Google Plus is more than just a social network. The fact is that this platform holds immense potential for businesses to gain exposure, engage their audiences and entice them through all the features Google Plus offers. The platform also offers enormous potential for effective content marketing and may help businesses enjoy improved search engine results—if they follow this guide! Here are a few Google Plus marketing tips for gaining more exposure and engaging your target audience:
Google Plus Marketing Tips
A list of ways to get more followers and give your content a boost in engagement.
1. Limit How Often You Post to Increase Total Reach
Have you ever heard of Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm? Unless you’re relatively new to online marketing, you probably already know what Edgerank is. To sum it up, it’s the mathematical formula Facebook uses to determine how and when fan page content is seen by your followers. If your fan page is notorious for posting boring content and nobody is liking, commenting, or sharing anything, then Facebook will show your posts to fewer and fewer people until you pull out your wallet (seriously).
If Facebook has a reach algorithm, why doesn’t Google Plus?
Hopefully you’re sitting down for this… are you ready? Google Plus DOES have a reach algorithm! That’s right. Good old GPlus has a reach algorithm despite common belief. Most people think GPlus uses “real reach,” meaning that all of your followers will potentially see your content if they’re online any time you post it, but that is far from the truth. Assuming this may be your biggest mistake when you’re marketing on Google Plus. The thing is, Google doesn’t advertise it like Facebook, and you can’t find information about it anywhere. Your account can fall right off the face of the Earth if you post too frequently, and you’ll have no idea why. I’ve seen the aftermath of sharing 15 quality posts per day versus sharing just 3 quality posts per day, and let me tell you: The difference is scary. Here are the results:
When we started the case study, we set out to answer the following questions:
- Does Google Plus use a reach algorithm?
- If so, how easy will it be to get negatively impacted for over posting and not receiving user engagement?
- If negatively impacted, how easy/difficult will it be to recover the account back to an above average reach?
The case study was done using a single Google Plus account focused on photography. It was used for posting beautiful landscapes, oceanography, cool architecture and more—all popular shareables. The account was approximately 6 months old and had been built up to 18,000 real human followers using our circle sharing service. No fake followers, bots, or anything like that. We use safe methods only.
We followed our own good advice and only posted 3 high-quality pictures per day to this account while it was growing, then we tanked it for the case study.
Here is what the account averaged before the test began:
- 156 +1s and 29 reshares per post.
- Multiplied by 3 (# of daily posts) = 468 +1s and 87 reshares per day, on average.
Then we shared 15 posts per day for 3 days straight. The averages changed to:
- 18 +1s and 5 reshares per post.
- Multiplied by 15 (# of daily posts) = 270 +1s and 75 reshares per day, on average.
- A 42% decrease in daily +1s, and a 14% decrease in daily reshares from our original numbers.
We shared 15 posts per day for 3 more days. The averages got even lower.
- 6 +1s and 1 reshare per post.
- Multiplied by 15 (# of daily posts) = 90 +1s and 15 reshares per day, on average.
- An 81% decrease in daily +1s, and an 83% decrease in daily reshares from our original numbers.
And after just 3 more days, all interaction went down to ZERO.
It took only 9 days to completely drain all reach from this account down to absolutely nothing. Over 18,000 real followers, 15 posts per day, and nobody saw or interacted with a single one. Care to venture a guess at how long it took to build it back up to our previous averages? Nope, not 1 week. It took 6 full weeks! Yikes!
A good rule of thumb…
Share 3 QUALITY posts per day, with 5 being the absolute maximum amount of posts you should ever share in 1 day—and I still wouldn’t recommend you share that many. Three high-quality and paced out posts per day will produce the best user engagement results.
If engagement starts to slip, then make a few posts about trending topics to give it a boost. Trending topics always get more pluses and reshares because people are searching for them.
2. Be Visual AND Vertical
What does this mean? The “Be Visual” part should be evident by now. Picture posts can receive triple the engagement of a standard link post, and on some networks, even more. But simply sharing pictures isn’t the only thing to keep in mind because Google Plus is a completely different platform.
Use images that are longer vertically.
Of course, having vibrant and colorful imagery is also a no brainer, but this one simple tactic alone will noticeably increase the interaction you receive on each post. Why? Because Google Plus uses a grid style feed. If you want your posts to cover more of the feed, then simply make your images longer. Longer images cover more of the screen, thus people have no choice but to notice them over the shorter, horizontal images that most people post. There’s no perfect ratio to follow, so don’t stress yourself out. If you’re a photographer, focus on vertical shots. If you’re a marketer, make vertical infographics.
3. Define Your Target Audience and Know Their Interests
A good first step for effective content marketing on google plus is to define your target audience, i.e. exactly who are you looking for? Once you know who you are looking to target, the next step is to understand what interests them. A good way to do this is by following a few of your competitors whose posts have higher viewership, reach, and engagement. You can also utilize the search bar to stay updated on what people have to say about your niche.
This will also offer you the opportunity to answer questions in the comments section or be a part of ongoing discussions. Once you have developed an understanding of what interests your target market, you can engage with them more effectively. You can target the influencers in the industry by frequently commenting on their articles, tagging them in replies, or you may ask them about a guest post for gaining exposure for your brand. You can target everyday followers by means of engaging with their posts or you may want to entice them by running regular contests. All of these are great options and continue to be effective strategies for growing brand awareness.
4. Use Circles to Generate Ideas and Target Posts
Circles are perhaps the best feature of Google Plus, which now allows you to target specific demographics. If you are a clothing company, the circles feature will not only allow you to target male and female customers separately by adding them to separate circles, but you may also choose to target different age groups separately.
This will allow you to share different posts with different target audiences through the circles so you can determine which content performs best with different user groups. You can even use these discussions and other user’s posts to engage and interact with them and come up with just the product or service they’re looking for.
5. Make Effective Use of the Trending Topics
Another tip for effective content marketing on Google Plus is to use trending topics, formerly the ‘What’s Hot’ button on the Google+ dropdown menu. Viewing the trending topics will help you churn out content which is relevant to what interests your target market at that time.
You may then catch the attention of your audiences and engage with them by posting relevant content and making use of the rich variety of content formats available on Google Plus (photos, videos, etc). Posting videos on Google Plus is a great idea, owing to the fact that YouTube, which is owned by Google, is recognized as the world’s second largest search platform. The more quality content you produce the better your odds are of being found.
6. Using Hangouts for Enticing Your Target Audience
The more your target audience is engaged with you, the more they are likely to share your content with others, thus spreading the word about your brand. The Hangout feature allows you to engage with your clients in a personal manner. Therefore, make sure that you use all the available resources and tools to make your Hangouts more entertaining and engaging for your customers. Give it a try!
That’s all we have for now. These Google Plus marketing strategies will ensure that your Google+ profile or business page will gain more visibility, credibility and hopefully interaction among your target market.