Over the last couple of years Google Plus has grown into a prominent social network, used by many personal brands and companies like Starbucks and Microsoft. And with the recent release of Google “Hummingbird,” influence on this network is more important than ever. This is a great time for personal brands to tap into a well-connected system for increased online visibility.
Should you use Google Plus for branding?
While Facebook and Twitter are still major players for social media marketing, Google Plus has the added benefit of what is known as ‘Circles.’ This unique feature allows you to place connections into a group of influencers, which is great for personal brand building.
Unlike social networks like Facebook, you have more control over what you see on Google Plus, and can thus filter what is most important to comment on and share. What’s more is that your content will appear directly on Google’s search engine, which helps establish you as an expert. Here are several key steps to take in building your personal brand on Google Plus:
• Make sure your Google profile is complete. While many people use Google for email and blogging, it is easy to miss a completed profile that is consistent with your website and other social networks. Simply go to “View Profile” inside your account and select “Edit Profile,” and be sure to include your biography and links to your networks and website.
• Create your Circles. As soon as your profile is complete the next step is to connect with other influencers and people from your social networks, and add them to Circles, which can be made into categories much like lists on Twitter. Your contacts will be notified as will you during this process, which helps build a strong network.
• Use Sparks to start discussions. Another great feature on Google Plus is “Sparks,” which allows a brand to add interests based on an area of expertise. When a user clicks on a “Spark” they will see the latest news, which can be shared to their Circles.
• Create meaningful connections. It is important to carefully select your Circle connections, as this is a direct reflection on your personal brand. You will want to focus on high influencers in your niche, as well as those who share similar interests.
• Use the +Huddle feature for your community. Much like a team or group meeting, Google Plus provides the opportunity for brands to use the term, +Huddle, when providing information such as webinars and events to their Circles. This is a great way to be personal with your audience, and attract more connections.