Social media has changed the way businesses engage potential clients.Marketing tactics employed in previous years have been pushed aside to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers.As buyers look to the Internet for answers, it's imperative for anyone looking to establish an effective social media presence to create and maintain a diverse online presence.While Facebook might have been your entry point, expanding into Google+ has clearly shown its worth to potential businesses and brands willing to test the marketing waters.So what is the reason behind this rocket-fueled growth?While it doesn't hurt to be the social network affiliated with the world's largest and most powerful search engine, many other factors come into play.A highly engaged early adopter crowd that continues to evangelize its power, a platform firmly attuned to consumer demand, and features that continue to evolve to exceed user expectations and meet demand.As you build out your online presence, adding Google+ is a key component of your marketing strategy.It will assist in improving website and blog traffic flow and allow you to dominate your personal brand using Google Plus as fuel!
7-Point Checklist to Dominate Your Personal Brand Using Google Plus
1. Maximize Your Profile Potential
As with any social site, making the most of your Google+ profile is an important first step when getting started.Every field within your Google+ profile is an opportunity to connect with your target audience. Take the time to complete every bit of it.
A few ways to optimize your profile:
- Write your summary using information about you and your business that will connect with those looking for your product or service. Make sure this includes your passion and hobbies that fall outside of your "job." Conversations happen when you share interesting facts and tidbits about yourself.
- A professional profile image - Your profile image should be considered a key element to your personal brand. For this reason, it is extremely important that you create consistency from one network to the next by using the same high-quality professional headshot.
- Use relevant keywords – Do you know people's search terms when looking for your business? Google is eager to tell your story, but without your keywords you could create a situation where consumers have to hunt and peck to find you.
- Get local - As you craft your summary, remember to add your industry-specific keywords as well as your location based keywords including city and state.
2. Write Great Content
While this should go without saying, great content should always be at the core of your social media and marketing strategy.Google+ will allow you to share the wealth of information you have gained over the years and will work to establish you as a thought leader within your field. Great content can make the difference between growing your Google+ presence and completely stagnating it.
3. Manage Your Contacts
Google+ Circles is a special feature that allows you to manage contacts based on interest.
Filtering your circles creates better targeting where you can share the right content with the right audience.By organizing a circle of potential customers, you can ward off a lot of the noise that takes place in social networks.
4. Join Niche Specific Communities
Google+ communities, similar to Facebook groups, are a way to connect with like-minded individuals. Communities let you talk about the topics that matter to you most, whether it is a community specific to your industry or your favorite hobby.
Closing the Google+ Gap is a community created by Peg Fitzpatrick as a way for active Google Plussers to share best practices and successful strategies around Google+ implementation and integration into your overall social media marketing strategy.
5. Pay Attention to Your Ripples
Ripples are a Google+ feature that allows you to measure how your content connects with your audience.On each post, click on the drop-down menu and choose Ripples to see who is sharing your content and how far the reach on that particular post actually was.
Below are the ripples from one of my recent posts. As you can see, not only can your immediate shares be seen, but those from their sphere of influence.The value here is also in making personal connections with those sharing your content. Seek them out and thank them. Taking the time to reach out and connect shows how much you value those that assist in spreading your message.
6. Create a Visually-Rich Experience
From your cover photo to your post images, sharing visually appealing images is not only necessary to engagement, but a key component to optimization.Your cover photo is also the first thing that someone will see when landing on your Google+ page, so make it consistent with your brand look and feel.Remember:Each image you add is yet another opportunity to build upon your brand experience. A 'wow" image will make your content more compelling and draw people towards your content.
7. Use Google+ Hangouts
If you haven't been a part of a Google+ hangout, there's no time like the present! They are fun, engaging and best of all they are FREE.Similar to Skype, a hangout is an opportunity to get face-to-face with consumers and create transparency within your business. Share a new product or presentation, or just chat with someone new in an attempt to better get to know who they are and what value you might be able to add to their business.
And just because I can't stop talking about this topic, I'm offering a BONUS tip!
Display Your Google Plus Badge
Grab the code and easily add the “+1” button to your website or blog.The Google+ Developers platform is where you can create custom code to display your badge within a widget on your WordPress blog or anywhere on your website.
Are you on Google Plus? Join me there!
About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.