When first starting a Google+ page, it can feel lonely.
And I mean lonely.
Google doesn’t let you follow anyone, which means that nobody is subscribing to your page updates or even knows your page exists.
So how do you start getting circled? And more importantly, how do you start networking with your target audience on Google+?
Here are some page promotion tips to help you get started . . .
1. Write/Share Engaging Content
You’ve heard it over and over again, but needs to be said again. In order for an unknown brand page on Google+ to get interaction, you need to seed the page with engaging content. I know it feels sad to write and share posts with nobody, but you need to start somewhere.
Here are some tips for new pages . . .
- Ask page visitors a question about what content they want to see from you
- Ask visitors to introduce themseleves in a comment thread
- Post a humorous picture that could get shared if relevant to your business
- Provide a coupon or special deal to a visitor (just abide by Google TOS)
- Start a contest to award anyone who leaves a thoughtful comment
- Always leave the first comment on your post to get some discussion going
2. Circle & Interact with Relevant Pages
Circle any page that aligns with your business or topic so you can see what other pages are doing to keep their fans engaged. Simply go to the Google+ search bar and type in relevant keywords for your business or page. Then select “people and pages” in the drop-down to start finding and circling relevant pages.
Circling pages allows you to start seeing content enter your stream so that you can begin interacting with them. This is a great strategy to network with like-minded page admins, and will help you join a conversation that relates to your business. Just don’t be spammy and leave worthless comments. Leave a comment that actually adds value to the post. Remember, you’re writing on behalf of your brand so make it count. This might be the first/last impression someone has of your brand.
You can also discover more pages to follow here:
3. Inform Customers/Partners
If you’re a small business or organization and own an email list, you should send a notice to your list about your new Google+ page. Give people a reason why there is value in circling you there. Perhaps you’re sharing special announcements not found on Twitter or Facebook — or posting coupons only available on Google+. Also make sure to add a link to your Google+ page in your email signature going forward.
4. Write about a relevant trending topic
A great way to get exposure for your brand page is to write about a trending topic in Google Plus. To see hot trends, simply conduct a search in Google+ and you’ll see the hot trends on the right hand-side. And to find other trends that might be gaining attention, keep an eye on Google’s Hot Search keywords to find topics that might tie into your business. Don’t write about a keyword just because it’s a trend, make sure you’re adding something of value. Nothing worse than seeing worthless content in a hot trend stream from a brand page.
5. Encourage Employees to Circle Your Page
Ask your employees to circle your page. Also ask them to share their thoughts on how to make the page better and ask them for advice on what content they think you should create and share.
6. Engage with People on Topics Important to Your Business
Even though you can’t circle someone until circled first, you can still engage in conversations with others by doing a search withing Google+ on a topic important to your business to find what other people are saying about it. Add your thoughtful comment to someone’s post to let people know you’re listening and want to contribute to the conversation. This can help you earn some credibility in the space, and get you noticed.
7. Add your Google+ Page Badge on Your Website
Find every opportunity to let other people know about your Google+ page by linking to your page from your site and other social networks. Let people know about your Google+ page in your LinkedIn profile and Facebook Profile. And make sure to tweet about it.
8. Circle People Back
Once you get circled by someone, make the effort to circle them into a relevant circle. This will get your page icon listed as a follower on their sidebar, which gives you more exposure.
9. Promote an Easy-to-Remember URL on Marketing Collateral (Signs, Brochures)
Tell your customers to circle you on Google Plus to get coupons on deals not on Facebook or Twitter. And since Google doesn’t provide a simple vanity URL yet, simply assign a redirect on a particular page on your site (e.g. yourbusiness.com/plus) that will point people to your Google+ page.
10. Invite people to hangouts
Hangouts are a great way to meet new people and gain visibility since people often promote the fact they were in a hangout. When you start gaining a following, host a YouTube hangout to meet new people.
11. Join relevant conversations by using #hashtags.
A great way to get exposure for your brand page is simply to add value to a conversation utilizing hashtags. I recently joined a Google+ for Business webinar, and the Google team asked people to post questions or comments by using a #gplusbiz hashtag. This allowed all of us in the webinar to see comment from each other. I tried to add value to the conversation by summarizing the main points of the Google+ webinar and sharing at the end. Just being part of the conversation helped me network with others interested in Google+.
12. Sharing is caring.
Don’t just promote your site all the time. Share engaging content from other people to let others know you are listening to conversations. NASA shared a video that Bob Jacobs posted featuring vlogger Hank Green talking about how much tax money actually goes to NASA. Sharing relevant content (especially content that is news-worthy) is a great way to add engaging elements on your page, and it gets your brand name tagged as a share on the original post so that others will see it.
It will take time to get circled as an unknown brand or small business. Don’t lose heart – and don’t dwell on your competitor’s page that has more subscribers than you. Just keep your page active and continue to engage with others in the streams. By using the above strategies, you’ll start seeing your circle count increasing every week.