If your Google Plus posts aren’t receiving the amount of engagement you’d like to see, it might be time to take a step back and review. We have already taught you how to optimize your business’ Google Plus profile, and today we’ll lay out twenty tips on how to get more people to read your Google Plus posts.
1. Include photos or videos in your posts. Visually appealing posts will catch a user’s eye when scrolling through the real-time news feed.
2. Keep it simple. You may have a 100,000 character limit to ramble on with, but how many people will stop to read all of that? Distill your message to its essence and make it count.
3. Take advantage of the full character limit. Wait, didn’t we just tell you to keep it simple? In most cases, yes, you will want to refer to tip #2. However, there are some instances when posting a full blog post, article, book teaser, or other longer piece of well-optimized content is appropriate and may rank well. It is all dependent upon your audience and the content on hand.
4. Insert asterisks around the part of your post you would like Google to use as your title tag. This will bold the text, and your post can actually rank with that title tag in the search results.
5. Style your posts, using italics and strike-throughs for variety. For italics, insert an underscore (_) before and after your text. For example, _how to use italics in Google Plus post_ will appear as how to use italics in a Google Plus post. To do a strikethrough, just put a hyphen before and after your text. For example, -how to use strike-through text in a Google Plus post- will appear as
how to use strike-through text in a Google Plus post.
6. Double check your posts and make sure they are grammatically correct, using Google Plus’ automatic spell checker.
7. Make sure to always choose who you want to share your post with. For most brands, this will always be “public.” However, segmenting your fans into different circles (based on demographics, previous purchases, etc) can help you target the right content to the right followers.
8. Utilize the option to email up to 100 of your followers. Create several circles, with all less than 100 followers, and then select one to add to your post. Then click the box that says “Also send email to….” See the example below, where I’ve created a circle named VM and checked the box to email it to that circle.
9. Tag people when applicable. For example, if you are promoting a piece of content that mentions a specific person, or if you’re asking for their opinion, tag them using the @ symbol. This will alert them about the post, and allow others to easily get into contact with them.
10. Utilize hashtags. Don’t over do it, usually 2-3 of the top hashtags for one topic will suffice. Any more can and usually will appear spammy. Google will auto-populate the hashtags, but before you post, it’s a good idea to do a quick search for them to make sure they are relevant, and also to check for those that are currently trending.
11. If you do include a link to a post or an article, make sure to choose the most visually appealing thumbnail. Hover your mouse over the thumbnail image for easy browsing and selection.
12. If the post is important, in some cases it’s appropriate to re-post since things often get lost in the mix in a scrolling newsfeed. You may want to re-word the post, so it doesn’t appear as duplicate content to Google or annoy your followers who saw the original.
13. Be selective about the time and day you post on. This might take a bit of experimenting, and then analyzing your data afterwards. Look for days and times that your posts receive the most +1’s, shares, and comments. This is most likely when your followers are most active on Google Plus.
14. Post interesting excerpts or quotes from articles or blog posts, to give your readers a taste of what’s inside the link. Even if they don’t want to open the link, they can still interact with your post with the teaser content you’ve included.
15. Be engaging; ask a question to trigger a conversation.
16. Always respond to comments left on your posts. This lets your followers know that a real person is behind your brand, and you’re willing to talk with them instead of at them.
17. Respond to follow up comments via email. When people comment on a thread you have already made a comment on, you should receive a notification email. You can easily respond to the comments within that email. This keeps the conversation going, and makes the seemingly tedious task much more convenient.
18. Post on other people’s posts. The more you interact with them, the more likely they’ll interact with you.
19. Grow your circles. If you’re a brand, then people must circle you before you can circle them. Ask your network to circle you by sending out an email or an other update on your other social networks.
20. Make sure you have your authorship set up completely in your profile and the markup done correctly on your website so your post will be associated with the website it was originally posted on. This way, you can begin to accumulate author rank and get those extra search engine bonuses.
As Google Plus becomes an even more important part of search results in 2013, it’s necessary that we drill down and ensure that we carefully maximize the appeal and visibility of each Google Plus post we make.
If you have a tip not listed here that can improve Google Plus posts, leave it in the comments and we’ll add it to this list. We’ll give you credit and a link to your Google Plus profile.