According to a recent report by Forrester, Google+ brand posts get twice the engagement of tweets in 22 percent of adults surveyed who visited Google+ within the last month.
There have been many discussions of Google+ being a ghost town, but in actuality, it is an important network for your business to be active on even if its user base is seemingly less active than Facebook.
To garner the engagement on your content posted to Google+, it’s critical that your business pay attention to the unique nuances that make the social network special, as well as the specific preferences of your audience on the platform. These insights can help provide a strong foundation for your content marketing strategy on Google+.
Many of the features of Google+ have changed significantly in the last few years. Here’s what to look for to make your content more shareable.
Stylize Your Content
When crafting a post on Google+, use the text formatting features in your posts to make certain text stand out over others. For example, if you include an asterisk before and after a word or sentence, it will be bolded in your post. If you include an underscore before and after a word or sentence, it will italicize the words between the underscores.
Italicize or bold the headline of an article you’re posting about, important sentences in your post, to highlight a question in your post and more. Combine the use of italicized and bolded text to help your content stand out in the Google+ feed for more interactions and sharing. Occasionally, strikethrough text if it makes sense for the content you’re posting by enclosing words with a dash at the beginning and end to strike that particular word out. Lastly, use three to four hashtags at the bottom of every Google+ post to help categorize your content more effectively. Use a combination of suggested hashtags that are more popularly used, as well as hashtags unique to your organization and its content.
Include a Call-to-Action
Make sure to always include a call-to-action in your posts on Google+ to encourage users to interact with your content by sharing it, clicking on your link or adding a +1. This call-to-action in some cases should be bolded or italicized to highlight its inclusion in your post.
A call-to-action can come in the form of a question that engages users to add their opinion to the discussion you’re trying to facilitate. Asking your followers and future followers to perform an action will influence more interactions than if it isn’t included in your post. Instruct Google+ users to leave feedback, read your article, shop your collection or whatever other action that relates to the content of your post.
Share Rich Media and Visual Content
Google+ supports GIFs and cinemagraphs on the platform, which can help your content be more shareable as it distinctly stands out from others in the feed.
When possible, create GIFs and cinemagraphs that help tell the story of your business to add to the mix of content you’re sharing with your audience on a regular basis.
A majority of the time, your content shared on Google+ should include an image because visuals resonate well on the social network. It takes a person less time to process an image then it does text, which often leads to more interactions with your content if you’re regularly including images.
Create and Participate in Communities
Google+ communities are a powerful feature of the social network that allows your business to participate in a group of users discussing a specific topic. Either create a community around a topic related to the interests of your customer base or join an existing group and begin taking part in conversations.
For example, Cadbury created a community called Cakes & Baking – The Cadbury Kitchen to facilitate conversations about cooking, desserts and recipes for their audience. This community is extremely relevant to the interests of the Cadbury customer and is an excellent way to drive more conversations about the brand and encourage the sharing of user-generated content.
Participate in your own community or the community of others to understand what types of content your customer base wants to see from your Google+ page. Also, pay attention to what types of content are resonating with your audience in these groups as a source of inspiration for your future content.
Pay Attention to Your Audience
The Google+ demographics as a whole are 67 percent male, an average age of 28, typically hold more technical positions and are more technically savvy then the average Facebook user.
Take these specifics into consideration when generating content for audiences on Google+ to ensure your content has a mainstream appeal to users and their unique preferences on this channel.
Like any social network, also pay attention to the feedback of your specific audience and take note of any trends in the responses your content receives. Frequently experimenting with these tips will help your business find what content drives the best results on your Google+ page and spice up your marketing to keep in fresh, exciting and relevant.
Review the comments of your Google+ posts frequently to gain insights, create a formal survey to share with your audience to understand their preferences, monitor conversations in Google+ communities to see what users want and continually ask your audience to provide your business with feedback to help your team give Google+ users what they want. This data is a major asset to your ongoing marketing efforts because it helps provide insights on what can help your content succeed on Google+ for the long term.
What have you found to be a successful strategy for creating more shareable content on Google+? Share your ideas in the comments below.