When Google Plus launched in June 2011, some pundits predicted that it would become the giant of social networking, big enough to slay Facebook. Others expected it to go running back to base defeated, tail between its legs.
Neither of these predictions has come to pass.
Google Plus hasn’t taken the world by storm. But it has survived, largely thanks to the investment Google has made in linking up Google Plus with its other services, including GMail, Google Photos, and YouTube.
Google Plus now has over half-a-billion members. This fact, together with the clout of Google, makes Google Plus impossible for any self-respecting online business to ignore.
So let’s take a look at how you can make the most of your Google Plus account. What’s the anatomy of a Google Plus account that people pay attention to?
A Smiling Face
When it comes to engaging your audience, Google Plus is no different from any other social network. Having a profile picture of your smiling face is where engagement begins.
For business pages, you’ll need to use your logo, but for your personal page, you should always use a photo of yourself, smiling. Social media is about building relationships. People connect with people.
As well as having a profile picture, you should also include a relevant background image.
A Well-Toned Body
The body of your Google Plus account is your completed profile. Fill out your profile as thoroughly as you can. The more information you include, the better. This is for two reasons. First, information helps Google index your profile for search. The more you include, the more likely you are to be discovered in search. Second, a completed profile helps potential customers find out more about you. If they can see who you are, they’re more likely to add you to their circles.
As with all social networking profiles, look outward as you write. Focus your profile on how you help your customers.
Finally, give special attention to your tagline. On your profile, your tagline is displayed directly below your name. It also shows up in search results. So make that tagline sparkle!
Clothing Tailored for You
Google gives you the option of setting up a custom URL for your Plus profile.
If you can, make this the same as your Twitter username and your custom Facebook URL.
Having a custom URL gives your profile a professional edge, and looks better when you’re sharing your profile link.
Waiting around and hoping people notice you first is a recipe for failure. Do nothing, and you can expect nothing in return.
If you want people to notice you, you’ve first got to notice others. That means adding people to your circles. I recommend starting with your friends and family. They’re quick wins because most of them will circle you back. Every person who follows you acts as social proof to potential new followers. Think about it: when you’re choosing whom to follow on social media, would you rather follow someone with five followers or 500?
Get out there and start circling!
Open Body Posture
There aren’t many people who spend a ton of time on Google Plus. But there are some who spend their lives there. These are the people you want to meet and who can help your business grow.
Where do you find them? They’re in communities.
You can find communities on pretty much any topic you can think of. Search out communities in your niche, and start meeting people. When you’re a talker, people pay attention.
Once you’re familiar with how communities work, why not set up your own community? Be helpful and keep your community active. That will turbocharge the attention you get, shining a spotlight straight in your eyes.
Get In Front of the Camera
Another way to meet new people and get attention is to host a Google Plus hangout. This works best if you’ve already got a small tribe of followers who love what you do. Set a date, and let them know you’ll be free to talk. You’ll have a blast, and you’ll get to know some of your customers a whole lot better.
Hold a Pen in Hand
If, like us, you create content, then you must set up Google Authorship. If you only use your Google Plus account for Authorship, it’s worth it. Once you’re set up, your smiling profile picture will show up in search results next to any articles you’ve written. It’s ideal for building your brand and helping people find out more about you.
You can find out how Authorship works, and get set up here.
Posting regular updates is arguably the least important part of your Google Plus anatomy. You’ll probably find your updates on Twitter and Facebook get more attention. That said, now that Google Plus allows scheduling with apps such as Buffer, you can easily post updates without wasting time.
Google Plus has been designed for in-depth conversations, so as well as posting updates, respond to anyone who comments on what you’ve shared. It’s also a great idea to comment on what other people in your network are sharing. The more you talk, the more you’ll become a familiar face.
Okay, we confess, where you live isn’t strictly part of your anatomy. But if you’ve got a Google Plus business page, your address matters. Research by Chitika found nearly a quarter of searches are local. People are searching for businesses like yours in your area. You need to get set up with Google Places. Once your business has a Google Places listing, you’ll show up on the first page of search results for local searches. It’s free, so there’s no excuse not to do it.
What do you do to get attention on Google Plus? What would you say are the key parts of a Google Plus profile that get attention?
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