Although everyone has heard of Google Plus, it is often the last social media channel people consider when promoting their business. Working in a similar way to Facebook and Twitter, Google Plus offers all that you would expect from a social media channel. Google Plus displays a feed of recent events and posts, allows you to follow others and build your own following, share your own content, like and comment on others offerings, and lots more. However, with Googe Plus being undoubtedly less popular than some of the other social platforms out there, why should you use it?
In this article, we consider the benefits of using Google Plus and how to get started with it. We then look in more depth at how you can use this social media platform to promote your business, and how to integrate it with your WordPress website.
Why Use Google Plus?
Google Plus is an ideal platform to promote your business, connect with potential clients, and interact with your current fan base. Google Plus uses and easily integrates with a range of Google tools, including Google Photos, Hangouts, Maps, Calendar, YouTube, and many more. This makes posting on Google immediately a quicker and easier process than many other social channels.
And that’s not all, regular engagement on Google Plus helps to improve the rankings of your website’s pages and posts in Google’s search engine. Those that follow you on this channel are also more likely to be shown your Google Plus content if they search on Google using similar keywords. Lastly, Google Plus doesn’t charge you to promote your businesses posts, and due to its ‘circles’ feature, you can target your content at specific groups of people.
So now we know a bit about Google Plus and the benefits of using it, let’s look at how to get it up and running…
Getting Started With Google Plus
It is extremely quick and easy to sign up with Google Plus. However, you will need a Google account to do so. At the top of the Google Plus homepage, select the ‘Sign In’ button, and either follow the instructions to create a new Google account, or select the Google account you would like to sign in with.
View Your Newsfeed
When logging into Google, you will find your Newsfeed on the initially displayed ‘Home’ page. Your Newsfeed contains a selection of posts published, shared and liked by your followers, recommended posts, topics to explore, articles trending on Google Plus, and more. View your Newsfeed to find out what has been going on on Google Plus and what others are publishing.
Under each post displayed, you will see a 1+ button. This is the equivalent of a Facebook ‘Like’. The number of 1+’s a post has received will be shown next to the 1+ icon. You will also see a comments box and a share icon displayed under posts. It is important to engage with others in your niche to help grow your following. Liking, commenting and sharing posts is an effective way to do so.
Edit Your Profile
Your profile is the page that your followers will see when checking you out on Google Plus. Therefore, it is essential that you complete all the necessary details on your profile page, and make it as welcoming and detailed as possible.
There are a number of ways to customize your profile page. To do so, in the left-hand side menu in your Google Plus dashboard, select ‘Profile > Edit Profile’. Here you can write your own tagline and upload a profile picture and background image for your page.
You can also add information about yourself. On your profile page, click ‘About’ to add your date of birth and occupation, as well as upload albums. However, keep in mind, if you choose to add this info it will also be shown across your other Google services too, like Google Drive and Photos. Select the ‘+’ icon to add other details like work and education info, where you are living, and links to your other social media profiles and websites.
Your profile page also shows all posts you have published or shared, as well as the communities you have joined and collections you have created. We will cover communities and collections further on in the article.
Under ‘People’ in your left-hand dashboard menu, you can find people to follow, see who is following you, and manage those you are following. Under the tab ‘Find People’, Google Plus will suggest people for you to follow, and you can also search for specific individuals using the search function at the top of the page.
The tab entitled ‘Following’ enables you to see who you are following. One of the features that differentiates Google Plus from other social media channels is their concept of ‘circles’. Circles allow you to create different groups, and you can place your followers in these groups accordingly. This can then be particularly useful for creating specific target groups to promote different types of content to.
To post in Google Plus, select ‘Home’ or ‘Profile’ from the menu bar and then simply click on the pencil icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. In the pop-up, write your post, add interactive links, images, share your location and more. Once published, you can still edit a post, move it to a collection, pin it to the top of your profile, and disable comments or sharing, to name a few options.
