The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
Every time another social media tool is added to the sandbox, it waters down the sand. Periscope, Meerkat and Vine are tools for video. There is Snip.ly for content, Sumo Me for connections and so many more where you can visit and spin your wheels. Most of us can barely handle the top five social media tools – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. Their popularity order changes depending on the website you visit. Who seriously has time for all of that?
Is Google+ dead? Far from it. It’s still Google. Google runs the two largest search engines on the internet, Google and YouTube. If one website controls 70-80% of all internet traffic, don’t you think it makes sense to pay attention to their social media space and the tools they offer you to get more traffic for free?
I have to admit that most of my friends are on Facebook and most of my business contacts are on LinkedIn. I spend a lot of time on Twitter (tweeting and re-tweeting), but I cannot afford to ignore Google+. It’s one of the core strategies I use to help get my clients found. Google loves data and quality content, so why not start on their own platform. It just makes sense to feed the Google monster with great content starting with their own social media platform.
I have a course I created – google4business.com. It covers all things Google, including Google search, Google+, Analytics, AdWords, AdSense, Google For Business, Maps, Places and so much more. Google has many opportunities to share content and is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. The more you feed Google great content, the more they reward you with getting found in searches. Notice I said “Great Content”. You can spam and link bait till the cows come home, but Google has changed its algorithms (Panda, Penguin, and who knows what’s next) to fight spammers and reward people with awesome content.
7 Steps To Making The Most Of Google+
- Gmail – Create an account – It starts with creating a Gmail account. You want to be human first and business second. You can have multiple Gmail accounts, but it helps if you start as your name first (firstname.lastname@example.org), and your business second (Wehrliwoodworks@gmail.com).
- Access All The Other Tools – Once you create a Gmail account, you have access to a plethora of tools that Google offers: Google+, Google for Business, Places, Maps, Analytics, AdWords, AdSense, Docs and more. Don’t get lost in the abyss; just realize you have access to many tools. Once you have a personal account, you can then create multiple brand pages (mine include: my book – NotAbout U, my podcast – Bacon Podcast, my speaker page – Brian Basilico).
- Measurement Is King – Google Analytics is one of the most important business tools besides your Balance Sheet and P&L statement. This is how you measure how much traffic Google+ (or other social media properties) drives to your website. It takes some training and understanding, but I can tell you some basic facts. The average website gets 300 visits per month (10 per day), 2-3 pages per visit, and 2 minutes of time. The bounce rate is how many people show up on your home page and then leave (33.3% is average). Where the visitors come from is ultra important.
- Log into your Google Plus account – Your personal profile is where everything starts. Once you get to your profile, go to the ‘about’ tab and start editing. Add as much information as you see fit. Remember, Google loves content. Make sure you focus on what you can do for customers and not be all I, I, I, Me, Me, Me!
- Add Links – The goal is to get as many people to your web properties as you can. The links may not all be clickable, but post them anyway. Add as much information as you can (too much is relative). The bottom line is you want to create links back to your websites and web properties.
- Join Communities – Communities come in all flavors. Join as many as you can that make sense – like groups in LinkedIn. Post good content there and interact. The most important thing is to know your audience and what motivates them to interact with you and your content. Then, pay them back with YOUR interaction, comments and attention.
- Post Info – Create and share GREAT information as often as you can and make sure to do it with purpose. Know your audience and give them a reason to connect and interact with you. Be as interactive and responsive as you can. The best thing to do is create original content. If you can’t, find and share information that fits your target audience. Do your best to be consistent and as creatively as possible. There is a lot of noise out there! Make sure you tune into the radio station WIIFM (what’s in it for me).
- (Bonus) Bring Them Home – Captain Redundancy here … Drive them back to your websites or other social media platforms. The goal is to stay top of mind and create sales. Sales do not happen on the first iteration, and can take time. Keep driving people home (to your web properties) and eventually you will reap the rewards.
Why do you want to pay attention to Google and Google+? Feed the beast and it will reward you with more traffic, followers and business. Google+ may seem like just another thing to do, but it has so many benefits to you and your brand that you just can’t ignore it. If you want 70-80% of the internet to pay attention to you, then you better know where 70-80% of the internet is spending their time.
I would love your comments and questions.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community