Google+ isn’t the most popular social media engine around. But it is one of the most important for two reasons:
- Google still rewards people that use Google+ in a way that improves search engine rankings.
- Google plus is unlikely to become obsolete, so starting your account now puts you on a better path in case it gains in popularity.
Think of using Google+ like a combination of a marketing tool and a potential investment. Its current benefits are pretty weak, since very few people use Google+ with any regularity, but Google is never going to give up trying to create the next Facebook, and the work you do now may have long term payoffs both in terms of search engine rankings and getting a stronger early following in the event G+ does end up becoming popular.
But of course, that brings up a common question: what makes a good Google+ post? It’s not like Twitter – you’re not limited to 140 characters and a popular retweet function. It’s also not like Facebook, where sharing and liking is all the rage. There isn’t yet a strong science for how to create a popular post on Google plus. But you should still strongly consider the following guidelines:
- Add a Picture – One thing that is clear is that pictures are very popular for getting people’s attention on Google plus. Google provides a very generous photo size, and without a picture your work is going to be lost visually among other posts.
- Use Links Generously – Google+ is much more of a linking platform than Facebook or Twitter. Make sure that you’re linking to posts often, giving people other interesting links to read.
- Only Link to Truly Interesting Posts – The Google+ audience is an audience of link clickers. But they’ll quickly ignore your links if you’re only linking to boring information, or posts that are of no interest to them. So link to only your best stuff, and be sure to link to other websites as well with genuinely interesting material. Try to get people to want to read any post you make.
- No Bad Grammar – Facebook and Twitter are a bit more forgiving of poor grammar. Google plus is still used mostly by intellectuals, at least comparatively. So make sure that your posts are written as though you’re being graded on them. You’ll find well written posts speak better of your company and are more prone to being shared.
- Take Excerpts or Give Strong Introductions – You’ll also want to always provide some level of information to go along with a Google+ post. Don’t simply throw up a link and nothing else, unless the title of the link is incredible. Ideally, it should be something genuinely funny or interesting that makes people want to click your link. Remember, most people are less likely to stay on Google plus out of boredom. At most, you may have someone sign in once a day for a few minutes. An excerpt that captures their attention is important.
Beyond that, you’re going to use a bit of trial and error. Google plus still isn’t popular enough yet for something to be clearly successful. You need to see who your followers are, what they like, and adapt to that information. But the above tips will give you a brief idea of what most people are looking for with Google+.