How often do you hear, “I saw that viral video on your Google+ profile?” My guess is not very often. Google+ is frequently the neglected social network but it wasn’t always like that. After Google launched the platform in June of 2011, in a month’s time it had reached 25 million members. It took Facebook three years and Twitter 30 months to hit that mark. It’s hard to believe, right? There is no doubt that Google+ was one of the fastest growing networks. However, it seems that Google may have lost some of its popularity since launching due to other social networks. But fear not! Google+ still has some perks that make it a worthwhile social network for your business to use. Let’s examine some benefits of using Google+.
Content: Characters & Length
Content is an important part with any social network, and Google+ is no different. Whatever content you post on Google+, the first 45-50 characters in your post will appear in Google’s search results. This becomes the page title, even if that wasn’t the intended title. So be sure your content it not only informative but attention grabbing. It also doesn’t hurt to include a keyword to help with search ranking.
What about the length of your post? Unlike Facebook that allows roughly 60,000 characters and Twitter with only 140, Google has no known character limit. This allows you to explain more what your post is about. Make your audience want to share or click your content.
Google allows you to format your posts. This is different from Facebook or Twitter where there is a set format. The formatting is one of their most unique features. Google allows you to add italics, bold and strikethrough text. You also have the option to make ordered and numbered lists. This helps make your posts easier to read and hopefully grab your followers’ attention.
*1.* Point One
*2.* Point Two
*3.* Point Three
• Point 1
• Point 2
• Point 3
Hashtags are a great way to find topics and start conversations with others in your niche. Many social networks utilize hashtags like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Google+ is a good place to use hashtags but it is important to know that not every network is the best place to use hashtags. The hashtags in Goolge+ plus has two separate streams. One functions like Twitter where the hashtags track similar topics. The other way hashtags function on Google+ is when you create and add hashtags to your post. Additionally, whenever you post something on Google+, a grey box will appear off to the right side and give a suggested hashtag for your content.
Other social networks tend to get a little crowded. This is especially true for those who have a large following. I’m talking about influencers. An influencer is someone who is active on social media and is a brand advocate. Google+ might be the best platform if want to start a conversation with someone such as an influencer. You are more likely to get the attention on Google+.
Most networks thrive on visuals; so don’t hold back with Google+. You should post content such as pictures, videos, links with images, or GIFs. Visuals help increase your engagement. The chances of someone sharing your posts are higher when you include a visual. People tend to respond better when they have a visual versus plain text.
Google+ has communities that users can create or join to have conversations about shared interests and passions. Essentially, communities resemble a forum or group in Google+. You have the ability to create public and private communities. With communities that you are apart of, you can choose to share content to the community page. Communities are a great place for businesses to spread brand awareness while also building relationships with others. It is also a good place to have discussions or debates with others. You can also use it as a question and answer forum.
Posting in Circles
One feature on Google+ to help influence your brand is by utilizing circles to control who can view your posts. Circles on Google+ allow you to group people by categories such as by customers, employees, or friends. (By default Google+ sets all posts to the public.) You can even get as specific by categorizing your circles by clients or type of industry. However you decide to group your circles, you can channel specific people. So whenever you post something on Google+, you can select the group you’d like to target. This will notify your selected followers that you have update. Circles is a great option if you want to send out certain posts to only your customers. They will be notified when you post something. It can be great to use circles because you can send the right message and content to the people who want it.
Google+ does have some good features that could make it worth your time and effort. So don’t be so quick to judge the almost abandoned social network. Give it a try!
Does your business use Google+? What kind of traffic do you receive?