After a slow start, Google+ has reportedly grown to over 300 million active-users, surpassing Twitter’s 270 million users. With some unique sharing options and friendly interface, it has become a tool that content marketers can no longer ignore. So, now that you are finally paying attention, how does Google+ work?
Google+ has tried really hard to differentiate itself from Facebook and other “established” social networks. To start, they are changing the way users are able to share their content. The way they accomplished this was simple; instead of publishing content to your entire “friends-list” or followers, Google+ has implemented what they refer to as “Circles.”
Google+ Circles allow you to separate your contacts into different social-categories. Although this is similar to Facebook groups, this format can give you more control over who can view pieces of content you post on the network.
For example, you could create a Content Marketer’s Circle in your profile - so when you are ready to share this article with your friends (wink, wink) - you know it will reach the most relevant individuals from your contact list. This is a very efficient way to network and share relative pieces of content that provide value to your followers.
By now everybody is familiar with, or has used #Hashtags – whether they use them appropriately, or not. Google+ #hashtags help you find posts or organize your own posts that use the same #hashtag. When it comes to improving search rankings and generating buzz around your content, these tags are extremely valuable.
There are many ways you can use #hashtags in Google+. You can create your own, categorize all of your posts, and join the trending topics within your industry.
You can easily search for these trending tags through their search bar – allowing your brand to join the conversation and establish your voice within the Google+ Circles.
Google+ Hangouts are another unique feature of Google’s social network. It implements video chat and let users “hangout” via webcam. This can allow you to interact, in real-time, with customers, potential clients, and industry experts – via video.
These hangouts can create some great content for your brand. If you ask a group of experts to weigh-in on some industry challenges or hot topics, you can record the hangout and use it for content on your blog.
This type of content is extremely valuable to followers, and if done correctly, can quickly establish your brand as a leading expert in the field. And best of all, it’s extremely easy to produce!
After creating a new Google+ profile for your business, how do you find experts or groups related to your field? Google+ Communities are large groups of user based around a common theme, industry or interest.
Once you find communities based around your industry, follow and add new people to your Google+ Circle. This way, you can follow their posts and engage with their content, while providing awesome content on your own profile for them to share to their followers. As you engage with their content, you will strengthen your brands relationship among the community.
You can also create your own Communities:
- Private Communities: For a select group of people such as family and friends. Members must ask to join to be a part of a private community. Businesses can also use it as a Community for your employees to communicate, share industry knowledge, brainstorm, rant, discuss topics, etc.
- Public Communities: The communities are open to the public are searchable within Google+. These communities are great to publish and promote your great content for people interested in the topic.
Join multiple communities to broaden your audience and continue to share and engage with fellow contributors. As you contribute to discussions and provide expert insight, you will quickly gain followers or potential customers.
Acting as a Tool for Content Marketing Success
Sure, many of us didn’t take Google+ seriously enough since it launched. But early adopters have seen a remarkable uptick in engagement and companies across all industries are beginning to understand the benefits of promoting their content through Google+ and joining the discussion. While the social media platform may not have the number of users that Twitter or Facebook has, Google+ has been steadily gained notoriety as a valuable tool for content marketers everywhere.
Brad Kuenn is a Content Writer, Editor and Strategist living in Nashville, Tennessee, and he provides research, content topics, writing, editing, and content development expertise to clients. He has a passion for writing as well as art, which shines through in his work. His creativity and attention to detail makes him a valuable asset for a wide range of clients. During his time off he enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and his two dogs Brutus and Kane.
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