One of the main social media concerns we receive from clients is that they struggle to grow their number of followers and +1’s on their Google Plus accounts. Although many of them are keen to give up on Google Plus completely, the ones that have done the research are eager to grow their numbers as they have heard that success on Google Plus can help their overall Google search result rankings. And they are correct.

According to the Moz Data Science Team a direct correlation has been found between Google +1’s and higher search rankings. After Page Authority, a website’s number of +1s is more highly correlated with search rankings than any other factor. This means that the correlation of +1’s beat other well-known metrics such as linking root domain, Facebook likes and even keyword usage.

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So you’ve seen the research that shows the importance of Google Plus. Now the question that remains is, how do you go about getting these precious +1’s ?

The first step is to consider is when your audience going to be on Google Plus. According to Fannit the best time is during the working week, Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. This is a wide time frame and gives businesses a bit of leeway in regards to when to schedule posts. As a rule of thumb avoid posting after work hours as people are more likely to check their Google Plus at work.

Once you have figured out when people are likely to be on Google Plus, the next step is to capture their attention and win a follow and +1 during these peak times. Here are a couple of ideas we think are the most successful for building your followers:

Utilise Google Plus hangout to position yourself as an expert in your industry

Google Hangout enables users to participate in live video chats. Hangout can be opened to your existing circles, offered via email, or left public so that anyone can join. For businesses, Google Hangout can be used as an alternative sales channel or perhaps just a place where people can come and learn about your product or service. It’s a great way to directly engage with and educate customers and prospects face to face – something you cannot do on the majority of social media channels.

Tip: Hangout turns into a video you can share on YouTube or via other online channels after the session.

Launch a Google Plus “community” where likeminded individuals can come to share their stories, questions, and comments

Similarly to a LinkedIn group, Google Plus communities are a place where people can share information and interact with other members of the community. For businesses, developing your own community is a very effective way to facilitate, encourage and engage in conversations with the public that both interests them and are relevant to your industry.  By launching a Google Plus community you not only teach members about your industry, product or service, you also learn more about the wants and needs of your target market.

Share rich-media content with your followers

Rich media content such as high definition photos and videos, infographics, videographics and animated are great for catching the attention of users of Google Plus and making your page stand out from your competition’s.

Tip: When sharing a photo or infographics, we recommend using full size, high quality images to make your posts stand out and capture the attention of your audience.

 

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Use hashtags to increase the reach and relevancy of your posts

This is a simple but effective technique and will help distribute your posts to more relevant readers. Don’t worry if you are stuck on what hashtag to use, Google Plus has the ability to suggest popular hashtags or may add one to your post automatically if you forget to choose one.

Add relevant users and influencers to your circles

If you add people and businesses that you are interested in and are relevant to your industry, it is highly likely they will search your profile and follow you back if they think your profile is interesting. If you spend the time writing a detailed and interesting profile description, upload a professional image and interesting posts, simply adding relevant people to your circles is likely to result in the majority of people following you back– chances are they are probably in the same boat as you and will welcome the Google plus connection.

Tip: A great way to find these relevant users is through the hashtag search.

 

Like it or not, Google Plus is a crucial step for businesses who are serious about their online presence.  If you are struggling for followers and +1s it’s important to think of Google Plus as a strong business opportunity rather than a burden. Follow the steps above and it’s highly likely you will see an improvement.

If you would like a more targeted strategic analysis or advice on your social media accounts please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Search Factory.