How to Use Google Plus to Promote Your WordPress Website
So now you know a little about getting started with Google Plus. Take your time familiarizing yourself with this social media platform. Once you are confident using Google Plus, the next step is to consider how to use it to best promote your WordPress website.
Enable Google Plus for Your Brand
If you want to promote your WordPress website on Google Plus, then you need to create a Google Plus brand account. By setting up your brand’s own page, fans can easily search, find, and follow you on Google Plus. Your brand can also post, comment, and share, as well as create its own collections and communities.
To create a Google Plus brand account open the Google Plus Brand page. Give your brand page a name and select ‘enable’. Google Plus will then open within your new brand account. You can create as many brand accounts as you wish, and switch between them and your personal account by clicking on the accounts icon in the top right-hand corner.
You brand account will be totally blank when you set it up. So you will need to spend time editing your brand’s profile page, finding people to follow, creating collections and generally getting your brand set up.
Optimize Your Google Plus Page
Try and link the branding of your Google Plus page as closely as possible to that of your website. Apart from displaying the same name, use the same logo and images, so the page is immediately recognizable to your fans trying to connect with you on Google Plus.
Under ‘Profile’, select ‘Edit Profile > Manage Page’. Here you can add contact info, links to your website and other social media platforms. Also, click on ‘Story’ to write a description of your business, making sure you include keywords and further links to content on your website.
When creating posts, use keywords you are looking to rank for in the text. Add calls to action, links to your site, and ask questions to engage your followers and start discussions. Hashtags are also used on Google Plus to enable readers to quickly find the content they are after. So always add relevant hashtags at the end of a post to help increase traffic streams to your content.
Communities are an effective way to connect with others in your niche. Under ‘Discovery’ in the menu bar, you can view the numerous community categories, or search for a specific community in the search bar. You can also create your own communities under ‘Communities > Create Community’.
Joining communities enables you to access your target audience, share posts, chat about relevant topics, and see what subjects are being widely discussed in your industry. Communities are also a great place to get yourself known as an expert in your field, and help increase your followers.
Creating a variety of ‘Collections’ will enable you to group your content and share it with specific target groups. To create a collection, click on the ‘pencil’ icon in the bottom hand of your ‘Profile’ or ‘Home’ page. Then next to your name, click on the link and select ‘Create a Collection’. It is here you can also choose which collection to post new content too.
Collections and their content can be shared with your ‘Circles’, and followers can choose to follow individual collections. This is a great way to send the right content to the right people, and not overload your followers with irrelevant info.
How to Integrate Your WordPress Website and Google Plus Channel
It is important to make sure you promote your Google Plus page on your WordPress website to encourage your site visitors to follow you. Displaying social media follow buttons and a social feed will help you to accomplish this.
Display Social Media Follow Buttons
Monarch from Elegant Themes is an effective social media plugin, that provides stylish follow buttons that can be displayed in various places on your website. Once your visitors have joined you on Google Plus, you will be able to keep in contact with these potential customers, and increase the chances of them re-visiting your website in the future.
Embed a Google Plus Social Feed
Embedding a social feed into pages or widgets on your WordPress website is another way to appeal to your site visitors. Flow-Flow WordPress Social Stream enables you to display content and discussions from your Google Plus profile page (plus 15 other social networks and feeds) on your website. This will help give your visitors a brief overview of what they are missing if they aren’t following you on Google Plus. Ultimately, using a social feed should lead to an increase in your Google Plus following, and allow you to keep in contact with your audience well after they have left your website.
Final Thoughts on Using Google Plus
As you can see, Google Plus can be a real weapon in your armor, helping to give you a great advantage over your competition. This social media channel will help you promote your website, reach new potential customers, and keep in contact with current followers. Alongside all of this, it will also help improve your rankings in Google. So what are you waiting for… it’s time to sign up with Google Plus!
What is your experience of using Google Plus? Please share your thoughts on this social media channel in the comments below…