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4 Actions And Tools For Achieving Google+ Awesomeness

Lenka Istvanova

by Lenka Istvanova on 21st October 2013

Lots Of +1Many small as well as big companies still think that they don’t need to have a Google+ profile either due to concerns over their target audience or user engagement. To try and convince them I’ve taken a look at four actions that can take full advantage of Google+’s power.

So let’s get started.

The Benefits Of Google+

If you think that having a presence on Facebook and Twitter is enough, you’re wrong. Google+ provides; rel author and publisher boxes for branded searches, an enhanced local listing, a versatile video chat platform, audience segmentation options and more. All for free.

If nothing else it’s important you set your brand up on there before someone else does. Now is also a great time to grab early followers. If you’re still a bit sceptical about Google+ my advice would be – give it ‘go’, measure your results and then decide.

The Only Way Is…Settings!

Before you share your first post with Google+ you need to get your settings right. Yes, you really need to fill out all the information Google is asking you. Remember that fully completed profiles/pages have a bigger chance of being successful and getting found.

If you haven’t yet setup your G+ page you can download our free whitepaper that will show you how to create your page on Google+from scratch.

If you already have a Google+ profile/page, now it’s time to login and check your ‘About’ section. Make sure that all of the sections (Story, Contact Information and Links) have enough information. My rule with an ‘About’ section is that it needs to convey the full story you want your visitors/customers to know about you. However, it’s not about copying and pasting the ‘about us’ information from your website.

If you don’t know where to start here is a little cheat sheet:

Story Section

  • TaglineOne to two sentences that summarise what you do. Use your main keyword here.
  • Introduction Who you are and what you do. Include a little bit about your history and don’t forget that you can link to your website’s individual sections. Again, include your keywords as well as your location.

Contact Information Section

  • Address and phone numbersThis is the only section that must be copied exactly from your website.

Links Section

This is the place when you can showcase your company’s online world. Include links to your website, blog and your social networks. In addition if you have a Newsletter signup page or a page where you list special offers you can mention it here too.

I would also highly suggest having a look at the following brands and their ‘About’ pages so you learn from the best;

Whether you’re just starting with Google+ or you’re a regular user the following activities should be on your daily schedule when it comes to Google+. I would also suggest using the following tools as these will help you quickly manage your page and make the most out of it.

Action: Share, Share And Share Content

Taking care of your G+ profile or pages on a daily basis is a must. However, as with other Social Media profiles, forget trying to spam Google+ just for the sake of the link. Use the Pareto 80/20 rule when posting;

  • 20% of your posts – about your company (e.g. your blog posts, news, products)
  • 80% of your postsinteresting news relevant to your target market and industry.

Tool: Bufferapp

There are a lot of social media tools that let you manage your social network from one place. However I’ve found Bufferapp to be the most effective and easy-to-use especially if you’re just starting. As a ‘heavy’ user of this app I often recommend it to my clients due to its simplicity and one-click posting button.

  • Free tool – This tool has a free package that enables you to sync your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ pages.
  • Create your own posting schedule – You can select the times you want your updates to be posted and on which days. This is very handy as you don’t have to select a date and time for every post. You just create a post, select the social network you want it to sent out to and hit ‘buffer’ button. Buffer will publish your post on the next available time slot on your schedule.

Google+ - Bufferapp schedule

  • Browser Extension – Buffer offer an extension for popular internet browsers such as Chrome and Firefox. Once you have it installed in your browser you will get a super-efficient button that will make posting to your Google+ page super easy and fast. For example, if you want to share the page you’re currently viewing.
  • Another great feature that I couldn’t find in any other free social media management tools is “select-and-post”. Instead of using the title of the page you can simply highlight/select a sentence from the text to create a post;

Buffer Sharing

Action: Pimp Your Updates

You can easily highlight some of the important words in your Google+ updates to make them more engaging. I’ve tested this feature and the posts I formatted gained more interaction than the normal ones.

