Dear Socially Stephanie,
I have been hearing all this buzz about G+ and how great it is. Whenever I share on GooglePlus, I get no engagement. What am I doing wrong?
- Google Shmoogle in Galveston
Dear Google Shmoogle,
I understand your frustration. Many people I talk to have this exact same problem. But fear not, I have the solution for you. In fact, I have a step-by-step strategy that will take you to the next level. Now, I want you to follow exactly what I say because the benefits will be enormous. Ready to get started? Let's do this.
In case you don't know, Google Plus is a fast growing social network. I last heard that 25,000 new users sign up every day. To put this into perspective at the end of 2012, GooglePlus had 359 million users. By the end of 2013, they were up to 1.15 billion users. Ok, so only 35% of Google's user base is active. But so what? 402 million active users is nothing to scoff at. That's a ton of people. And it's something to think about the next time you start to think no one is on Google Plus.
Beyond the number of people who are present on GooglePlus, G+ is Google, and that means it runs the SEO world. Your search engine success could rely on the fact that you and other people are sharing content from your website on the social network. Plus, as every single post you create has a unique URL, this gives you an additional way to rank in the search engine.
Ok, convinced? I hope so. Now that you know how important it is to be present on GooglePlus, let's get down to business and help you find that sought-after engagement. The first thing I want you to do is follow (circle) brands that are relevant to your business. Specifically, these brands should have a similar or same audience as you. Hey, they can even be competitors. Here's a great list of the top 100 GooglePlus brand pages based on follower count. That should get you started.
Once you've circled some pages, I want you to take a few days to watch them closely. Of course you want to see what kind of content works for them. As the audience is the same as yours, you will have a better understanding of what works and what doesn't for your audience. But even more importantly, I want you to pay close attention to the people who comment and engage with the brand a lot. Why? These are active users. And with active users comes engagement.
The next thing I want you to do is to follow some of these most active users. Now, comment on their posts and get on their radar. If you are adding value to their posts and engaging with them in a meaningful way, it is likely that they are going to circle you back. Boo-yah! Engagement is on it's way. With this strategy, you are also growing a targeted audience. Double boo-yah!
Brand pages, check! Now, do the same thing as you did for brand pages, but with Google communities. Communities are also great because it's a congregation of relevant people. If you find the right communities to join, you are going to find yourself in GooglePlus heaven, filled with tons of conversations and like-minded people.
Lastly, attend some Hangouts. In fact, get started next Wednesday by checking out Social Media Today's Hangout On Air. This will give you a means to communicate with others in a forum-like setting, plus, it will allow you to really dig in and see how these shows work on Google. People love them, so you should try to incorporate them into your overall strategy.
You see, this strategy is very simple, but it takes time. I know you have it in you. Go get 'em.
Do you have a question for Socially Stephanie?
Please email [email protected] and let Stephanie help you solve your social quandaries, queries, and boondoggles. (Questions may be edited for length and clarity.)
Illustration by Jesse Wells