The fear of joining a new social network can be and is understandable. I try to test new social communities on regular basis, I’ve got my own personality to bring to the table – and I wouldn’t want to force myself to join something that is beneficial to me, but doesn’t really go together with what I believe in.
Google+ is for everyone.
I remember when it first came out, when you had the old-school circles and barely any community behind the social network. It was fun, but it was also incredibly painful to differentiate real users from fake ones. You could add thousands of users to your circles every day, and then remove them the next day – keeping the ones that followed you back.
Google+ community dislikes dishonesty.
To build a supportive following on Google+, you don’t have to be extremely smart or creative, you just need to have some common sense and willingness to engage real people, who are doing the same thing you are: networking.
I’ve have had my fair share of Google+ already, and at the moment it’s the most popular social networking website for my blog, with some of my content being shared up to 200 times just days after hitting the publish button. You could and can achieve the same results by following the simple steps I’m going to list below.
Innovate and Curate for Everyone
The widespread use of hashtags have lead to sharing specific content easier than ever.
Like any social media network, and most recently Facebook too, Google+ supports trending topics which are determined by the use of hashtags.
This is basically where you decide upon what you want to share and with whom you want to do it. Google+ will by default add hashtags to your content, up to 3 of them, but you can always specify your own.
Look for variety of content, I’d say these four categories are pretty much the cookie cutters to engaging people:
- Photo, Video and .GIF
You’re guaranteed to reach the best of both worlds by having content that resonates with each of these categories. It might seem difficult to put it together like that, but you shouldn’t focus on doing funny one week and then educational the other – mix it up in one week, like a cocktail!
Mention Others Directly
Twitter has @replies. Google+ has direct mentions. While one uses the ‘@’ symbol the other uses ‘+’.
You don’t even need to know the other person (have the person in your circles) in order to give it a mention from your side. It’s a great way to interact with others, and even let them know that you’ve used their content or ideas somewhere. It’s what I do – and most of the time it works wonders.
Use this function to your advantage, in order to build lasting relationships. You never know who your next client or business partner might end up being, right? Direct mentions is a great place to start.
Follow the Community Rules
I have to admit that I’ve have had my fair share of misconduct on Google+. It’s easy to get carried away sharing content, but sometimes you do have to follow the rules. You can read more about my ‘warning’ on my recent post about daily interaction on social media.
Every Google+ community has its own set of rules which you have to follow, as displayed in the above picture. The more aware and conscious of the rules you are – the better are your chances of making new friends and building a solid follower base.
You could depend only on hashtags, but the community pages are where like-minded people really come together and get their game on to talk about the specific topics and subjects. You can head over to the CircleCount Communities page to find out about most sought after communities, but I think the default community search page on Google+ serves the purpose greatly.
Try to integrate everything up until this point into one package and you’ll find that Google+ is not only easy to use, but it’s also very rewarding.
Help, Help, Help!
In these times of transitions from one social network to the other, and Google+ growing extensively thanks to constant integration with it’s other services like YouTube – more and more people need answers and help on a wide variety of subjects.
I allocate some time to spend on Google+ every day, not only to find the latest trending content, but to also help community members. It doesn’t have to answer that come into the formats of essays, a simple comment leaving constructive feedback for someone can make all of the difference.
I’ve found that if I spend at least 30 minutes every day (which, in reality, is a tiny portion of my whole day, and probably yours too) browsing and engaging people on Google+ – I gain on an average at least 5 new followers every day.
To do the math for you, it would 30 x 5 x 12 = 1800 followers every year.
That of course is only a rough estimate, as it’s guaranteed that number will be much higher if you can keep up with the demand.
Google+ is a great place to establish yourself as an expert and a knowledgeable person in any field that you work in, mostly of course technology.
I feel like my post on how-to promote content effortlessly might also help you to become a better and more engaging community user on any social network.