Google Plus – are you getting social yet?

16th April 2014

Why do brands and marketers still have issues with Google Plus? A recent Forrester report showed that Google Plus has the potential to create twice as much engagement as Twitter! With it becoming harder to rank organically on Facebook, Google Plus is worth more than a thought.

Read on to find out why your brand should be getting social on G+ and how to maximise its value…

The facts about Google Plus

Forrester surveyed more than 60,000 US online adults about which social media sites they used. 22% said they visited Google Plus each month. That’s the same as Twitter and more than told them they used Linkedin, Pinterest or Instagram.

The report also showed that there is a potential fan base – on average top brands have collected 90% as many fans on Google Plus as on Twitter.

But, engagement is even more important than follower numbers. This study analysed three million user interactions with more than 2,500 brand posts on seven social networks. Google Plus posts by brands got nearly as much per follower as their Facebook posts, and almost twice as much engagement per follower as their Twitter posts – statistics which make us take note.

How to maximise Google Plus for your brand?

Hopefully now you’re starting to think about using Google Plus, so here our key ways to make this social media channel work for your brand.

Video integration

As video is our thing, we’re going to start with YouTube and Google Plus integration. Google Plus can help engagement with your video content. When you share a YouTube video on Google Plus, users can watch it within Google Plus, and their comments appear on the YouTube video. It’s a useful way to increase the ROI of your video posts and content marketing more generally.

Google Hangouts

Specific to Google Plus, hangouts offer you the capability to set up free live streams for webinars. These are then streamed live to Youtube which also gives you additional content on that channel. This content can then be optimised for search to widen your audience. Once you start your Google Hangout you can obtain an embed code so that you can share it on Facebook or your blog to engage with your wider user base.

Google Plus and SEO

SEO is certainly one of the reasons that brands have been encouraged to use Google Plus, especially post-Hummingbird. This social media channel is optimised for semantic search and helps Google improve its search results by looking at the context of searches based on the user’s community and social signals.

Google indexes Google Plus posts so your content will appear faster in the search results if you add it to G+. The latest Google Plus posts appear in the right-hand side of the results pages, which should increase your traffic through search.

When you’re creating posts ensure that you’re targeting your audience with relevant content, add keywords to the title and create longer more complex posts than you would on other social channels.

Add Google Plus share button to your website or video content too – when someone shares your content, you’re getting a virtual thumbs up to your site. It’s about quality and not just quantity. A Goolge +1 from a powerful influencer can be worth more than multiple +1s from less influential users, so try to use social media to make connections with authorities in your field.

Google Authorship

Speaking of authoriative content, Google Authorship is another reason to utilise Google Plus. If you found this blog via Google, you’ll have seen my Google profile appear in the search results. This sign of authorship adds credibility, builds reputation, and entices click-through. Influencers who create content for a niche audience may get more visibility in the search results by using authorship.

Community building

As with all social networks, you need to move from just broadcasting your messages to having conversations. Google Plus has a few tricks up its sleeve to help. You can segment your audience easily by creating circles, or segments, to make your messages more relevant.

There are also lots of communities on Google Plus which you can join (or set up yourself if you think you can offer something new) and have discussions with your audience or others in your field. This is an effective way to show your expertise, identify the needs of your audience and share relevant content.

How are you using Google Plus?

Of course another reason to be on Google Plus is that Team Hurricane are there regularly! Join us on Google Plus.

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