Tool: Your Keyboard And The Below Cheat Sheet

The 3 formatting styles you can combine in your posts:

  • Bold format: Use asterisks (*) around the words you want to bold, for example: *latest post* will appear as latest post
  • Italics format: Underscores (_) around the word will make it appear in italics; for example:  _latest post_ will appear as latest post
  • Strikethrough format: Similarly, adding hyphens around the word will make it strikethrough; for example: -latest post- will appear as latest post

You can find more formatting shortcodes here.

Action: Be Sociable And Interact With Others

Re-share, +1 posts and comment on the posts you find interesting. This can help increase your followers as they may follow you back, as well as improving brand awareness.

Tool: Google Ripples

Use Google Ripples to identify users who shared your content beyond your followers. Next to your post click on the arrow and select View Ripples

Google+ Ripples

Now you can see all the people who re-shared your post;

Google Ripples View

Action: Build Your Network

It’s crucial to connect with others on Google+, especially with power influencers.

Tool: Recommended Users

Recommended Users will help you find Google users relevant to your business. For example, you can look for

  • Bloggers
  • Photographers
  • Women in Tech
  • Google Employees
  • Journalists and more

How about you?

To be honest I can’t see one reason why you shouldn’t be on Google+.  If you think I’m wrong please do tell me in the comments section below. I would also love to hear the activities and tools you use for daily management of your Google+ profile or page.

I’ve also written a blog post on Pinterest. If you want to learn how to you can make Pinterest work for your business and get your product seen by 70+ million users of the platform have a look at my blog post that features 21 Pinterest ideas, optimisation tips and free tools

Image Credits

“A lot of plus one at Google Plus” via BigStock

Lenka Istvanova

Lenka Istvanova

Lenka has a wealth of experience in the creation and management of Social Media, SEO, PPC, and Email Marketing campaigns. She has a strong passion for all things Digital and Sport related; when she's not competing in marathons she can be found blogging about digital marketing in sport.

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3 Comments

  • Ana Mavrodineanu 23rd October 2013

    Lenka, very useful information. Thank you! Even if Google+ is growing slowly, I think businesses should take advantage of it. To be honest I found Topshop to be very innovative at using it. Fans and bloggers were invited to join a hangout with the models… also on Google+ the London Fashion Week (2013) was streamed.

    Reply to this comment

    • Lenka Istvanova

      Lenka Istvanova 25th October 2013

      Thanks, Ana! Glad you found it useful.
      Agree with you on this one; companies should employ it into their marketing strategy.

      Reply to this comment

  • Diana Mitra 24th October 2013

    Hi there!

    As always, you manage to bring in good stuff to the table. Had no clue about Bufferapp as I am using Hootsuite. How’s it compared to the latter one, by the way?

    In all honesty, I think I’ve got sort of a Google phobia of some sorts. I embraced social media long ago and am probably one of the most passionate advocates for it (especially for the benefits that brought to the health industry, but that;s another story) and still, when it comes to Google+ I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I do have an account but am not using it that often, almost never, the reason being that in most of the case you get to see people posting URLs that will then direct you to another website and that for me is a waste of time. I do get that for when people use it as a means to promote their blogs, but I fail to understand the ones who just post a URL which once clicked offers you access to just few sentences.

    I might give it ago on my laptop and see if I find it more useful, but I pretty much doubt it.

    Oh! And one more thing, related to the 20/80 rule. I am a bit reluctant to send people away to other competitors maybe etc. So I’d say, with big companies and small ones alike, create your own content and extensively promote that. I do not particularly like the idea of redirecting people to other websites in the industry etc. In the end, content marketing is all about having your fair, UNIQUE shared for your audience and posting such info from other parties might make them lose their trust that you are a capable expert within your field, but rather someone who intermediates the news flow from other sources to your public.

    Let me know your thoughts on this.

    Regards,
    Diana

    Reply to this comment

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