12 Most Jedi-Master Ways to Rock Google+ in 2014
So you’ve (finally) realized that Google+ is your only hope for better online marketing in 2014. You’ve set up your personal brand and explored some creative ways to use it for your business. Now what?
The biggest perk for marketers on Google+ is that they can build up some influence just by concentrating on Google+. But at some point, you need to own up to the fact you’re a padawan and won’t be able to get anywhere without becoming a more visible and advanced user. Here are twelve systems you could explore to become a Jedi on Google+:
1. Start or moderate a community
Communities help travelers through Google Plus interact with others in a more intimate setting than out in the open. Community owners and moderators have an OWNER or MODERATOR label next to their name, signifying their importance in the community.
Aligning yourself with the best communities on Google Plus can have a huge impact on your rank in your chosen faction.
2. Host a hangout on air
Hangouts on Air (HOAs) are a live broadcast that save to your R2 unit, er, YouTube channel. You can host a HOA about any topic, and tie it to a Google Plus Event to bring people from all over the galaxy together to watch and share. Add a blog post after the HOA to create added, shareable content around your area of expertise.
3. Be a guest on a hangout on air
Just as HOAs are great exposure for the host, their guests enjoy the spotlight. Anybody who watches and shares the HOA afterward will typically +mention (tag) the host and guests as a matter of courtesy, which exposes them to a broader audience than they could reach on their own. If you’re wondering how to land yourself a guest spot on a HOA, start by hanging out in the cantina of Event comments on others’ shows and get the attention of the host. Or, you could volunteer to fight a Rancor.
4. Start a niche or topic based page
Google Plus Pages don’t have to always be about a brand. If you see a topic or niche that is missing on Google Plus, consider creating a page dedicated to that topic. Hook it up to your website and boost the authority for that page and your domain name. Just make sure there is an ample amount of content to curate or create; “Hoth Vacation Guide” will probably fail after a day or two.
5. Become a “dot connector”
A major benefit of Google Plus is that you can comment on almost any post (and interact with the commenters on any post) without having to be “connected” to those people. So, find ways to introduce people and pages to each other, and become a valuable broker of information. The easiest way to do this is to identify a post where your friend or colleague would benefit from seeing it, then pinging them in a comment (example: “ping +Obi-Wan Kenobi, these are the droids you’re looking for” or “I think +Han Solo knows something about kessel runs”).
6. Wrap your arms around circles
Circles are how you organize the people you follow. You can name them whatever you want, such as “Rebel Alliance,” “Squadron Leaders,” or “People who need rescuing.” There are many strategies and practices for circle management, and everybody will have one that works best for their needs. One thing is constant though: circle management should be a daily part of your Google Plus routine or it will get out of hand. If that happens, your strategies for using Google Plus will lose their effectiveness as you spend too much time managing the noise.
7. Share a circle of event attendees
Events (offline and on Google Plus) have always been a fantastic networking tool. If you host or participate in an event, consider creating a circle of everyone who attended or commented, then sharing that circle to your profile. For example, a circle of all the people who attended Princess Leia’s Medal of Bravery award ceremony.
8. Master how to post and share from your business page
With a little strategy and understanding of how posting and sharing work, the force will grow stronger within you and you can create massive exposure for your business page, community, or both. There are also several ways you can share the same piece of content that will boost the visibility of your page. And even though many experienced Google Plus users recommend putting the emphasis on your Profile, your page should still be active.
9. Use tools that analyze your activity
No amount of training and strategy is going to help you unless you have a way to measure your progress. Tools such as CircleCount and others offer a mix of free and paid services to track and analyze your activity. Always have a strategy for each post, so you can test whether or not it worked; remember, in my experience, there’s no such thing as luck.
10. Understand who your influencers are and where you’re influential
As you feel the Google Plus force running through your body and become more powerful, there will always be others more powerful than you. Understand who these people are (especially in your areas of interest and expertise), and build relationships with them. Use tools like NOD3X and Circloscope to track your influence and analyze where you can be impressive, most impressive, when you post.
11. Learn how to cross pollinate your content on different networks
Every Google Plus post is its own web page, so promote them on other networks (including your email list and curation tools like Flipboard, Scoop.it and List.ly). Create a Pinterest board of your guest HOA appearances. Tweet links to great discussions on Google Plus. The possibilities are endless with a little creativity, but beware of networks that don’t serve your kind such as Facebook (no animated GIFs) and LinkedIn (currently returning “Page Not Found” errors on links to Google+ posts).
12. Have a pet project
Because we can network with others so easily on Google Plus, start up a private community for a Rebel alliance that can build influence in a niche topic or simply help you find new business opportunities. As the project grows, you can expand it to a dedicated web page, Google Plus page, and even a blockbuster trilogy.
If you can unlearn the bad habits you learned on Facebook and Twitter, and feel the power of Google+ as you use these and other techniques to build influence, you will be the most powerful Google+ user in the galaxy. (A special thank-you to the Plussers on this post for their assistance in brainstorming Star Wars references.)
How do you rock your Google+?
Photo credit: by JD Hancock/Flickr