These 10 tips will help you get the most out of your marketing activity on Google+. Using these tips, you’ll learn how the pros connect with and grow their audiences. How to boost your engagement levels, and how to drive qualified traffic to your blog or website.
- Learn and use the Notification Flow Circle Management System
- Build and use Notification Circles
- Embed links into your posts with the large image thumbnail
- Leverage the powerful free tool called NOD3x
- Use Hangouts on Air (HOAs)
- Connect your YouTube channel to your brand page
- Use the Google+ Polls feature to gain audience insight
- The 80/20 rule for content sharing
- Completely fill out your About section
- Use post formatting
1. Learn and use the Notification Flow Circle Management System
Understanding circles is your first task when arriving on Google+, and it’s the most unique element to the social network. Circles allow you to share content with specific people, and the content you see in your Home stream comes from those you have if your circles. Using circles properly allows you to completely customize your Google+ experience, so that you see content that’s most relevant to you.
The Notification Flow system, is designed so that you can maintain and develop your connection with influencers and specific groups of people. Basically, you’ll setup a series of 5 basic circles named something like:
- Flow I
- Flow II
- Flow III
- Trial Flow
Into each of these circles, you place those people you are most interested in connecting with. For your Notify circle, place those people you want to stay most closely connected with these will be your influencers and those people with whom you have a relationship. Each time they post, you’ll receive a notification.
Into Flow I through Trial Flow, place those people you’d like to see content from in your Home Stream. Then go into your circle settings, and set the volume for each circle from highest for Flow I to lowest for Trial Flow. For a complete explanation of this system, including a 4 minute video, see my Google Plus Circle Management Notification Flow article.
2. Build and use Notification Circles
Think of notification circles kind of like your email list. These are people with whom you have communicated, and who would like to receive notifications of your new content. These can be broken down into topic groups also.
For example, you may build a notification circle for your marketing articles, then when you have a new marketing article you would share a special post with your new article to that specific notification circle. There is an option to send an email when you share to a specific circle also.
3. Embed links into your posts with the large image thumbnail
Something to always bare in mind when posting as a marketer on Google+, your goal is to drive traffic back to your website or blog. That’s where your conversion takes place, and that’s where you want your audience to end up.
To this end, you’ll want to share posts on Google+ with your content embedded rather than simply adding a link into the text of your post. However, people are visual and it’s important that your posts contain nice visual elements. A great feature to Google+, are the large image preview thumbnails available for embedded link posts.
To ensure that you get this large image preview, include a large image in your article’s content. You may even consider including several large images, this way you can choose from several large thumbnail options. It’s always a good idea to share your content multiple times, and when you have multiple images from which to choose this technique gets even better.
4. Leverage the powerful free tool called NOD3x
For digital marketers, Google+ is all about building relationships with the right people. However, when first coming to Google+ it can be difficult to find these people. That’s where NOD3x comes in!
NOD3x is a tool which can be leveraged to discover influencers and engagers of a specific topic on Google+, and beyond for many other social networks (we’ll focus on Google Plus here). Basically, NOD3x will identify influencers and allow you to engage with them all from within the tool. NOD3x will also identify top posts within your specific topic, and you can engage them directly from the tool as well.
Engaging, this means plus one/comment/share, on influencers and top posts is a powerful way of building relationships and growing your audience on Google+
5. Use Hangouts on Air (HOAs)
Hangouts on Air are essentially like having your own TV station, where you can host guests and broadcast live content to your audience. So this is just video conferencing right? Hangouts on Air are much more! Not only are they a live broadcast event, but you can have up to 10 people in them simultaneously from anywhere on earth.
Once you’ve completed your live HOA, it will record to your connected YouTube channel (see tip #6 below) where the content will reside on one of the largest social networks on earth. We’re talking over 1 billion monthly active users here!
Pro Tip: The titles of your videos are what rank, and not only do they rank in YouTube searches but they also rank very well in organic Google searches.
6. Connect your YouTube channel to your brand page
Now that you’re running HOAs on a regular basis (you are doing that right?), you’ll want to be sure that your YouTube channel is connected to your Google+ brand/business page. Once connected (here’s the official Google documentation on how to Connect to a Google+ page), your HOA events will automatically record to your YouTube channel.
Another great use for this connection is for recording client sessions, because you can conduct your HOA with a single person and the resulting YouTube video will be unlisted. This way both you and your client can have access to things like training sessions, tutorials, walkthroughs, strategy sessions etc.
7. Use the Google+ Polls feature to gain audience insight
Google+ Polls were announced October 9, 2014 and represent a fun way to gain insight into what your audience wants. For content marketing, it’s all about understanding your audience and producing the kind of content they find valuable. Using Google+ polls, you’ll be able to learn exactly what your audience is interested in.
8. The 80/20 rule for content sharing
This one is fairly simple, but powerful. Basically, you should be sharing the high quality and relevant content of others about 80% of the time. Then, you should be sharing your own content about 20% of the time. This mix ensures that you’re not over saturating your audience with your own message, and that you’re building strong relationships with others in your niche.
9. Completely fill out your About section
For both Google+ profiles and pages there is an About section. The About section represents a big opportunity for connecting with people. Often when a person finds you, the first thing they’ll do is check out your About section. This can happen even before they comment on your posts, so it’s important that you have good information for them to find.
You should be using post formatting (see tip #10 below), to help visually break up your content and guide people through the information. Also, add links to relevant places like your own blog or website.
10. Use post formatting
Google+ allows for post formatting, and this is an essential tip to be using on every post. Formatting allows you to do things like bold your title, create bulleted or numbered lists (for these you’ll need to use special characters), italic and strikethrough.
To bold, simply surround your text with stars like this *text here*. For italic, use the _ character like this _text here_. Finally, strikethrough with this character – like this -text here-. You may also combine these for greater effect.