A few weeks back when I wrote an article about using images on Twitter, I mentioned something about Google Plus being my favorite platform.
Thinking about it now, I realized I haven’t written a proper Google Plus article for almost a year… A year in which I was able to significantly improve my Google Plus experience and gain several thousand followers along the way.
And while Twitter is the platform that got me started with social media (and is the place where I have the most followers), Google Plus is where I like to be the most and where I am seeing the most interaction – in terms of likes, shares, comments, mentions and in general…
So if you still haven’t made your mind about the platform, consider this post the time to change this. Sign in, look around (maybe follow me) and keep reading!
In the following paragraphs I will walk you through five of the most important Google Plus routines that you need to be consistent at (day in and day out) in order to really build your name and attract a crowd!
Without further ado, scroll down to start with my Google Plus checklist!
1.Reshare an Article You Found Helpful
Okay, it might not be an article. It could be anything you found helpful or useful in some way and believe your audience would also benefit.
Resharing an article on Google Plus is quite similar to using the retweet button on Twitter. What happens is the post is shared on your own timeline, with the original author being clearly credited.
Basically it’s like copying and pasting someone’s post to your profile and optionally (though I say it should be mandatory) adding your thoughts to it.
So here are a couple of reasons why you should reshare a post at least once a day:
- The original author receives a notification – This might lead to them interacting with the post, commenting, thanking you and following you. All of those have happened to me and I have done the same for people resharing my content.
- You show that you actually participate – It’s good to have reshares floating in your timeline from time to time, because it proves you are paying attention to what the people you follow are posting. That adds a flavour of credibility, as it means you do more than just spam your own links.
2.Share a Funny Post and Give Credit
Giving credit shouldn’t be done only when sharing funny posts of course, but about that in a minute.
Now back to the first part… funny content.
You see when it comes to social media, humour plays a very important role. That is why some of the most popular content you see on the internet comes from sites like 9Gag, includes funny vine videos and uses memes.
And although we claim to be serious marketers, aimed at building our brands, sometimes we might indeed be a little too serious…
So my advice is fairly simple.
Make sure to share something funny if not everyday, at least once a week.
Pinterest is a great place to find such content (check out my board and this one), but you can also stick with Google Plus. Geek Humor is a good starting point. Searching with the hashtag #funny will return interesting results as well.
Before sharing anything funny, here are two important notes:
- Make sure it has some relation to your niche and your followers’ interests
- Save the images in an archive so that you can reuse them when you are struggling to find something interesting
Now on giving credit…
Sometimes if you are sharing an image it might be better to simply repost it rather than reshare it.
Resharing copies the original post. Reposting means that you manually upload the same image and add your own commentary. By doing so however you DON’T credit the original author.
That is why you should always make sure to add “h/t +Original Sharer” (h/t stands for heard through) or “Thanks goes to +Original Sharer for making this post” or something similar at the end of the post.
This is called etiquette and it is important both in “real” life and in the social media world.
3. Go to Your Blog’s Archive and Find a Great Post
Okay, it’s great to reshare content and to publish funny images you come across, but if that’s all you do, you won’t bring much traffic to your site.
I mean yeah, you have probably included a link in your profile, but who’s clicking those anyway?
If you want more than a couple of visitors, it’s time for some self-promotion.
And with that in mind here are some of the steps I follow when sharing my own content on Google Plus:
- Find a post that is actually good – Chances are some of your articles will be better than others. Rule out the ones that you believe aren’t your greatest hits and create a list with the ones that were able to grab the readers’ attention. Select one of them.
- Don’t simply paste the link – Nope, the first thing you need to do is upload an image. Posts with an image rather than a preview normally receive much more interaction. Aim for dimensions of at least 340 x 220.
