Google+ is a social networking & identity service, owned and operated by Google Inc. Google described Google+ as a “social layer” that enhances many of its online properties, and that it is NOT simply a social networking website.
It is the second-largest social networking site in the world after Facebook. 540 million monthly active users are part of the Identity service side, interacting socially with Google+’s properties, like Gmail, +1 button, and YouTube comments. 300 million monthly active users are part of the Social Networking side by interacting with the Google+ social networking stream itself.*Source: Wikipedia
Like everything, there are conflicting opinions about Google+. Some liken it to a ‘ghost town’ and claim despite it’s users, who really uses it, and how regularly? On the other hand, and if you like metrics, the numbers speak fairly loud and clear. Google+ is now the 2nd largest social network to Facebook(active users) passing the likes of Twitter; not our idea of a ‘ghost town’.
Opinions aren’t facts. We always make that point. Ultimately it is up to you who you listen to and whether or not you choose to use G+ or not. In the event of covering all bases, and not ignoring some impressive numbers, we are going to assume you will use Google+ as part of your social strategy, and offer you some tips on gaining followers…
#1 Create a ‘Wow Factor’
This is obvious, but you would be surprised how many lame G+ pages there are, and yet they expect them to be a buzzing social hub, er no. Where is the wow factor, WHY should people visit your page? The very definition of business says first create something of value and only then do marketing.
Think big, clear, crisp imagery, correct grammar, useful information about your brand or business and share information about cool stuff. Listen first, sell second. If you are stuck for design ideas, use some industry benchmarks for inspiration like Coca Cola, Starbucks or Nike.
#2 Customise your G+ URL
Talking to some of our clients, customers of theirs have been a bit intimidated seeing a link with tones of number after it. It isn’t exactly easy to remember, or search and doesn’t look particularly professional or great when displayed on other social channels.
Take a look at the following two URLs: The first one is the old (un-customised) URL for HubSpots G+ page. The latter is the customised one.
Last year Google announced it is rolling out custom URLs for some profiles and pages, and that it will soon make the feature available to “many more brands and individuals”. If you are able to customise your G+ account (and you will need to check) it is certainly worth doing; making you or your brand easier to remember, search and share.
Google+ will notify you once you’ve been pre-approved for a custom URL – usually you’ll see a message similar to the one below.
Simply click on ‘Get URL’, pick the name, agree to the Terms of Service and click on ‘Change URL’ – nice and easy.
#3 Share: Quality over Quantity
We live by this at Aspurian Digital. We have allot of marketing experience between our team, and we have seen too many people make the mistake of ramming pointless information down followers throats just because they can.
Social media is much like a social circle in life, talk crap 24/7 amongst your friends and you will very soon become unpopular. If you share quality info on your G+ page, the likelihood is your +1’s will increase, content will get shared and more people will see your brand; hopefully resulting in more people seeing and following your brand.
Don’t spam your followers’ feeds with garbage content from all over the Internet. Share quality stuff.