11 Ways To Build A Community Around Your Google+ Page

  • November 24, 2011 by Guest Writer
  • 23 Comments

This is a guest post by Jon Cooper of Point Blank SEO.

Just recently, Google announced the released of Google+ Pages, allowing people to create a Page about their brand, company, or blog. Because we all know the impact Google+ and +1’s have in Google’s search results, you should get a head start on building a community around your page and leave your competitors in the dust.

(Note from Caleb: I’ve also included a four-minute video I put together to quickly show you how to create a Google+ page. If you are reading this in an email or via RSS, you can find the full video here. Also, be sure to check out the brand spanking new Google+ pages for Think Traffic and Expert Enough.)

Here are 11 ways to build an awesome, engaged community around your Google+ Page.

1. Leverage your other social media accounts

Although it sounds pretty obvious, send a shout out from Twitter & Facebook to your followers to add you to their circles. It wouldn’t even hurt to write a blog post about Google’s new update (like this one) and why your readers should add you to their circles.

2. Get the badge

When you create your page, make sure you get the badge and add it to your website. The #1 reason people don’t engage with you on social media is because you don’t give them the opportunity to. By adding the badge, you make it easy for them to find you on Google+. This is the same concept you should use in link building by creating HTML ready links so people can link to your website easily.

3. Ask friends & family through Google+

By using your personal account to ask your friends & followers to add your page to their circles, this not only builds your community, but it helps with social proof. Because most of your friends on G+ are more willing to add your Page to their circles, the number of followers you have to your G+ Page increases, which makes it much more likely that people will add your Page when they stumble across it (this is known as social proof). Pat Flynn from SPI talks about the power of social proof on this episode of his podcast.

4. Guest Blog

Guest blogging helps you get in front of new communities on other blogs, and by adding a link to your G+ Page in the post (most likely in your bio), you can reach a new audience.

5. Leverage your existing relationships

If you’ve been doing what has been pounded into your head from the moment you got into the online world, you should have built up some relationships in your niche. Tell the bloggers you know to create a G+ Page and then have them tell their community about your Pages. Then reciprocate by doing the same for them.

6. Interact with other Pages

Because Pages are so new, most other G+ Pages by blogs & brands don’t have the community they have on other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, so by interacting with them they’ll take notice. For example, every time they post about something make sure you’re one of the first to comment. After they take notice, contact them and ask if they’ll add you to their circles, and do the same back. Think of it like reciprocal linking, but with social media. Because you’re in their circles, they’ll see all of your updates, making it easy for them to share your content, just like twitter.

7. Give people a reason

You know why people buy products, attend webinars, share your content, and follow you on twitter? You gave them a reason to. What I’m saying is that if you’re posting the same content that you are on twitter & Facebook, you won’t be giving any reason for people to find you on Google+. Therefore, do something different with your G+ Page so people want to engage with you on this new platform. Here are a few ideas.

SEOmoz created a new series of videos called “Whiteboard+” that’s exclusive to their G+ Page. They also did an awesome series called “what do you have on your desk?” where they took pictures of what all of their different employees have on their desks. By providing this exclusive content, people want to go find SEOmoz on G+, even if it means signing up for an account for only this reason!

I’ve been thinking lately that once I create a decent community around my Page, I’m going to try a Question & Answer format for a lot of my posts. I know people want answers to some of the questions they have, and sometimes the best ways to get answers is by personally asking me. This is something easy that you could do with your Page too – all you have to do is dedicate an hour or two for each session to answer questions. This gets people interacting with you and your G+ Page, making it more likely that they share your content in the future.

8. Identify & Tag Influencers

One of the coolest features on Google+ is a thing called Ripples. Ripples is a feature that allows you to see how your content was shared and in what timeline. For example, here’s a post Mashable shared:

As you can see, Mashable can reach a huge audience by itself, but once Michael Klems and GTGUG Buenos Aires shared it, it reached a whole new audience. By seeing this, you can see who you need to interact with because when they share your content, it gets shared even more.

The best ways to find influencers in your niche is to look through posts that got a lot of shares. Once you find those posts, look at the top right corner of the post for the small arrow. Click the arrow and select “Ripples”. You will then see an image close to what you see above. Look for people like Michael Klems that reach a whole new audience.

