Put Your Social Strategy on a Rocket Ship
Google+ is actually pretty cool. I never thought I’d say that, especially considering that less than a year ago I was positively overwhemed by the network. However, things change, and I’ve recently discovered that it’s actually a brilliant network. And, I’m not alone. G+ is now the world’s second-largest social media network with 343 million active users. G+ means serious business for SEO and social media marketing, and it’s too late to ignore starting its presence any longer. Here are some ways to go from zero to network domination overnight:
1. Create a Business Page
If you haven’t created a brand page for your company, get started right away. Hoping to showcase the different sides of your brand, products, or services? That’s okay—you can have up to 50 business pages attached to one Gmail address.
2. Use a Great Cover Photo
Following the redesign of the network announced last week, the cover photos are bigger and better than ever, reaching a staggering 16’’ x 9’’’ when fully expanded (or 2,120 pixels wide, if you’re into that sort of thing). Don’t squander this prime real estate, and consider overlaying text like Fat Cow did:
3. Link Away
Google+ links are absolutely indexed by Google, and it’s essential to use your link field’s potential for an SEO boost and additional visibility. Link to your social media profiles and company website.
While we’re sure that Google would frown on a bio that’s keyword stuffed, be sure to explain exactly what it is your company does using as many keywords as possible. Pro tip: Bullet points are your best friend for writing a skimming-friendly bio that search engines love.
5. Aggressively Expand Your Circles
While whispers of AuthorRank have yet to manifest in reality, one thing is clear: Google+ is an even bigger popularity contest than Twitter. Whether or not the amount of people who have circled you will affect content ranking in the future, it certainly looks impressive to be in a lot of circles. Aggressively add others, and hope that they return the favor.
6. Delineate Your Circles
Sure, you can get by with just having one mega-circle, but it’s not optimal. In fact, Google+ circles are a marketer’s dream come true. No one knows which circle they’ve been placed in, just that you’ve added them as a connection. Go ahead and separate your connections into “prospects,” “leads,” and “frenemies 4 lyfe.”
7. Post Strategically
Remember when that one Google engineer accidentally shared that rant about how much he hated Google+ with the public? It was super embarassing, so don’t repeat his mistake. However, be sure to use G+’s inherent ability to post strategically to its full advantage: Share content within groups publically, or select followers with a cleverly-placed click.
8. Hashtag Away
There’s no denying that G+ is the Dougie Howser of social media networks. In the near future, it’s going to start auto-hashtagging your posts for you by scanning the content on your behalf. Wow. In the meantime, be sure to add your own tags to increase searchability.
9. Tag People
My absolute favorite function about Google+ is that when you tag people in posts, they’re notified by email. I know that’s not super remarkable and Facebook has been doing it for years, but get this—they can respond by email. It’s the best.
10. No Size Limits to Posts
That’s not a typo. Promote your own content and other people’s work in 10 or 10 million characters. Some particularly brave souls have even suggested that one day, Google+ profiles could replace personal blogs. While I don’t know if that’s true, it’s certainly an interesting thought.
You can make your writing look fancy by using the network’s built-in capacity for strikethrough, bold, and italics.
12. Link to Download
You can share PDF, Word docs, or other downloadable files directly on the network. While you can’t currently integrate lead capture forms, marketers everywhere will jump for joy if that ever becomes a component.
13. Create Fancy Events
Facebook has been doing the events thing pretty well for years now. However, Google+’s event function is really fancy, and it’s sent directly to the calendars of invited parties. Additionally, guests can upload images to the event page after the fact.
Oh my gosh. Where do I even start with Google+ hangouts? They’re way more than a video chatting software. You can present slideshows, share Google documents, and generally continue being productive while you talk with up to 9 friends. There’s really nothing that can compare for remote meetings with colleagues, prospects, or customers, especially not with a price tag of zero dollars attached.
15. Record Hangouts
You can record your Google+ hangouts, which make for some pretty compelling ready-made video content.
16. +1 Stuff.
Social media networks are really smart. Smarter than me, because they have a team of really brainy engineers who are constantly working to be smarter than marketers. If you’re treating G+ like a content bookmarking site from the olden days, you’re not going to get very far. It looks really suspicious to G+ if you have exactly zero people circled, and you’re +1-ing stuff from the same website day in and day out. Use it like a social media network by being social and carving out time to interact in communities and your feed.
17. Read What the Plus
It costs a couple bucks. It might be the best couple bucks you ever spent. Guy Kawasaki is the undisputed Google+ expert, and his book shares everything you need to be a total pro at the network.
18. Join Communities
There’s a place where really cerebral early adopters convene to talk and share content. They’re also known as G+ communities. Here’s a list of amazing groups for marketers to get you pointed in the right direction.
19. Optimize Your Titles
Google+ has been described as the SEO juggernaut of social networks. The first line of your posts are considered titles by Google, and have significant influence on SEO. Use a nice long-tail keyword.
What tactics have you found to be effective for marketing yourself and your brand on G+?
image credit: digitalart/freedigitalphotos.net