I have been using Google plus since 2012 and now it become the biggest traffic referral source for my blog next to Pinterest. My Google Plus follower count keeps on increasing and in less than 6 months, the relationships which I’ve formed with fellow and influential bloggers are invaluable. I’ve crafted many blog posts related to Google Plus by sharing my knowledge and experiences. Now, I took this guest blogging opportunity to consolidate all significant Google plus stuff at one place which would educate you to become a pro in this prominent social network. Let me come up with basic things that you need to know about Google Plus.
What is Google Plus?
Like Facebook and Twitter, Google Plus is an exciting social network which has been introduced by Google in the year 2011. It has simple interface with awe-inspiring features. Like Twitter (unlike Facebook) anyone can follow on you on Google Plus and they can see your shared information (If shared publicly) without requiring your approval.
Google Plus has over 540 million active monthly users as it meant to be a dynamic convergence of the Google’s important services. Google Plus app is available for smartphones and more than 20 million unique mobile monthly users are present on this top social network. Besides, almost 70% of the business brands have Google Plus presence and thus you might be wonder with the esteem of Google plus! If so, you may check the below reasons for the fame of Google plus.
Top 10 Google Plus Features
Google Plus is a feature-rich social networking service with great level of flexibility in terms of control and engagement. The possibility of integrating other Google products is one of the admiring features of Google plus and you would ease smooth navigation between them. Apart from this, below are the exciting features of Google Plus that formulates it to befall trendy among business owners.
To organize your followers on Google Plus into distinct groups according to their interest, location, or other relevant categories, this helpful feature can be used. You may add any Google Plus user to your Circles and share preferred stuffs with them. People in the circles are like subscribers who see and engage with your content.
Stream will allow you to post your new updates on Google Plus. It is similar to Facebook wall which contains all the content shared by the people in your Circles. In simple words, we can call it as Google plus’s control center with navigation icons like Home, Profiles, Photos etc. It has the settings feature with variety of option to customize your Google Plus account.
If you wanna interact with group of people, you may use this video chatting service of Google Plus, Hangouts. It has content sharing option and you may share images, Gifs, Emojis up to 10 people at once. This full HD video conferencing has SMS support too. Thus it is an excellent feature of Google plus for business to conduct meeting with workers.
Ripples is an interactive graphic feature of Google plus which would let you to check who has shared your updates. With this unique Google Plus feature, you may find new and like-minded people to follow. This option is hiding under the down arrow (right-side) of your Google Plus post.
5. Photo Editing
Photo editing is the most commendable feature of Google plus which would let you to customize your images. To give a try, open any of your photo in Google plus and edit as much as you want. You may make basic and creative adjustments to your images with a range of editing options.
Google Plus has exceptional privacy and safety features. I mostly like three of the below features:
- You can hide the parts of your personal Google Plus profile from global access.
- It is possible to restrict the visibility of your Google Plus circles, so that no one can able to see who your friends are.
- Likewise, you can confine the visibility of individual posts.
7. Data liberation
It is the supportive Google plus feature to pack up all your data. Just like Facebook, you can download all your information from Google Plus with this option. To do so, just click the gear icon in the sand bar and choose “Data Liberation”.
Mentions is the fresh Google plus feature which shows the Google Plus posts where you have been mentioned or tagged. Earlier, you had to manually check the tagged posts through notifications but now, just you need to click the “Mentions” tab at the top bar of the Google Plus to see the posts where you’ve linked.
To find the people who’re interested in the same stuff you are, Google plus communities can be used. It is similar to Facebook groups where you’ll be allowed to get connect with others, who’re interested to get involve with specific shared interest. Even though it is open to the world, you can mark the communities private to keep your data with enhanced security.
10. Pin your posts
Pinned posts is another new feature added on Google Plus. With this feature, you can choose any of your Google Plus post to pin on the top of your profile or page. So, if you want to highlight any of your important post on Google Plus, click the downward facing arrow on your Google plus post and choose “Pin Post”.
Not only these, Google Plus has few more amazing features like Sparks (to find out your fascinating content), +1 (similar to Facebook like), Auto Hash tagging and so on. Let’s continue the talk on importance of Google Plus for brands.
Why Google Plus for business brands/blogs?
If you’re a local business or a blogger who doesn’t have Google+ presence, then I’d say that you’re missing out something. Yes! Through Google Plus, Google can track your every move. Some of the benefits of Google Plus for business are:
- Possible to build loyal fan base for your business.
- Customers can leave their reviews/gratitude.
- More likely to connect with customers through organic search.
- Integrated with most of the Google services.
- Impacts are measurable.
- Easy and safe data sharing.
Thus having a good presence of Google Plus for business/blog would give your brand a face. Here is a helpful guide to integrate Google plus for business purposes.
