In the last column I covered some of the basic differences between Google Plus and other social platforms – namely, post length, formatting, targeted publishing and keyword usage. Now it’s time to get advanced.
Getting active on Google+ is an advanced marketing move to begin with. It’s not just a social network – it’s a social layer on the entire online experience. So what constitutes an “advanced” approach to Google Plus writing? The basic mechanics of Google Plus are what sets it apart from other social media platforms. But it’s what you do with those basic tools and best practices that can improve your results. Whether you’re looking for engagement, exposure or website traffic – these advanced Google+ content tips can help.
Use Google Plus as a Blog Platform
With the potential to host big posts, it’s only natural that some users have tried to use Google+ as a replacement for their blog.
“I’ve been using Google Plus as my blog since July 2011, and I can highly recommend that to all. The engagement beats everything you have ever seen. I have never ever been near as many comments on any “normal” blog as I get on Google+. I have over 40,000 followers that can be compared to around 1000 RSS subscribers I had at the most on any of my old blogs. That’s not even close. I think I have around 30 comments on my posts at average. At least it feels so. When using “normal” blogs I was happy if I got one…” – Stefan Svartling
Blogging on Google+ can open up your social media writing to a wider audience than you’d see on your business blog. Does this mean you should abandon blogging on your website? Not necessarily – but you can start to use Google Plus as a strategic blogging tool for more exposure and more search results.
Here are three ideas to use:
The Snippet Method
Post a long snippet of your current blog post on G+ and then link back to the original post. While most people post just a few sentences and a link, you’ll be providing fodder for a conversation right there. I know I always stop and take notice when there’s a paragraph of text on the normally image-heavy platform – and your circle members will too. Pick your biggest point or juiciest tidbit from your entire article and post it on Google+ the next time you publish a blog.
The Maximizer Method
This method – explained recently in a CopyBlogger post – uses Google Plus as a way to maximize blog traffic and engage the audience on Google+ at the same time. Instead of posting a blog post first and then sharing it on Google+, this starts by posting directly to Google Plus. Start by creating a short, targeted post directly on G+ and then gather comments from your circles. For example, you could create a simple list post and just share the main headings of each point. Use the discussion to create a longer post on your blog, and then edit your original Google Plus post to link to your new blog post. Flesh out each point on your list in your blog – and be sure to thank your circle members for contributing to the process.
The Launch Pad Method
Do you have a great spark for a blog post but need more info to pull it together? Try using Google Plus as a launch pad for your blog post. Post a question and spark a conversation. Then use the replies (with attribution!) as part of your blog post. You can also keep your eyes open for great conversations to join, and then use those to create new blog posts.
Ask the People
Speaking of posting a question, you can add polls to your Google Plus page to get more formal feedback from circles. There are several ways to add polls, but one of my favorite G+ tools has a great polls feature.
DoShare is the only tool I’ve found that supports scheduled posts on Google Plus (if you have another favorite, share it in the comments). In addition to scheduling future updates for G+, you can use it to create polls to:
- Gauge your audience’s interest in a topic.
- Figure out what product or resource to create next.
- Get feedback on your latest product or service.
To add a poll to DoShare, open the tool and then click on the checkbox in the message creation field. It will pre-set three different poll options, and you can always add more.
Add a title, your question and then your response options and share directly to Google Plus. You’ll be able to see the answer tallies in real time.
By blogging directly on Google Plus, using Google+ as a tool for blog ideas and polling your circles, you can make an impact with your G+ writing.
Which method are you going to try first?