Sparking Engagement On Google+

Posted: November 24, 2014

Since Google+ launched in June 2011, many businesses have invested little or no time into the social media network despite the many benefits, such as having one of the largest user bases and being included in SEO when it comes to Google’s search results.

While many focus their time on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, maintaining a presence for your business on Google+ doesn’t have to be as much work as you may think. The benefits may well be worth the work and, like anything, if you start sooner, you may be faced with the “nice” problem a year or so later where you have a few hundred followers (or hopefully more!) following your business’ Google+ page.

Here are some suggestions on how to start and to help you improve engagement on your Google+ page.

1. Set up Your Google+ Page Properly

If you have a Youtube channel, your Google+ page should be connected to this channel. You should be able to access both the administration of your Google+ and Youtube account using the same login details. Also, you should not be using your personal Google+ page to promote your business, you should have a separate Business Page.

2. Complete All Information

Make sure all of the information on your Google+ page is complete, correct, and updated. In particular, you should check:

  • The address information is accurate and correct on Google’s Map.
  • You have added a Profile Photo.
  • You have added a Cover Photo
  • Your business’ website URL is included.
  • There is some contact information for your business.
  • An up-to-date description of your business and what it does has been added.
  • You have assigned your business’ Google+ Page to at least one relevant Category.
  • You have added any other pertinent information, such as opening hours or additional photos.

Completing all of these is important because Google uses this information in their search results, so if it’s inaccurate, people searching for your business will be reading inaccurate information!

3. Include a Google+ Share Button on Your Website

This enables visitors to your site to engage with Google+ and “like” (in this case, +1) content. This works in a similar way to Facebook’s Like button, which most people are familiar with.

4. Post Links to News, New Blog Posts From Your Website

After adding a news or blog post to your website, paste that URL into your business’ Google+ page and post that content to your followers. Include a quick blurb about the post. Even if you only have a couple of followers, this content will be picked up in Google and can be included in search results. This is something that can literally take just 5 minutes but over time, will be beneficial.

5. Participate In Communities

Look for relevant communities on Google+ that involve your industry and post to them. You will gain followers by doing this and this will help to get you more noticed within the social network. Despite what you may feel as a lack of people in your industry using Google+, you may be surprised to find some very active communities that are relevant to your business. If communities don’t exist for your area of expertise, create one!

6. Create Polls

If your business primarily provides information, setting up a Poll may work well for encouraging more engagement on your Google+ page. Creating a simple poll question with several answers users can choose from will allow you to take the URL to this poll on your Google+ page and share it on your other social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. For people to respond, they will need to be logged in with a Google account but many people stay logged into their Google accounts all day. A poll encourages people to click and activity on your Google+ page is a good thing!

7. Live Stream A Google Hangout

This may not be for everyone but if you are presenting at a conference or hosting a live event, you can live stream yourself through Google+’s Hangout. This enables you to reach those who might not be able to attend your event or performance. In addition, your Live Stream will be saved to your Youtube account afterwards (hence the importance of #1 above in ensuring your account is set up properly) and you can share this video with your followers on other social networks and embed the video into your website.

These are just some of the ideas to help you increase engagement on your Google+ page. Have you had success in other ways with Google+? Let us know in the comments.

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