- Use formatting with caution – As you probably know on Google Plus you can add italics (by surrounding text with _ ), bolds (by surrounding text with * ) and strikethroughs (by surrounding text with – ). And while taking advantage is a must, I’d advice you to use formatting only where necessary. For instance it’s a good idea to put emphasis on the headline of the post and the call to action (telling people to read and giving them the post’s URL).
- Don’t make a mess out of hashtags – Use up to 3-4 of them. Otherwise your post starts to look both spammy and a little ugly. Don’t aim for too specific hashtags. They probably won’t have the search volume you hoped for.
- Consider resharing with your Google Plus page – I’ve recently started using my blog’s Google Plus page and as of now that is what my strategy comes down to (which obviously isn’t enough). I’d advice you to reshare at a later time rather than immediately, as that way the post will reach different people.
And how often should you share your own content?
I’m doing it once a day, everyday from Monday to Friday. As of now that’s working pretty good, so you might consider using it as a starting point and testing from there.
4. Find and Follow at Least 10 New People Every Day
Following people on any social network is good for two reasons.
First it’s the obvious one – you discover new and (hopefully) interesting opinions and content. And second new people discover YOU.
Similarly to when you reshare a post or mention a Google Plus user, when you follow someone, the one you followed receives a notification. This means there’s a good chance of that person taking a look back at your profile, finding something interesting and hence following you back.
I myself have been taking advantage of a great tool called Circloscope lately (it’s not free unfortunately, at 47$ per year). The tool is basically a browser extension that allows you to tap into your Google Plus profiles and do a lot of different things.
You could for instance:
- Find and unfollow people who have been inactive for a specified period of time
- Move people in mass between different circles you have
- Follow people based on content they liked and shared (via ripples)
The latter is one of my favorite options.
What you can do is simply paste the URL of a post from some influencer and you get a list of all the people who interacted with the post. You can filter them and show only those who either +1d, reshared or commented. Then you can decide who to follow.
Here are three other approaches (this time free) for finding relevant people to follow:
- Look at who is being reshared – Open up one of your circles, click CTRL + F and search for “originally shared”. That way you will go directly to posts that your friends have reshared from someone else. Once you find them, you can take a closer look at the folks who originally shared that post. Chances are they might be in your niche.
- Look at relevant posts with a lot of comments – Look for posts (possibly made from influencers) that have received a lot of interaction. Take a look at the comments and look for meaningful ones that add to the discussion. See who their author is, check his profile and follow if you find it of interest.
- Posts your friends have plussed – When on the home page, aside from posts from the people you have circled, you will also occasionally see content that two or more of your friends have liked. And while I’ve seen some controversy around whether that is a useful feature, I believe that it is.
5. Leave One Meaningful Comment
The phrase “social media” is often times followed by the word “engagement” and how important it is to engage.
So what does it mean to engage?
It means to take part. It means to create a discussion, share your opinion and hear what others think.
And as I said Google Plus is a great place if you want interaction. Interaction not only in the form of pluses and shares, but also in the form of people actually sharing what they think.
So why not jump in!
One comment a day won’t take that much of your time. It will however:
- Get you noticed
- Show your expertise
- Help you actually build relationships
…And talking about leaving comments on other people’s publications, make sure to not leave your own ones behind.
Are people saying they enjoyed and found your post useful?
- Make sure to not only plus one their comment but to also reply back, thanking them!
Are people having questions regarding a post you made?
- Make sure write a comment and shed light!
It’s simple as that. Keep track of your notifications and whenever you see someone mentioning you, take a minute to see what it’s all about and write a comment if necessary.
And with that one out of the way, I believe it’s time to conclude this Google Plus checklist.
If we there’s a takeaway from this post, then it’s that you should strive to be helpful, to be accessible and to not be THAT serious all the time.
Now I would like to hear your two cents friends!
Is Google Plus anyone else’s favorite platform? What are your ways to bring more interaction to your Google Plus profile?
Please write down a comment and I’ll be there to reply. Also consider sharing the post and subscribing to my newsletter if you liked the tips!