Unlike any other social media site, Google+ offers you the ability to get the most out your posts. Because of a few key features only on Google+, the site offers the greatest ability for exposure over Facebook, Twitter or any other. Disagree? Well for anyone who is not a known commodity (celebrity, popular brand) getting visibility has never been easier on G+ – I’m a great example. Many of you have no idea who I am, but that doesn’t prevent me reaching you on Google+. Two weeks ago I had a very simply post about street lights, it was shared by 768 users, +1-ed by 1,582 and acquired 285 comments (link to post). Just try doing that on Facebook or Twitter – good luck. Now I only bring this up, because this could easily be you and here’s how. Below are six steps to get the most out of your posts and give them the maximum level of exposure.
1. Great Content
This is the first rule and it’s an obvious one. Great content has the greatest potential to get shared, which may seem like a no brainer, but is not always a guarantee. First you need to decide what your audience is, don’t force it, and push stuff that is relevant to yourself, business, or organization. Think of yourself as a brand and make sure that everything relates to it. Users when choosing what circle to put you in, may second guess doing it if the content you push is unpredictable.
Also, when pushing this content, make sure that there is only one call-to-action, and keep it positive. Unless you’ve got an insanely powerful point, chances are a negative comment is still polarizing. People don’t respond to polarizing posts. Period. So keep it clean, keep in fun, and keep it positive. Don’t give someone an excuse not to share.
This feature is pretty underrated, but important to keep in mind. Here you can format text in bold, italics, and strikethrough (*bold*, _italics_, -strikethrough-). This makes the post more dynamic, and offers you the ability to invent creative headers and subtext to each post.
3. Post Publicly
Another no brainer, but worth mentioning. Posting publicly is essential to getting maximum visibility. This allows each post to get pushed to outside parties as well as populated in Google+’s search engine based off of your keywords.
Time is also important – but not mandatory. Depending on where you live this will fluctuate, but seeing as I’m from Boston I’ll use EST. Because people have lives, social media usually revolves around them. Knowing when people are at work, on a lunch break, or home is essential for maximum visibility. So here are the best times to post.
- At or before 9 a.m. EST (going to work)
- 12 – 2 p.m. EST (lunch)
- 4 – 6 p.m. EST (leaving work)
- Weekends are grab bags, but same general thought applies.
Now, many people may post straight up embedded links – these aren’t very dynamic. I would recommend a different approach. Post as if you are uploading a photo and use a large high resolution image relating to the content you wish to share. Then fill in the body of the content in the “Share what’s new” section. The reason? These are larger, unique, and catch the user’s attention. A link embed will create a small image, perhaps the same one you plan on using, but what may work in a smaller setting can only improve in a larger one. So use images not embeds.
6. Keeping My Post at the Top
Okay, so now you may know how to formulate the best post possible, but how do I keep people engaging and at the top? The secret? Engaging people. Pretty obvious? Yes. The importance of this has two benefits with one you may not expect. The first is obvious. Engaging people who engage your posts helps everyone. It keeps the user who engaged you coming back to your post, but the other benefit is that it keeps your post up at the top of your followers’ stream. This only happens when you comment, so developing a conversation in which you are an active participant will keep bouncing your post up and up. Developing a comment cadence as well is important. This helps so you don’t have to stay glued to your computer screen and spreads out when it gets bumped up. This allows followers who may have missed it, new opportunities to engage you.
Also, +1 good comments that relate to your post and when developing a discussion with someone on a potentially hot post with many people commenting, mentioning the person you talk to directly is important. You can do this by +mentioning them directly (this is done by putting a +/@ and then typing the user’s name). This allows you to develop direct conversations with individuals and have multiple conversations within the same thread.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if someone shares your post, but another user shares directly from their share you still get credit for it. Make sense? So if you’re really bold, developing outside conversations on someone’s profile who has reshared your content will only help drive up visibility with their followers the same way as mentioned above for the original post. It might make sense early on to +1 any reshared post to thank them for the share as well. I state early on, because the more popular it gets, the more unmanageable it becomes to acknowledge each reshare.
So doing all of these things can only help. Of course, social media is unpredictable and success varies – I’m the greatest example. The important part is to have fun. Without it, it’s almost impossible to be successful at it. A lot of this takes hard work and time, and if you’re not having fun it can be very discouraging. So make sure it’s not only something you want to do, but relate it to yourself and stay within your interests. And of course… Have fun.