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Google+ Social Media Strategies – What You Need to Know

No social network invokes the fear, confusion, and outrage that arises when someone mentions Google+. It’s the most controversial platform out there these days, in part because so many business owners can’t seem to quantify if it’s worth the time and effort. Most concur that businesses need to have a presence on the flailing social space, for no other reason than Google wants you to, and Google owns the search stratosphere. SEO value aside, it’s a tough space to unravel.

Rest assured, however, that if you’re crafty, committed, and well-prepared, Google+ can indeed be a marketing boon for your business. There are metrics available now that help decipher what was once an intensely mysterious space. You no longer have to “trust it’s working.” Google+ experts ‘CircleCount’ recently released an interesting and highly valuable infographic and report that helps marketers capitalize in a space that few have truly mastered. Heed their advice, and you’re light years ahead of the pack.

Want More Engagement? Let Pictures Do the Talking

We all know engagement is the name of the game in any social network, and Google+ is arguably the hardest.

For starters, the CircleCount crew took a dataset of 8,961,415 posts, pulled together from almost 10,000 profiles. So now you know this wasn’t a small collection of data; they really did their homework.

From this data pool, some very clear indicators of what is considered engaging in the G+ emerged. Here are the key takeaways:

  1. Photos reign supreme on Google+, even more than other social networks. 57% of posts that got the coveted +1 included, or were exclusively, images. Links garnered 27% of the engagement, video 8%, and text-only updates saw just 8% of the +1 clicks.
  2. Comments, considered an even deeper level of engagement, showed similar but not identical metrics. Photos once again are absolutely crucial – but only by a 30% margin. Text fell just 2% below photos, at 28%, proving that thoughtful marketing messages still generate comment-worthy reactions. Events and Hangouts elicited their fair share of comments, at 14% and 10% respectively, while video and links closed out the category.
  3. Reshares are the money shot in social engagement, as they significantly help to grow your reach. On Google+, photos once again receive the most reshares, at 55%; this blows away all the other forms of media. Video claims 12%, video 11%, and text just 8%.

The moral of the story here is simple: If you’re on Google+, you better integrate relevant images into nearly everything you post.

Size Matters: How the Length of Your Posts Measure Up

Google+ is not Twitter; stats around how people respond to the size of posts are hugely insightful regarding the audience that gathers loyally on the social platform. According to the study:

“Overall, posts more than 100 characters had a better engagement rate in comparison to all other posts with less than 100 characters.”

In other words, with Google+, bigger is better.

This is across the board true for all the media formats, but once again, photos were the most popular posts. Posts with photos and text that exceeded 100 characters were almost 3 times as likely to receive a +1 approval. Text only posts only showed a mild increase with wordier options. They did, however, prove to be surprisingly popular when over 100 characters in length – specifically for +1s and comments, but not so much for reshares, which is arguably the most valuable engagement. Other than pure text posts, stats were very similar for both comments and reshares as well for all content categories.

Key Takeaways and Strategies for Google+ Marketing

In a nutshell, here’s what small businesses need to keep in mind with all Google+ marketing campaigns:

  • Loyal and prolific Google+ users don’t honor brevity. The practice of link-dropping, which is essentially a small post with a link attached, has one of the lowest engagements across the network. Less is definitely not more here.
  • The winning formula is crystal clear: Posts that include photos and relevant, engaging text that is over 100 characters has the highest level of engagement by a significant margin.
  • Text-only posts can certainly be a windfall, but they need to exceed 100 characters, and they’re only successful if +1s and comments are your primary goals. If reshares are your focus, stick to images, and lots of them.

Do these metrics convince us that Google+ is worthy of your time and attention? Not necessarily. The final piece of the puzzle that is essential in determining if it works for your business is all about the demographic. Not all industries are heavy Google+ users. If you’re looking to leverage a presence here, make sure the people you are most attempting to reach are not only present on Google+, but truly active. Since many still use their Google+ profiles for SEO validity, you’re wise to make sure your efforts will be received by your customers. If they’re on Google’s network, now you have the secret sauce to get their attention.

Have you had any success using Google+ as a marketing platform? If so, please share your story!

About the author

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Tina Courtney

Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Visit My Google+ Profile

20 Comments

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  • Very interesting article! Yes indeed for me Google Plus from Lebanon is giving me a lot of followers, likes and also when I post a link with a photo or inside a text i see good people clicking it. So it boosts a lot my sites. Google Plus for me is pure and clean.

  • Hi there,

    As per the my experience Google+ is an effective tool to use for branding your business. Its post, communities, pages get rank up more faster then any other social website content. I usually to brand my website and business.

    Thanks

  • Lot of people neglect the importance of Google+ and lots of people are are not using it properly. In this scenario your shared information is very helpful and effective to know about the important things about its usage and effectiveness. Without doing perfect social media marketing we can’t market our business effectively.

  • I am completely agreed with your points. Nowadays everyone wants social presence but only few people know how to make it. You indicated savvy way for social presence. Thanks for this great post.

  • Social Platform plays an important role in your business. Points you have highlighted over here are quite impressive. From my side i want to add that through Google Plus Page your page crawl fast and by re-sharing your post you might top position in GSERP Page.

  • If you post the text with image, there is more engagement in google+ and other social networking sites

  • Google + is more powerful than most businesses think. When your business page is optimized correctly you’ll show up in Google 7 which is the list of businesses with reviews. Hangouts are my best kept secret that NO one knows about with the fastest rankings I have eve seen in my 7 years of internet marketing. The fastest I’ve ranked in Google?…..20 minutes!!! Does Google + work? Yes it does!!!

  • Thank you Tina for your insightful article. I have been using blog post shares in communities. I find I get more plus 1’s when I share something in a community. I will focus more on the addition of pictures.

    Question, most links shared automatically include a photo from the blog. Does this count?

    Thanks,
    Kim

  • Another excelletn article by Tina. I must admit that images are one of the most useful thing when it comes to social network marketing.

  • No hay duda de ello las imágenes captan la atención de la gente y si a eso le agregamos contenido interesante existen muchas posibilidades de atraer visitantes a nuestros sitios, yo lo uso y me da buenos resultados.

  • Hello There,
    Its really true and nice article social activity matters a lot in SEO and Google + is best places for it.

    Thanks
    Sagar Ganatra

  • Thanks for this highly informative active. Keeping account of what works as statistically proved in the article is required for a good level of marketing performance on Google plus. with this article one can easily do the right thing to get the desired result.

  • A Great post. It’s so difficult to know what works, but whatever industry you are in, variety is always the spice of life. By using a variety of content types, you can also measure what works by using the different analytical tools that most social network now provide. Use pictures, videos and slide shares for more engaged content.