Is Google+ Worth Your Time?
Do you use Google+ much? It’s still relatively new, so it might not be your top priority. Perhaps you’re wondering why you should care or whether it’s worth your time to try to figure it out.
It depends. How committed are you to using the platform effectively?
If you only want to use Google+ as yet another outlet to publish your stuff, you’ll probably only see minimal benefits at best. On the other hand, if you’re willing to put in the time to build true authority and influence, it can be a bonanza to end all bonanzas.
Today, we share some practical tips to help you get more out of Google+. Focus on these three key elements: content, optimization and audience.
Content: What to Post and Share
Unless you have something meaningful to say, nobody’s going to listen to you. The content you share is the value you provide. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to build an audience before you have valuable content to keep that audience engaged.
So, what should you share? Here are a few ideas:
- Expertise: Show that you’re a true thought leader by giving away the wealth of information you’ve gained throughout your career. Don’t hold back. The deeper you dive into industry secrets, the more others will turn to you as a valued resource.
- Original Research: Which questions can you answer for others in your industry that they can’t answer themselves?
- Imagery: If you want to engage people on Google+, make good use of its gorgeous display panel by including compelling images in your posts. If you can create an image that makes your point for you, even better.
- Commentary: Curate content relevant to your audience and then add context to it by contributing your own commentary. This technique provides you another opportunity to showcase your expertise and spark relevant conversations.
Experiment with long posts and short posts to see how your network responds to each.
Optimization: How to Make Your Content More Findable
The beauty of Google+ is that it can help you show up higher in search engine results. So, you’ll want to optimize your profile.
Here are some basics to get you started:
- Complete your profile info and include keywords.
- Add links to your content in your profile.
- Include links and keywords in your posts.
- Build links from other sites to your profile.
- Invest in a good profile photo.
- Set up Google Authorship. (For instructions, use this.)
Engagement: How to Build an Audience
You want people who Google trusts to interact with you and your content for two reasons.
No. 1: It can improve your position in search engine results.
No. 2: It can introduce you to new people on Google+ and expand your reach on the platform.
Here are some proven ways to build your audience:
- Promote your Google+ profile on other social networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook.
- Encourage your email subscribers to circle you.
- Use “Saved Searches” to find relevant conversations and participate in as many as you can.
- Use circles to share the right messages with the right people.
- Host hangouts that offer valuable information.
- Participate in hangouts hosted by others.
Don’t just push your content. Show that you’re interested in building relationships. Plenty of people just want to use social networks for content promotion. Stand out by being an active participant.
More ways to be a good neighbor:
- Mention other people in your posts.
- Comment on their posts.
- Add people to your circles.
- +1 their posts.
- Share their posts.
- Click through to their blogs and leave useful comments there.
In summary, don’t be spammy. Use the search function to find relevant people and conversations. Start stalking them. Jump in and participate when and where you can. Find ways to help others.
And watch your authority and influence explode … over time.
You’ll be glad you did.
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Photo credit: Capture Queen