It goes without saying that growing a following on any social network takes time. Each social network is unique in that they each have a different audience and environment in which you interact. Google+ offers many options to grow a following. You can grow a following on a personal profile, on a Google+ page, or by creating a community.
How to grow a following on your Google+ profile page
There are a number of reasons why one would want to grow a personal Google+ page. If you wanted to become a trusted leader in your local area, growing your following on Google+ can build rapport. This is especially important if you are a one-person business.
- One way to grow a following on a Google+ profile page is to demonstrate your expertise. If you’re a photographer, share articles and tips about photography. If you’re an auto mechanic, share some projects you’re proud of. Make sure your posts are shared publicly and that you’re posting consistently. For starters, post something at least once a day. To quickly build a following, share things that show why you are awesome.
- It’s considered good etiquette that if you circle (follow) people on Google+ most people will circle you back. You are bound to find lots of people with similar interests as you. Use the Google+ search to find people that you want to circle. If you dedicate time to add people in your circle you’ll often find that the favor is returned.
- The third tip to grow a following on your Google+ profile page is to simply be social. Growing loyal followers takes time. If you think you can strong-arm your way to a thousand followers overnight then you’re doing it wrong. Taking your time to say thanks to the people who follow you goes a long way. Re-sharing other people’s post that you find interesting demonstrates that you value their knowledge. If you don’t find posts valuable enough to re-share atleast +1 their post as a way to acknowledge that you saw it. The first hundred followers you get are the most important so make sure they are treated like they are your only followers.
How to grow a following on a Google+ Page
If you want to represent a brand or product, creating a Google+ page is ideal. Growing a following on a Google+ page is a bit different than on a personal profile page. For example, in order to circle people, others must circle you first.
- One way to grow a Google+ page is to simply circle other businesses within your industry. Search for businesses that complement your product or brand and circle their page. Unlike people, you can follow other Google+ pages without the requirement of having them following you first. Once you have a good number of pages circled you can apply the same rules of building a following as you would for a Google+ profile page. Re-share relevant posts from other pages, interact with other pages, and thank people for following and for comments on your posts.
- Make it easy for people to find your Google+ page. Google provides tools for you to link to your Google+ page from your website, email signatures, and other marketing channels that you see fit. Some businesses have found success by cross promoting with links to their Google+ page from their Facebook page.
- Creating a Google+ page doesn’t mean you get to hide behind a brand. The key to success with any social property is to simply be transparent and human. Comment, +1, re-share, and post things consistently. One important difference is to share things that makes your brand awesome. Does your staff make your brand awesome? Is your current project awesome? Highlight the things that make your business worth following.
How to grow a following for your Google+ community
Google recently launched communities which is simply a way for people to connect with others who share a specific interest. Communities are great for connecting with like-minded people you may not already know or follow in your circles.
- The first thing to do before you create a community is make sure there isn’t already a community out there for your exact topic. Google+ communities are fairly new so you may not run into this problem, but if there is an existing community, it will be more of a challenge to get people to join your community unless you have a large network to dip into. Name the community around a certain topic of discussion rather than a brand, as that resonates with people more.
- The quickest way to grow your community is to invite the people in your existing circles. This will be an easy step if you have been carefully curating your circles. Google+ currently limits the number of people you can invite at one time so be sure to segment your followers into small circles of roughly 100.
- Once you have a good number of people in your community, ask questions to instigate discussions. The community often dictates any additional sections that need to be created. Again, the importance here is engaging by thanking new members that join, encouraging others to invite people to join, and promoting it on your Google+ profile page or Google page.