The more information you add about your business, the more search engine benefits you’ll get. After creating a perfect Google Plus profile, make sure to form a community to share your business updates and build engagement with your followers through Hangouts.
Use Analytic tools and Insights to understand how deeply people are engaging with your brand. Encourage them to leave their reviews/ask them compare your brand with competitors and actively respond to their comments. Hence you can make use of Google plus to market your business updates to a wider audience and increase your online visibility.
You might ask me on how to get greater visibility through Google plus and here are my executable tips to follow get engaging followers on Google plus.
Tips to get great visibility on Google Plus
Google Plus plays a vital role in digital marketing as it embraces a huge part of social background and thus it would give a greater online existence to your blog/business. Your profile picture and cover image on your Google Plus profile are more important and hence use high-resolution pictures for both. Get vanity URL for easy to remembrance and here is a helpful guide to claim your custom URL.
Don’t blindly add people to your Circles according to the social media advice “The more number of Google plus followers you have, the more you’ll be considered as an authoritative by Google”. Only connect with attentive supporters who are ready to engage with your Google plus posts.
Be sure to check the “Visibility and Sharing options” in the settings are turned on. As I specified early, the more you filled out your data, the better you’ll be find on online searches. So, don’t forget to include “brief Tagline” “Full introduction” and “Bragging rights” (with 1-2 keywords) on your Google plus “About” page.
If you’ve contributed content to any website, include your contributor details over there. Below are the 5 effective tips to build awareness for your brand.
Add helpful people as followers
You might think on adding helpful Google Plus followers to your circles, right? First use your personal profile to build relationship with the like-minded people or customers and engage with them through valuable information. In your G+ account, Click “People” à “Find People” to add well-matched followers. Also, you can use the Google Plus search bar with keywords to get connect with companionable people. For example, if someone searches with the word “Devoted Blogger” they could easily find me as I used that word in my Google Plus “Introduction”.
Besides, add Google Plus button on your blog/website to persuade your visitors to follow you. After adding helpful followers, you may promote your Google Plus business page and ask them to share your details on their network.
Share remarkable content
After optimizing your Google Plus profile and adding loyal followers, plan to post great business content for them. Now, you may widely use your business page to share in-depth information according to the interest of your audience. Write attractive headline and attach images to your post.
Try Google Plus Events feature to connect with entire audience and send invites to take part in webinar, hangouts or any other business related event. These activities would let you to establish your brand name on Google Plus.
Use Google Plus features & tools
I’ve already discussed the useful features of Google Plus like Ripples, Sparks, Hash tags, Communities, Hangouts etc. Making use of these Google Plus features will certainly help you to get more interaction with the people on the same wave length which would boost your Google Plus visibility.
Likewise, utilizing some functional Google plus tools (Which I’ve described below) would allow you to have a better understanding about Google Plus and as a result, your reliability will get enhanced.
Google Plus profile citation plays a vibrant role in improving your brand visibility. Yes, when preparing content, you may include any reference links from high authority websites (related to your business) and find out the Google Plus profile of those authors.
While sharing that content in G+, mention the authors and they might post your business article on their network and thus it would perk up your social visibility.
Use your G+ profile URL extensively
Link your Google Plus profile anywhere it is allowed on the web like digital signature, forums and other social profiles. Leaving your G+ profile link while perform commenting/writing reviews on other web pages would widen your online presence.
Furthermore, you may request your supporters on other social networks to follow you on Google Plus and encourage them to share your details.
Optimize search result
To give your business a boost, include keywords and relevant links on “About” page of Google Plus. It is essential to include the data that searchers want to know about your business. Make use of numbering/bullet points to list your business details.
Google Plus social network has search engine benefits which will help to rank your particulars higher in search results and show on Google Maps. Researches show that the +1 of Google plus has more influence of SEO and thus the more no. of +1s for your content would assist your page higher in Google search results.
I hope that you’ve learned the tips to increase your online presence with Google plus and let’s move to discuss some marvellous Google tools for your business/blog development.
10 Amazing Google Plus Tools to Improve Your Business
If you want to optimize your Google Plus presence and create brand awareness, you need to integrate some useful tools to it.
CircleCount is an amazing tool which will let you to better understand Google Plus by tracking your activity. As it provides a database of influencers, you can make important connection with this efficient Google Plus tool. It counts the circles in which you’re included and has some metrics to measure your influence. This helpful tool has much more amazing features to calculate the effectiveness of your content.
Steady Demand is one of the best audit and analytics tools for Google Plus. You can do audit for free but to get complete analytics including competitor details, you should get its pro account. To effectively manage your brand page, get new customers, community management, authority building and so on, you may get this Google Plus booster.
