What Most Smart Marketers Miss About Google+

Google+ Tactics: 3 Ways To Maximize Your Reach

Google+ and Marketers-1If you, like many other marketers, think of Google+ as just another social media network in the Facebook and LinkedIn model, you probably believe that it lacks the powerful social interaction you’d expect.

Yet at the heart of the matter is that Google+ isn’t about social media.

As a marketer, Google+ is worthy of your time. At a minimum it should be part of a multi-platform social media strategy.

It’s real power comes from its ability to integrate and transform the diverse Google elements into a single social platform. Google+ is Google’s connective tissue that transforms your content and communications into a social media driver.

Google+ isn’t dead. According to Shareaholic, the social platform increased its share of traffic modestly, especially when compared to Facebook and Pinterest, over the past year.

For a better understanding of Google+, look at these 5 datapoints collected by We Are Social.

  1. 32% Google+ registrants actively use the social network monthly.
  2. Unlike many social media platforms, Google+ is 62% male and 38% female. Since women tend to be more active on social media, this data point reveals that Google+ has room to grow and evolve.
  3. 25 to 34 year olds are the most active Google+ demographic, showing that this platform reaches a more social media savvy audience.
  4. 68% of users upload images weekly. Specifically, they upload 1.5+ billion images and gifs.
  5. 42% interact with brands on the platform. 70% of top 100 Interbrands use Google+.

Google+ Tactics: 3 Ways To Maximize Your Reach

Here are 3 Google+ tactics to leverage the platform as a content and communications tool.

1. Google+ Tactic: Literally give your business a human face.Google+ and Marketers-1

It’s a claim other social media networks can’t make.

Google Hangouts provide for video conferencing with up to 10 people to make connections. Hangouts make business social and experiential in a very personal way.

Social media maven B.L. Ochman raves, “Hangouts are arguably the best video conferencing platform ever created, and they’re free!”

Take heed, Ochman warns, ”There’s a learning curve, and it’s rather steep, but it’ll be worth the time you spend to learn the platform.” (For more insights, check out Ochman’s post on the top 10 reasons you can (should) use Hangouts in your digital strategy).

Peg Fitzpatrick echoes this sentiment, “Google+ Hangouts are gold – connect with people in a way that you can’t do on any other social media platform.”

But that’s not all.

Like the Swiss Army knife of social media, you can transform your Hangout On Air into a YouTube video, thereby converting a conversation into actionable, shareable content that can reach a much wider audience.

With this approach, your Google+ hangout content hits the Marcus Sheridan bullseye “they ask you answer”.

Further, by using Hangouts On Air you can empower your employees who don’t have the time to create content and/or don’t trust their writing skills to transform their ideas into quality content.

This is fulfills a related Marcus Sheridan corollary: “Empower your team to create content that communicates with your prospects in the way that’s easiest for them.”

Translation: If your employees can’t write content, then let them just talk into a camera and edit it.

Understand that the biggest hurdle is getting the first version down. This is a great alternative for employees who are used to formal writing or don’t have time, such as research scientists and doctors.

By doing a hangout, you get your expert to express the information you need. You also have a human face and an answer associated with it. Then edit the content, add your branding and optimize it for search.

The great thing about building a YouTube library of customer questions and answers is that it supports search. Remember that YouTube is the second biggest search engine.

2. Google+ Tactic: Build targeted communities.

Be deliberate in how you select people and grow your targeted communities. You want to be able to follow people of interest to you and your business. But you have to be careful not to be drowned out by the noise.

Take a tip from Peg Fitzptrick, “Feed your passions in communities with people who love what you do. This is where you can find your friends and build your social connections.”

Find and grow the targeted communities that celebrate your interests. The objective is to create real relationships to target the people with whom you share content. To this end, understand your key market segments and create marketing personae and social media personae.

Done well, these communities enable you to follow the important people in your niche as well as to create colleagues who are interested in your content and are willing to share it.

