Google+ is one of the latest and biggest social media channels available on the internet. It has the ability to propel your business up the search engine rankings so that when someone searches for something, it is your brand’s content they see first.

This is because Google owns the network and it wants to prioritise its own content. It is also because Google+ updates can be highly optimised for search engines and engagement.

 

Why Should You Use Google+?

While it is not the largest of the social media networks, the audience that regularly use the platform are often the decision makers at home and in the office. According to statistics, 28% of those using Google+ earn more than $60,000 per year. When more than half of American households are earning a combined income of less than $60,000, it demonstrates the main audience on the network are senior position holders. Therefore, you have a good concentration of most target markets and decision makers.

Research has shown that digital marketers have been slow to adopt Google+ with only 40% of all marketers using Google+. This offers your brand opportunity to be seen on a network which isn’t crowded like Twitter and Facebook. The more limelight your brand has, the greater the reward.

Finally, Google+ does have a priority spot on the Google search rankings, much like YouTube does. Therefore, you can have a poor performing website, but Google+ can draw in the crowds to improve results.

To get the most from the platform you must develop a Google+ strategy that will drive traffic to your brand’s site.

 

What Content Works Best On Google+?

The biggest issue with Google+ is that no-one really understands how they should use it. There hasn’t been much of a move to adopt Google+ and that has meant few have identified the best ways to create updates that convert well.

However, many social media gurus have experimented and found that users are particularly interested in images. The interest in images is even greater than in other networks like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter but is comparable to Pinterest. Hashtags are also used differently on the social media network.

Formatting is also possible on Google+, so text can be bolded, be in italics and have a strikethrough. This isn’t the case on the majority of other social networks and gives a huge visual appeal to your content.

Above all else, Google+ depends on links. People don’t read content on Google+ and then abandon it; they want to learn more once they’ve consumed the original content. Therefore, think of Google+ as a starting point for a visitor journey rather than the entire journey.

 

How To Create The Perfect Update On Google+

There are several elements that make up the perfect Google+ update. Each of these steps needs to be implemented to get the most out of the social media network and for your content to reach the larger audiences.

Step One: Headline

On most networks the content you create is a blog title and link to some content. On Google+ it is much more than that. Each piece needs a heading and this can normally be the title of the content the update links to.

For example, the Google+ title for this piece would be: How To Optimise Your Google+ Updates

To make this standout more on the screen, you can bold the title. This is done with an (*) inserted at the beginning and the end of the title. So our title would look like this when we are creating the update:

*How To Optimise Your Google+ Updates*

And look like this when published.

 

How To Optimise Your Google+ Updates

Step Two: Subheading

Next, you need to create a sentence or two that explains what the content is about. For instance:

Learn how to optimise your Google+ updates to reach a greater audience.

This section should be placed in italics, which can be done using the (_) symbol before the first word and after the last word.

_ Learn how to optimise your Google+ updates to reach a greater audience._

This would be displayed as:

Learn how to optimise your Google+ updates to reach a greater audience.

Step Three: The Main Body

Then you need to create the main body. This is where you write a short abstract of the piece. This section needs to entice the audience to want to know more. This section could be two or three paragraphs, depending on how much you want to write. For example:

“Google+ is still a very young social media network and so few organisations have taken up the chance to use it, despite the obvious advantages. With so many decision makers on the social media network and a clear indication of what content they enjoy, there is an opportunity to claim a segment of your market and convert them into customers for your brand.

This article will give you a step by step guide how you can perfect your Google+ updates, so you can reach a significant proportion of your audience.”

Step Four: The Link

If you are trying to direct your audience to a blog post or page, publish the link with the post. Do this twice, once in the body of the message and another time in the share box contained below the main update creation box. This increases the number of people who click through to your main content.

Step Five: The Hashtags

In many other networks you should include the hashtags throughout the content. This is not the case in Google+. Instead you write two or three of them at the bottom of the update. These hashtags should be the terms you want people to use to find your content. For example: #socialmediamarketing and #socialmedia

Step Six: The Image

Finally, you need to upload a strong image that will illustrate exactly what your content is about. If you are advertising a link, this is normally done for you by automatically taking an image from the page you are advertising. Otherwise, you’ll need to do this yourself.

Now you have created a fully optimised Google+ update.

 

Conclusion

Google+ is still trying to find its feet on the social media landscape; however, many of those users on Google+ are decision makers looking to consume high quality content. Use this guide to create the best Google+ content and see your audiences’ engagement improve. The more engagement, the more leads you will have and the better ROI from your social media marketing campaigns.

Jake Burdess

Director at Aflua
This post is by Jake Burdess, the founder of Aflua and HEROIC. Jake is an English designer who lives in New Zealand with his wife and three kids.

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