By Terry Doherty —
(Blog Moderator’s Note: Welcome to Google+, Explained: Part 2. In Part 1, Terry introduced the basic capabilities, pros, and cons of including Google Plus in your social marketing toolkit. Today, she talks about making the most of this platform.)
Can I be blunt? Facebook is not about lead generation, and it is getting less so every day. With Google Plus you have multiple ways to generate leads with similarly positioned businesses and entrepreneurs. Today we’ll focus on three things: brand awareness and positioning, social engagement, and marketing.
Your Google Plus Profile
This is the Google Plus Nerve center. Building a quality profile is important on any platform, but it is critical with Google Plus. This is an instant, fully integrated CV. Let me share an example.
Search children’s literacy on Google.
Right there at the top is www.thereadingtub.com. Did you notice the Reading Tub® logo next to the site reference?
That happened because I took the time to fill out my Google Plus profile. When you click on the Reading Tub icon, you get my complete profile and all the links to where you can find me online. My other social accounts; my website and blogs; and the other sites where I curate or publish content. All on one page.
Together, my about page (called “My Story”) and all those links establish my expertise (called Authority). If you’re going to be on Google Plus taking the time to establish your authority is critical.
Remember in Part 1 where I talked about my search engine optimization (SEO) allergy? Thanks to Google Plus I don’t worry about algorithms AND I get the benefit of improved discoverability. The Google search engine spiders and indexes my Google Plus profile page.
Authors will love Hangouts. You can host a school visit, talk to bloggers, or do an interview with media on the other side of the globe. Hangouts give you a chance to meet face-to-face with your target audience.
It is like Skype, but you can record your hangout and put it up on YouTube (or another video service you may use). Here are three things that can happen when you upload a recorded Hangout.
— Participants can re-visit your chat whenever they want.
— By re-viewing your video, they’ll visit your channel and see all of the other things you do.
— You have a “demo tape” that you can share with librarians, booksellers, agents in advertising your services.
What makes being on a social platform successful is being part of the conversation … a community.
In Google Plus parlance, communities are interest-based groups that act like a forum for discussions and help connect like-minded Google+ users. Folks have compared them to Facebook groups. I never had any luck with my Facebook group, but the children’s literacy community on Google Plus is alive and well.
Join a community as your business page and when you post, people will come visit you and may put you in their circles. Another time saver: get post notifications in your email. That way you can keep up with the conversation and just click to view the post if you want to comment.
Once you are in Google Plus, type in a few keywords of interest to you and see what communities are already out there. When you join communities, you will likely find people to add to your circles and pages to follow.
Next time you’re on your G+ page, check out that notification bell in the upper right corner. That alerts you to new followers, helping you grow your community.
Marketing & Promotion
If you are not comfortable with direct marketing or the hard sell – then Google Plus is for you. Google Plus lets you make the most of content marketing.
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” (http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing)
You want to optimize your content to promote your work, but not solicit every time you’re online. Let your About Page (“My Story”) do the selling for you. An effective content marketing strategy for Google Plus includes
— Photo albums (book covers and/or interior images, event pics, etc.).
— Video content (e.g., book trailers, interviews).
— Links to your website, blog, and/or points of sale.
This more comprehensive marketing strategy makes it very easy to stay within the 10 percent rule (no more than 10% of your content should directly reference or pitch your product) AND at the same time increase awareness and direct people to ways to get your books.
Once you start using Google Plus you may decide that it has everything you need in the social-sphere. Which means you’ll have more time for doing what you want in other spheres!
Reading Worth Your Time
— 64 Google Plus Content Strategies by Maria Peagler, copybloggers.com (February 2013)
— The Anatomy of an Effective Google Plus Image by Wade Harmon, bloggersmakemoney.com (November 2013)
— Customize your Google Plus Hovercard to gain more followers by Mark Traphagen, virante.org (February 2012)
— How to Market Your Content on Google Plus by Jeff Bullas, jeffbullas.com (September 2013)
About the Author: Terry Doherty is a voracious reader with a keen analytical eye and a lifelong passion for writing. Combine a passion for reading and kids, a natural affinity for analysis, and a love of solving puzzles, and you’ve got Terry.
Before becoming a Mom in late 2001, she spent nearly 20 years as a research analyst, supervisor, mentor, trainer, and analytical program manager with the federal government. She has drawn on her acclaimed expertise as a national security analyst in her roles as senior editor and publishing director for an independent house; and mentor for both her consulting business & flourishing literacy nonprofit.
Now, she uses those extensive skills in research, analysis, writing, editing and interpersonal communication, in three roles: Mom; Executive Director of The Reading Tub®, a family literacy nonprofit; and Director of New Media & Alumni Education for the Mom’s Choice Awards.
Terry is a dedicated, lifelong student, always eager to share her expertise with those eager to learn. She heartily ascribes to Thomas Jefferson’s statement: “I cannot live without books.” Learn more at maestromarket.com.