You may have heard of Google+. [Pause. Crickets can be heard in the theater.]
During the summer of 2015 my daughter and I took a roadtrip from the east coast to Mt. Rushmore. We decided to candidly share our adventure with friends and family via Google+. I have to admit that although I had a personal profile like millions of other google-connected humans, I had not found Google+ to offer me something that I desired but could not find elsewhere. For whatever reason, I felt that Google+ was going to be the vehicle to share our pictures and travelogue. This is how I found myself on the road with Google+.
Our 4000 mile trip in our gas-mileage-superior Prius was unlike any other trip my daughter and I had taken together. This was the story of an authentic American adventure. I felt so lucky that my young teenager actually wanted to take the journey with me. There was unexpected interest in what we were going to try to do. There was an equal amount of unexpected confusion related to how they would track us using Google+. “Google+? What’s Google+?”, they said.
When I made the grand decision to restrict access to those within my circles (the way you can group your followers by interest or relationship unseen to the outside world) that is where I lead my friends and family from confusion to utter defuddlement. Now the IT nerds among them, and there are quite a handful since both my husband and I have enjoyed long careers within or related to the realm of IT, had no problem of course. The rest were a different story.
Unfortunately, from the road and amidst often spotty Wi-fi signals I had my own challenges. So I wasn’t as much help as I could have been. The lesson here is that sharing all posts publicly greatly simplifies the process and makes all your content much more readily accessible. For business, this could be a critical choice.
As a business, you will want to make it part of your Google+ strategy to have some regular newsy posts that are publicly shared which means anyone searching for you can easily find them. Since Google+ is essentially part of Google, you can count on the fact that Google Search will readily find your content if it is publicly available. I used public posts to help those without Google+ accounts to more readily find the page. From there it was much easier to connect with them.
When many of the social media pundits distill down the nuggets of what is most valuable about Google+ for businesses, they don’t talk much about posting publicly. Instead they say segmenting your followers via circles is the real advantage over other social media platforms. The value of this is that once someone is following you, you can fine tune the content that is visible to them. This is a marketers dream as far as targeting any audience as effectively as possible.
Without exception, your content will receive more traffic if whenever your audience arrives they are viewing information which is ideal for them personally. For existing followers, strive to generate content that is specific to the audience interests. Do not make all your content “one size fits all” because there is no such thing.
I didn’t have to segment because my family and friends really were singular in their interest. However, if there are differences among your customers that allow you to group them by focus, interest or purchasing habits, this can help you target your messages more successfully.
Ultimately, I found all of my Google+ posts were easy to share or embed on other platforms like Facebook. This is another positive for Google+ in that it is widely compatible with most social media channels out there.
Here is a quick recap:
- Authenticity attracts loyal followers. Reveal truths about yourself and be genuine. You will be surprised how much interest you generate.
- Be sure some of your posts are shared publicly so everyone can see them, including potential new followers.
- Segment your followers in circles once you have some and then send them information hand picked for them.
- Further boost your traffic by embedding your posts everywhere you have a digital presence such as Facebook.