As much as some try to deny it, Google + matters. Not only does Google +, with it’s integration with YouTube and Picasa and its unique ‘circles’ feature, seem poised to soon threaten Facebook as the most important social media, but it also factors strongly into Search Engine Optimization when it comes to the all-important Google search engine.
Many businesses rely on Google search for huge portions of their clients and customers, and it has become all too clear that catering to Google (through Google +, YouTube, etc) is integral to smart online marketing.
Building Google + followers, posting frequently, and getting out in front of this emerging social media will no doubt pay off in the long run. Get More Google+ Followers! Here are 8 Ideas That Really Work.
1. Notify your mailing list
The first step to building a Google + presence is the simple task of letting your relevant networks, industries, and communities know that you’re on Google +.
Include a plug for your Google + account on your next email newsletter, or other promotional email that goes out to a large portion of your mailing list. Be bold, let them know you’d like them to interact with you and specifically ‘follow’ you on Google +.
2. Cross post on other social media
In addition to plugging your Google + account in your email marketing, it’s important to refer to your Google + page on other social media. Announce your presence on Facebook, Twitter Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram. Make sure to post a link to the page!
This should be an initial announcement, but also a continued practice. The more your communities hear about your Google + page, the more likely they’ll be to check it out.
3. Include a link on your website
Including a link to your Google + page on the homepage of your website is very important. It should go right alongside your link to your Facebook page, and it should be somewhere visible.
This will not only get first-time users to click through to your Google + page, but it will also boost your SEO for Google.
4. Build your YouTube presence
As previously mentioned, Google owns and integrates Google search, Google +, and YouTube.
Building your YouTube presence will not only increase your SEO and improve your overall web presence, it will provide you with a seamless way to feature and trade links with engaging content.
Make great videos, integrate them into your Google + page, and share them widely.
5. Share exclusive content on Google +
It’s important that the content you post on Google + be unique in some regard. It’s okay to announce the same event or feature in the same blog post across all of your social media, but you should have some things that are posted exclusively to your Google + account. These can be photo albums (Google + integrates seamlessly with Picasa to share photos), videos, unique blog posts, or really anything.
Remember that Google + posts can be edited, a great feature that isn’t always available on Twitter or Facebook.
6. Host Google group events
Google groups and hangouts are terrific ways to host forums, discussions, and tutorials. Plan hangouts with prospective clients, industry experts, and even potential employees.
This is a feature in which Google + trounces Facebook and your use of it will give significant exposure and importance to you Google + account.
7. Become active in ‘Communities’
Google + communities are great places for serious, informative discussions. Similar to Reddit, but superior in that it isn’t yet overrun with trolls, memes, and inside jokes. Google + is known for its thoughtful, clean platform for discussing issues and ideas.
Identify a few communities in which you’re relevant demographics are spending time and make your presence felt.
Becoming a thought leader in these communities won’t only build your Google + following, it could stimulate the growth of your business directly.
8. Keep at it
It’s very important to remember that none of these things happen over night. One popular post is great, but a slow burn of relevant, engaging content will do wonders to build your following and keep it.
This may sometimes be difficult to explain to your boss, or hard to measure on an ROI spreadsheet, but the key to building online exposure, search relevancy, and Google + following is determination and careful execution of strategy. Keep at it!
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