SOCIAL MEDIA / SEP. 19, 2014
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What You Need to Know About Social Media Strategies for Google+

Google+ is a social media network that has done everything it can to confuse individuals and businesses. Every marketer knows it’s important for boosting SEO, but nobody is quite sure how to properly take advantage of it and how much time they need to dedicate to it.

If used correctly, Google+ can become a boon for your business. There are ways to make Google+ work for you. In this article, we’re going to look at how you should get started with making this social media network work for you.

The Importance of Pictures

Engagement is the only way to make social media work well. Google+ is the hardest network by far to get real and regular engagement.

CircleCount conducted a study where they took 8,961,415 posts from 10,000 different Google+ profiles. They discovered a number of things from these posts, in relation to engagement.

  1. Photos are everything on Google+. 57% of posts that were engaged with included an image with nothing else. This went down to 8% for video-based posts and 8% for text-only updates.
  2. When it comes to people actually commenting on a post, photos were once again reigning supreme by a 30% margin over every other type of status update. Text-based status updates came in at 28%, which proves thoughtful posts can still connect with people.
  3. Reshares are what everyone wants from social media. The most reshares on Google+ came from photos at 55%. Every other form of media fell under the 15% mark.

Post Length

Google+ is different from every other platform. This isn’t Twitter where 50 characters can lead to lots of engagement. According to the figures coming out of Google+, posts that have more than 100 characters will always have a better engagement rate than posts with less than 100 characters. Bigger is better when it comes to Google+.

And this applied to all forms of media. Wordier posts did lead to more engagement, but only to an extent. There are limits. Images still trumped all forms of media when it came to coveted reshares.

What Did We Learn from Looking at Google+ Marketing?

If you’re a small business looking to succeed on Google+, here are the main things you need to be aware of:

  • Dropping a link at the end of a short post had the least engagement here. Don’t try to implement your Twitter strategies on Google+. It won’t work.
  • Posts that include images and relevant text had the best results. Aim for a post over 100 characters.
  • Text-only posts can have some success, but they do have to exceed that 1000-character limit. But be aware that text-only posts are only useful if you’re looking for comments. They’re no good if you’re searching for more reshares.

So is Google+ worth our time and attention?

The answer is it depends. Despite the fact there are so many SEO benefits from Google+, the fact of the matter is it isn’t worth your time if your industry isn’t heavily using the social network. A lot of industries have absolutely no presence on Google+, so dedicating time and effort to it isn’t necessarily worth it.

You need to keep monitoring the metrics on Google+ to make sure you’re getting something back. I you’re noticing that you can’t hit your target audience don’t be afraid to walk away. Contrary to popular belief, you aren’t going to see yourself falling down the Google rankings if you decide not to bother with the network.

You’ll gain far more in the long-term by abandoning Google+ and targeting social media platforms specific to your industry than soldiering on because you think you’ll lose out if you disengage.

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