How Brands Engage Fans in Google+ Pages

It’s been fun to watch how different brands interact with fans on their new Google+ pages.

And since we just started the circled.us page, I started following hundreds of different pages to get ideas on how to make our page more fun, informative, and interactive.

Here is a consolidated list of engagement tactics that I’m noticing across popular pages:

  • Inviting fans into YouTube hangouts (or surprising fans by jumping into a fan’s hangout)
  • Asking fans for their thoughts/advice
  • Page admins introduce themselves, which helps show the personal side of the brand
  • Hosting Quizes & Contests
  • Posting important updates along with a picture (since pics often get +1s easier)
  • Sharing pictures and photo galleries
  • Sharing videos
  • Building a community by talking with fans – not promoting themseleves
  • Giving free access to articles usually requiring paid subscriptions (e.g. Boston Globe)
  • +1 comments from fans that you like and respond back

This is just a preliminary list, and I will continually add to this page as I see more ways brands engage fans. Let me know of other engagement tactics here — and I’ll credit you for your contribution. :)

Here are examples of these engagement tactics by brand  . . .

NASA

NASA started their first post by asking fans what they wanted to see – and quickly got 117 comments and +94 shares. NASA’s social media team read all the comments and summarized everything into 9 core requests.  (Note: I love how some fans wanted more posts, and others wanted fewer posts.  You can never please everyone.)

It’s rare to get this much interaction on the very first post — so don’t feel bad if you get no response initially. Only popular brands like NASA could pull off this type of response from a first post.  NASA followed-up  this post with an “Astronomy Picture of the Day” that received 1063 shares, +1553 +1s, and 141 comments. What a great way to start a successful brand page.

Gmail

Gmail invited people to share a Hangout url so they could drop in and to talk with fans personally. Win!

Gmail conducted a multiple choice quiz, and people chose answers by clicking +1 buttons.  Very creative use of the +1 button.

To make their page more personal, they featured profiles of each community manager so everyone could meet Sarah Price, Adrienne Ludwick, and Katherine Gramann.

Intel

Intel encouraged everyone to visit their photos tab and leave a comment on the circle they belong in. A very creative way of utilizing photo galleries to categorize fans into categories.

The Muppets

The Muppets have had a lot of fun promoting their upcoming movie with a 17-minute hangout to meet the cast, posting pics with the muppets alongside celebrities like LeAnne Rimes, Carrie Underwood, and Sofia Vergara. They also posted a funny parody trailer of their movie.   And since animated gifs and pics get a lot of +1s on Google+, they promoted their first hangout alongside a funny picture.  That’s how to do a press release on Google+: post your message in a few sentences alongside a funny picture.

Google

Google doesn’t really need to do much to engage fans, but they have been active in posting a variety of photo galleries to show what happens at Google offices. It’s a nice touch to see the personal side behind a big brand — and Google does this well by showing pictures of people and teams.  Their pictures get shared and +1′d like crazy — especially great ones like this:

Pepsi

Pepsi talks with fans like a friend — and asks random questions to see what fans are thinking at the moment. Love that they are focused on getting to know fans — not just promoting themselves constantly.

 Zagat

Zagat started a Google+ restaurant page contest to excite restaurants about creating a great page in Google+. This is a great way to get into more circles, and

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe shared in their first post that all articles linked on their Google+ page would be free to read without subscription. This is a great incentive to circle their page. They kept their promise, except on the first article they linked to about Zuckerberg visiting Harvard — which is still blocked. :(

Please let me know how I can improve this article here.

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