How To Build Your Brand With Google+

Google+ is not just another Facebook, as I thought when I first began using it. After putting some serious effort into G+, I have learned there are significant differences between the two platforms which you can use to leverage interaction and expand your business’ presence.

Facebook’s focus is on connecting you with friends and family, while Google+ is all about forging new connections, which is what your business needs to do. G+ helps you find relevant content, thereby existing as a prime source for information, news and trends.

find-peopleOn Facebook, you post to your friends and connections at large. Google+ allows you to target your posts to specific Circles, as well as the public feed. You can also filter content that you receive, so only the most relevant articles and promotions reach you.

Like Facebook, Google+ provides profiles for individuals and pages for businesses, organizations and causes. Distinct from Facebook, the more you engage on Google+, the more you will promote your message. You do not need to boost your page posts to get traction on  G+.

Unlike Facebook, Google+ is not cluttered with ads or promoted posts. It is virtually clutter-free.

communities-logoIn addition to adding people and pages to your various Circles, you can join Communities. This increase your exposure and engagement potential. Don’t overdo it, however. Select a few Communities in which you can both give and receive comfortably. Share different content in each Communities to avoid redundancies.

Optimum posting frequency is several times each day, with 80% of your posts for the purpose of sharing information or entertaining, and 20% for promotion. All content should be related to your industry. G+ is not the place to share personal information, events, political opinions, or gripes.

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Google+ loves both text and images. Use an underscore ( _ ) before and after a text to make it bold, or an asterisk ( * ) to make it bold. Images are large in comparison to Facebook.

Google+ will automatically add hashtags based on the content you share. You can also add your own.

To mention someone else or catch their attention, use + followed by their Google+ handle. (For example, +AlvalynCreative or +Alvalyn)

To like something, Google+ uses +1s instead of a thumbs up.

Monitor the comments you receive and reply to them. Add comments and +1s on content by others that you find useful. Ask and answer questions.

 

Join a few Communities on G+ in which you can both give and receive comfortably. Share different content in each one to avoid redundancies.

You will find that these types of posts work really well in the Google+ environment:

1. Ask a question. Questions will engage and elicit response, leading to ongoing conversations.

2. Post your blog articles. Don’t simply share the link and an image as is often done on Facebook. Include the title and an excerpt of a key sentence or two from the article. Lead with the excerpt. and include an image. And don’t forget to include the link to the entire thing.

3. Insights. When you share something, include a few comments explaining what you’re sharing. Telling everyone why you’re sharing content makes it more relevant and interesting to them.

4. Photos and videos. Google+ is more than kind to images and video content. It excels in visual matter. Be visually generous.

5. Interactions. Post events and Hangouts (virtual video conferences) and invite people to engage with you.

Don’t give up Facebook if you have an established presence and a following there, but seriously take a look at G+. Each social media platform you use has its own  protocols. It is a good idea to develop a branding strategy that includes all your social media platforms and how you will focus your content on each one. Understanding the strengths of each mitigates any stress you might be feeling about it all. You can relax, knowing you’re effectively increasing your influence, and building your brand.

Alvalyn Lundgren

Alvalyn Lundgren is the founder and design director at Alvalyn Creative, an independent practice near Thousand Oaks, California. She creates visual branding, publications and books for business, entrepreneurs and authors. She is the creator of Freelance Road Trip — a business roadmap program for creative freelancers. Contact her for your visual branding, graphic and digital design needs. Join her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and subscribe to her free monthly newsletter.

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