Once you’ve found a few of them, either add them to your Page’s Circles (which can only be done if they already added you) or add them to your personal account’s Circles. Keep updated on what they’re sharing so you can figure out what interests them, and drop comments & +1’s on those shares. What you’re doing is building a relationship so they are familiar with you, so when you want them to share your content, they’re more willing to. You should also find them on Twitter & other social media websites to interact with them as much as possible.

Once you’ve built those relationships, it’s time to get them to share your content. When you post content on G+ that you think will interest them, tag them in the post by adding a “+” before they’re name. It’s the same idea as the “@” sign on Twitter.

9. Add people that add you

When people add you to their circles, add them back. It’s something small that you can do to show your followers you’re keeping updated with their interests too. Create different circles based on what their interests are so you know what kind of content they like & share. Once you do this, you have the ability to post about different topics to different circles.

For example, my blog is about link building, but I love to talk about the science of blogging, building traffic to your website, social media, and the technical side of SEO. Because certain people add my Page to their circles for different reasons, I will be able to separate my followers into different circles, so when I want to post something about building your audience on Twitter, I can post it only to my followers that follow me for social media content & updates. Posting to a more targeted audience might yield greater results in terms of shares & +1’s. Currently I’m thinking about ways to make this the most beneficial, such as promoting specific circles for my Page & not just my Page in general.

10. If you only have a small number of followers, don’t display your follower count

This comes back to the idea of social proof I mentioned above. By simply not showing your follower account if it’s small, people are more likely to add you to their circles. For example, if you see a Page that has 3 followers, would you rather follow it over a Page that has 3,000 followers?

11. Be Different

Although this is very general and not specific, applying the idea of Uniqueness to your Google+ Page will benefit you highly because of how new G+ Pages are. If you do something truly awesome with your Page, you have a higher chance at being shared by others not just on Google+, but also on blogs & other social media websites. You’ve seen me mention SEOmoz above because they’re pioneering Google+ Pages like none other.

***

Other quick notes about Google+ Pages:

  • Pages can’t +1 other pages or stuff on the Web
  • Pages can run hangouts to meet face to face with their followers
  • Google+ Direct Connect allows people to find your Page automatically from Google search
  • If you don’t log out of your G+ Account before your register your Page, your Page is forever registered under your account. Because you can’t add administrators at this time, you can now only post to your page from your account.
  • You can’t run contests or promotions (but you can link to one!)
  • Mobile integration with Android is coming in the future, so make sure you’re constantly checking social media news websites to keep updated.
  • Google has recently acquired a startup known as Katango to improve Google Circles
  • To get the most visibility, share as often as possible seeing that few do.
  • Add images to get creative like in the picture below. Because these pictures are a large portion of your content above the fold, optimize these photos as much as possible.

Bonus: Manage Twitter & Facebook from the Google+ dashboard

Luckily for you guys, I managed to find two awesome Google Chrome extensions that integrate with Google+ so you can post to twitter and facebook right from your Google+ account. Now you can update your 3 main social media accounts from one place! Here’s the one for Facebook and here’s the one for Twitter. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading! If you have any other ideas on how to build a bigger community around your Page, I’d love to hear them in the comment section below!

Jon Cooper blogs regularly at Point Blank SEO, his personal link building blog. Add Point Blank SEO to your circles to keep updated with the newest developments in SEO & Link Building, or follow him on twitter.


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Gregory Ciotti November 24, 2011 at 6:47 am

Great post, I noticed a lot of the strategies rely on leveraging existing accounts, which is definitely true (and why people should start blogging first).

I’ve also written a post about building G+ circles just for bloggers: http://www.gplustuts.com/5-real-ways-bloggers-can-build-their-circles-on-google/

I don’t think it’s any surprise that people with huge mailing lists were the first to get circled on G+ in a big way, just look at Darren Rowse and Chris Brogan’s circles.

Jon Cooper November 24, 2011 at 8:13 am

Gregory,

I totally agree! The people that have the most influence on G+ are the same people who have influence in blogging & twitter, so use those to your advantage if you can.