Think of this as curating your audience.

You’ll want to turn your notifications on so that you’re notified when specific people post on Google+. This allows you to respond and build up credibility and visibility. Of course, it’s also useful to make intelligent remarks.

Smaller groups should create greater engagement and interaction because it’s easier to see the information and communicate without getting overwhelmed with information.

3. Google+ Tactic: Become a content curator par excellence.

Google+ is a great platform to position yourself as a thought leader.

To this end, it’s important to create an awesome Google+ presence that distributes information your key audiences want and need. This means don’t just fill your stream with whatever’s in your inbox.

Develop a Google+ strategy for the type of content you want to be known for. Be consistent so that your audience expects and wants to see your content. Use hashtags appropriately to attract a bigger audience.

Utilize the power of Google+ to transform other people’s content and to make your presence stand out. This means creating another headline and an amazing graphic. Peg Fitzpatrick sets a great example. Make sure that you add useful commentary and don’t forget to use Google+’s ability to format it.Google+ Tactic-content curation

Like other social media platforms, Google+ requires that you put the time in to socialize and provide useful information for your target communities.

How have you used Google+ to build your business?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Related article:

How To Improve Your Content Based On 2.6 Billion Social Media Shares


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  • I completely ignore G+ at first but came back to it few months ago. I definitely believe in its potential, especially with hangouts as you mentioned.

    I feel like a lot of bloggers and influencers are using the network and it gives it this kind of exclusive feel. I love how Google integrated the Communities. They could use some improvements but the idea coupled with hangouts is definitely interesting.

    I don’t know many brands who really engage with fans there though. I saw that Rovio was posting a lot of exclusive content around their Angry Bird franchise but that’s the best example I found.

  • Heidi Cohen thanx for a great post discussing some of the many benefits of using Google plus within your marketing mix. If one takes a #FUFISM approach then this is so much more powerful, as Google Plus allows you to build targeted circles, and connect these persons within any specific target circle together in very strange and powerful ways.

    There are many great ways to improve the SEOVI (Search Engine Optimisation Value Indicators) and trust factors for your web site, your blog and other online resources, such as creating a G+ page, using this G+ page as the owner of your G+ community, using the HTML 5 publisher authentication tool *(REL = PUBLISHER)* to link your online resource to your G+ Business page and discussing your website, blog or other online resource within that G+ community.

    Using this tactic you can be assured of a very strong and well balanced link building strategy that will link to all the deep pages within your online resource from a power base which ensures a barrage of very powerful #SEOVI juice that will propel your collective online resources well into the higher levels of the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages)

    How ever because few people understand the power of a #FUFISM based marketing strategy this is not utalised and implemented. The fact that YouTube comments can be shared directly into your G+ stream, as well as the Stream of those who share, or comment on the YouTube video is also not taken into consideration, and many stats come out discussing and comparing
    a) twitter, b) Facebook, c) YouTube but never mention G+ as part of the mix. This is a very big concern of mine as it shows that Google plus is not understood by marketers and the power of this great platform is thus GROSSLY UNDER RATED and not discussed at the C-SUIT (Chief Something Officer) level.

    because G+ is not discussed at this level it is ignored by way too many and those that unnderstand the term FUFISM have a very distinct and powerful marketing advantage.

    For those who do not know : FUFISM is an acronym for Functional User Friendly Integrated Social Media and is a very powerful marketing philosophy that gives your online marketing extensive reach within the online exposure arena.

    Stephan Hovnanian
    ha a great comment here about this to,

  • You hit the nail on the head, Heidi, about G+ being a connective tissue. Why more businesses don’t latch onto the fact that they can teach Google more about their company, and build relationships with advocates that will amplify their visibility in the Google ecosystem, is beyond me. Peg and B.L. are spot-on about Hangouts, they’ve fundamentally changed my business and how I create content for it. So hey, does this mean we’re going to see you interacting on G+ more???