Google plus has received a lot of criticism since its launch in 2011. Even with 500 million registered users and 50,000 active communities, Google+ is still considered as a dead field when it comes to branding.
The fact that this statement is correct, can be determined when you see companies devoting an entire section on their websites to social networking updates like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, they don't bother with Google+.
If you're one of those brands, who are sitting easy on Google+, let me tell you that your organization is losing a large number of your dedicated audience.
The advantage in Google+ is that it is not just a social network like the others, but is also a social platform that Google promotes. It gives you the opportunity to engage a larger number of crowds with similar interests, and comes with the various advantages of Google products like Google Docs, Chat, Hangout, YouTube and much more.
So simply creating your Google+ page will not do, you need to maintain it as well, which is vital in terms of your product development.
Here are some effective strategies which will help you in engagement of your Google plus page:
1. Have a Google + badge:
The first step is to make your Google+ page discoverable. If your organization has a Google+ page, let your fans know about it. Add a Google+ badge to your website. Allow them to follow you and add them to their personal Google+ network. This Google+ badge will not only make your clients know about your existence, but will also help your brand to interact with its followers from various networking backgrounds.
Along with this badge you can also add the comments of your Google plus page on your blog/website. A plugin that was launched in April 2013 by Google integrates with both Blogger and WordPress, lets the readers go through website posts comments and one’s Google+ page comments concurrently.
2. Re-create your G+ page:
If you have not paid attention to your Google+ page prior to this article, well the time is now! Just like you took time to create an engaging Facebook or Twitter page for your company, make your Google+ page appealing. Add relevant and appropriate data to your page. Fill all the sections well. Define your company, its objectives, tag lines, medium of contacts. Give a proper incoming link to your website. With improvement in the picture and video quality, Google has also introduced a larger cover photo to its users. You can add a cool cover photo talking about your work and its progress. The “About” section will help your readers find your work, relate to it and approach to your content in a better way and provide an overall improved engagement.
3. Make a community:
After finishing the above steps, it is important to start interacting with your readers who share the same interests. Google+ lets you interact with your fans in a better way, with the help of its community feature. With the help of the navigation rail, you can search for communities of your choices and can check the latest ongoing trends in your sector.
If you have recently started a new brand of yourself, like a new bakery shop and want people to know about it, form a community. For small businesses, Communities can be very engaging and interacting. You can also create a community or maybe join one. Google+ is a storehouse of active communities which contributes and adds up to informative knowledge. If you are the owner of a big business, why not transform your Google+ page into a community itself!
4. Start interacting with your audience:
Renovating the old shabby look, Google+ has came up with its new avatar in June 2013. Today, it has a better timeline, a better page view, three columns that showcase content, great photo filters, everything managed in a better way. Google has also added a “smart hashtag” feature which automatically adds hashtags based on the content you post. And they're actually pretty accurate. Of course, you can override a suggested hashtag and enter your own. And like hashtags on any other social media platform, you can use them to find related content.
Interact with your audience with compelling posts, add hashtags, images. Infographics. Engage the crowd with your YouTube channel (Google+ has integrated YouTube and gives you a direct access to your YouTube account)
Has there been a new recent development in your company? And you want your G+ community to know it? Create an event. Google+ allows you to create a theme-based event. Having a workshop? Or celebrating your organization’s anniversary? Create your own theme based events and let your fans celebrate with you. You can even +1 a comment, +people and let people know how active you are on your Google+ page.
5. Host a hangout:
Hangouts are rapidly gaining popularity. It is one of the most common yet effective ways to interact with people. It lets users know more about your products, question it or even give a compliment to it. They offer businesses an opportunity to enhance engagement with customers through live, real-time, multimedia interaction. It opens your direct line of communication with customers and gets you better feedback.