Also – great post! Seems like great minds think alike ;)

Conni November 24, 2011 at 7:14 am

Super insightful post, Jon! Lots of things I didn’t know yet. I like the Ripples tool, fun to play around with!
One thing I wish for is that hootsuite or tweetdeck include G+ …

Jon Cooper November 24, 2011 at 8:15 am

Conni,

Thanks :) . Check out this: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/11/third-party-tools-to-help-manage-your.html. It says you’ll be able to manage your Page with 3rd party tools in the future such as hootsuite! It’s great news for us marketers.

Barry Ford November 24, 2011 at 8:46 am

Great. I learned quite a bit of useful info in this post. Especially about the Ripples. That’s good. I just started my Google+ page this week, after getting into Twitter last week. So, I’m hoping to leverage these social media for more traffic to my website. Thanks for sharing this stuff.

Jon Cooper November 24, 2011 at 8:58 am

Thanks Barry! Glad to see you finally got around to social media, no matter how late you were ;)

Roy Marvelous November 24, 2011 at 9:31 am

Wow, how exciting! I hadn’t heard about Google Pages until now. Thanks :)

Michael Robinson November 24, 2011 at 9:38 am

I’m still trying to figure out how my blog’s G+ page had 1400 followers a day after pages launched without me doing any promotion. Must have ended up in one of the page circle shares that floated around.

Jon Cooper November 24, 2011 at 11:23 am

Wow Michael, that’s crazy! The one thing I noticed though was that there weren’t many people engaging with your content, so the number of people that have your Page in their circles isn’t necessarily the only thing that matters. Even though, this still helps with social proof!

Mike Haydon November 24, 2011 at 6:50 pm

This is brilliant. Thanks! It’s just the post I need to ramp up my G+ work. You cleared up a few things I hadn’t got my head around like when to use pages v personal. Time to stop waiting & seeing and get out there & do

Jon Cooper November 25, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Best of luck Mike! Glad I could help :D

Wes at Vegau SEO November 24, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I think this part from tip #2 is very important and is also underrated most if the time: “When you create your page, make sure you get the badge and add it to your website. The #1 reason people don’t engage with you on social media is because you don’t give them the opportunity to.”

I couldn’t have said it better. Social media is about opportunity. Use it wisely!

Jon Cooper November 25, 2011 at 9:23 pm

It’s great that hit home with you – hopefully more will feel the same way! It’s ridiculous how long I have to search to find a twitter or G+ account of a blog I like :(

Steve@Affiliate Marketing Tips November 26, 2011 at 6:58 am

Jon,

Some great ideas here. I Pacific we liked the idea of identifying and tagging influencers. What a power move that is!

There are some great advantages of doing well on Google plus and with your tips you can really take it to the next level

Extreme John November 26, 2011 at 10:23 pm

More power Jon! Building a community around Your Google+ Page is a very big step towards success in business. You helped everyone through this incredible information. Thanks a lot!

Jason C. Brown November 27, 2011 at 10:55 am

Awesome article!

Maybe a dumb question:

Since Google+ allows us to hyperlink back to our blogs…this would be a great back link strategy given that it’s Google and all?

Maybe more so than other back linking tasks?

Jon Cooper November 29, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Jason – I’ve been wondering the same thing. There’s no way to know for sure whether they’re counted as links by Google, but it doesn’t hurt to put them in anyways!

Chris @ NetBizInfoGuide December 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Is it really time to say goodbye to facebook page?

Find Freedom December 18, 2011 at 11:37 am

well said my friend. Ive been preaching building your brand around Google + for some time now. there is a huge potential there. great post. thanks

Alan | Life's Too Good April 2, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Hi,

I’m really struggling to get followers on G+. I get everything said above and have a decent following on FB & Twitter, but nobody on G+, it’s also really hard to start over. I think your point about doing something different is a great idea, but they have to be there in the first place to see it don’t they, or at least a decent audience who notice you’re doing something different to tell others.

Unless you blog about doing something different on G+ but to me that could come across as a little needy. In fact in the first place please ‘Like’ me or please ‘Follow’ me is also a little needy in my view. People should only follow you of their own accord and if they like your work – and then it’s back to the same problem, if they’re already following you…

who wants to have 10 different social media platforms anyway?

Michael Robinson November 24, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I’ve been trying to finds ways to get more interaction. I’ll probably get a few blog posts out of that alone. Building a G+ page has been a real learning experience.

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