So You Decided to Give Google+ Another Chance. Now What? Here are the First 5 Steps

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Google+ has to be the most controversial social initiative since… ever. There are those that swear by it and the traffic it drives, including myself. Then there are those that laugh at every mention of Google’s social efforts. Now to be fair, Google doesn’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to social, so some might say the ridicule is in order.

Having said that, my experience with Google+ has been that my posts, which I share (not the same exact wording, but you know…) across Twitter, Facebook and Google+ see significantly more engagement on Google+, especially when we are talking about a visual post (picture, video, etc.).

“Significantly more engagement” has to be the understatement of the century. Let me break it down for you. A picture I will share on Facebook to my few thousand friends and 10k followers (very original concept, Facebook) will get around 50-60 likes and around the same number of comments. Twitter will often generate 30 or so re-tweets and the same number of replies. That same post on Google+ will see over 1000 +1s, hundreds, sometimes 500 shares, and two to three hundred comments. So “Significantly more engagement” doesn’t exactly cover it.

But you see, Google+ has a real problem, or at least a perceived problem. It is not nearly as mainstream as Facebook so people who do give the platform a try, often end up leaving when they can’t find their friends on Google+.

I get the following question at least once a day: “I tried to use Google+, but it seemed the only people who use it are Google employees, Scoble and you. What am I doing wrong?”

Well, here are the five things you didn’t do that would have provided you with the full Google+ experience had you done them:

5 How Long Was This Experiment You Conducted?

Oh, you went into Google+, looked around for five minutes, then went back to Twitter or Facebook to make fun of it? Very professional of you. Like anything new, Google+ needs to resonate. Give it the time it deserves, because guess what? Sooner or later, you will need it. After all, no one controls the web like Google and Google has made it very clear that Google+ is here to stay and will play a very serious role in the future of the web and mobile. So stop laughing and get circling.

4 Pictures Are Your Best Friend

Listen, I am a huge fan of Twitter and have been for years, but when it comes to visual content, it is broken. Google+’s middle name is photography. Use it to its maximum potential. Sharing an article you read or wrote? Include a picture because that will automatically boost your engagement on that post by 500% (no, I didn’t measure that). Google+ has endless photo capabilities built in, use them, and enjoy seeing your numbers explode.

3 Field of Dreams

Provide value on Google+. Give reason for people to circle you. “If you build it (the content), they (the people, the numbers, the engagement) will come.

2 Empty Room Syndrome

Ok, this is going to come as a shocker, but if you are in an empty room and are yelling at the top of your lungs, no one will respond. Why? Because there is no one there to hear you. You with me so far? Great. Logging into Google+ when you have zero people in your circles and when zero people have circled you, will pretty much offer you the same experience as an empty room. Of course you are not seeing people in your stream because you haven’t added any. So find topics and people that interest you and circle them. Then talk to me about Google+… if anything you will be complaining about it being TOO active.

1 Would You Circle You?

Before we talk about the content you are consuming on Google+, let’s talk about the goal of every social platform. Connecting. Circling others and having others circle you. Except, your Google+ profile is empty, it doesn’t have a picture, it doesn’t have any content and there is no reason anyone should engage with you. Get on that, make yourself as attractive as you would if you were going out to a party in which there were many other people, but you, for whatever reason, wanted to stand out. Because, that is what Google+ and social media in general is, a party, so don’t just walk in and walk out without working the floor. More on that later.

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