook’s editing settings are only limited, Twitter doesn’t even give you such an option – you tweet and if you don’t like the tweet, well, you have to delete it.
Google+ on the other hand is like the Swiss knife of editing. You can make updates, changes, play around with title tags and switch the media you have attached initially. You won’t find similar freedom when it comes to modifying content on any other social media. Use this to your advantage.
#4 For cross-platform enthusiasts: Combining Google+ posts with newsletters
People that have signed up for your website or blog’s newsletter are not the same people you have in your Google+ circles. It’s true that some of these may overlap, but maybe a small to moderate amount of your subscribers are also in your circles. You can increase the number and even attract new followers in a very easy way: sending out a newsletter with a valuable Google+ post.
The hard part of this is to actually come up with content that is a) valuable, b) engaging and c) fitting to your website or blog’s user base. Okay, the third one is maybe an easy one but it really depends on how many blogs you own and what is the primary focus of your Google+ profile.
Now that you’ve written a quality post with lots of insights, fire up that Mailchimp or Aweber email campaign and reach out to your subscribers. Let it be known that you’ve come up with something valuable and track the results. In most cases, if you’ve done the post well, you’ll see a healthy addition to the people who have added you to their Google+ circles.
#5 Protip for the pros: Using Google Ripples to uncover hidden shares
The previous tips have made it clear that Google+ is a very potent content promotion platform. A high quality post will lead to new people that are following you. Some of them might tag you and make themselves visible, but others won’t do so.
So how to cope with such a case? You clearly have a lot of people drawn to your content, but you can’t really get to know some of them because they are hidden somewhere along the Google+ network. Since they were interested in the post, they might be a great addition to your circles and be another step in your quest towards social network influence.
This is where Google Ripples ( https://support.google.com/plus/answer/1713320?hl=en ) comes into play. Take a look at it and be sure to use it to increase engagement with other Google+ users with similar interests to yours.
#6 Common sense in play: Utilize Google+ communities and Google hangouts
The best thing about the Internet is that we can reach out to people with similar interests so easily. Google+ makes it ridiculously hassle-free to connect with like-minded people. There are tons of Google communities and you can always create your own community if you wish. Same applies for Google hangout events – they are happening all the time, bridging people and ideas together.
The bottom line is: use every occasion related to your niche to the fullest. Speak with people, brainstorm concepts, join communities and participate in hangouts. Make your own groups or discussions to increase your influence. Google+ gives you the medium and leaves the power at your hands. Don’t hesitate to use it.
As you see Google+ is far from the crippled social media many people present it to be. It’s actually a powerful marketing and influence-related tool which needs you to uncover all of its wonderful functions and set on your journey. The six tips listed above are a good start but they are far from everything you can do in Google+. One thing is sure though: don’t scratch Google’s own social media from your list.