AllMyPlus is a helpful tool to monitor your Google Plus account and you need to sign-in with it. Its dashboard displays relevant information and you can get data about your competitors. Moreover, you could arrange the posts according to the most +1s, comments, reshare etc.
If you often need graphics to work together with your followers/customers, you can create/edit hangout graphics for free through HangoutMagix and upload them to Google Plus Hangouts through its Toolbox.
If you’re creating a Google plus post but wanna share it to your Circles later, you may install this handy chrome extension. It supports hash tags, sharing to circles & communities, multiple Google login, automatic numbering of public posts and create polls on Google plus. Having distraction free rich text editor and scheduling unlimited posts are the notable features of this best Google Plus Chrome Extension.
Replies and More is one of the favourable chrome extensions to add extra functionalities to Google Plus. Reply to author for easy mentions, desktop notifications and additional sharing options to Twitter/Facebook/Email are some of the spare features which could be added by this awesome chrome extension.
If you want to grow your Google Plus circles, Circloscope will help you to find the Google plus engagers that you need to follow for your brand. This astonishing Google Plus tool can be installed for free as Chrome extension and you may also buy its premium version to mass adding and removing of people.
Friends+Me is the best Google Plus tool to maintain and grow your social influence. It is free to download as chrome extension but it has limited features. Its pro version boasts awesome features like Google Plus Post & Repost scheduling, bit.ly link shorter, hash tag routing and much more.
Recommended Users is a great website to find interesting people to follow on Google Plus. It has wide variety of suggested categories with a decent list of elective Google Plusers.
Google + Optimizer would enhance your Google Plus experience. It is possible to modify & arrange your Google Plus stream as per your wish and add extra content or remove unwanted content with this Google plus tool. Moreover, it has constructive features like Auto save, Quick share, Bookmark and filter by hash tags.
Google Plus Key board shortcuts
For easy management and to speed-up your experience, Google plus supports keyboard shortcuts.
*word* –> Bold Text
_word_ –> Italics Text
_*Word*_ –> Italics Bold Text
J –> To navigate posts down
K –> To navigate posts up
/ –> To make search
These are my widely used shortcuts; Press ? to know more short keys of Google Plus.
Influencers to follow on Google Plus
Following are my top picks Google Plus influencers that you need to add your Google Plus Circles to get handy updates:
- Mark Traphagen
- Jesse Wojdylo
- Martin Shervington
- Yifat Cohen
- Denis Labelle
- Mike Elgan
- Janna Nystr
- Stephan Hovnanian
- Peg Fitzpatrick
- Mike Alton
10 Rapid Fire Google Plus Pro Q & A
1. Q – How to share your Google Plus posts on other social networks?
A – Just click the options menu (Downward Arrow) and click “Link to Post”.
2. Q – How to perfectly optimize your G+ posts?
A – Every Google Plus post is considered as individual webpage. So, use keywords to write attractive Google Plus post title in Bold with less than 60 characters. Add intro line with 130 characters with keywords and hashtags. Include some more quality content if needed n use eye-catching images.
3. Q – How to add value to your Google Plus Post?
A – Influential Google Plus users have more weight than standard users. Thus, mention relevant influencers in your post and inspire them to interact with you. Also, embedding your G+ posts on relevant sites/blogs will add authority to your posts.
4. Q- How to leave your footprints to enrich your credibility?
A – A great thoughtful comment on highly visible posts (relevant to your niche/business) would gain you more exposure and help you to catch new followers.
5. Q – How to add effects to your Google plus photos/make movies from your photos & videos? (only for G+ Smartphone App)
A – Through Auto Awesome feature. Look at the helpful guide to do so
6. Q – How to share your posts beyond G+?
A – Simply type the email address (not Gmail, any) in “To:” text field.
7. Q – What is the difference between Blocking and Muting people?
A – You’ll not see posts and comments from the blocked profile.
You can access the posts of Muted profiles but won’t get their notifications in your feed
8. Q – How to check who shared your Google Plus Posts?
A – Use Ripples in down arrow of post (I’ve already explained in Google Plus features)
9. Q – What you should not do on Google Plus?
A – Resharing other’s posts without any comment
Not responding to the mention/shares of your content
Sending email notification for every post
10. Q- How to become a Google Plus Pro?
A – Connect with the above Google Plus influencers to get helpful updates and execute them. Also, use Google Plus daily.
Google Plus has been growing at a surprise rate and becomes the essential part of social media strategy for every business. Getting started on this social network is simple but mastering its full potential is really an art. I’m not a Google Plus expert but trying to use it effectively to enhance my online presence.
Have you been using Google Plus for business? What are the tips and tools you’re following to improve your band’s credibility? I’d like to know your views on Google Plus, use comment section to discuss with me.