I am starting to see items I share and discuss on Google+ rank higher in Google search than my blog posts in which I discuss the same matter. Perhaps that’s Google’s goal in driving the growth of what is now the second largest social network, trailing only Facebook.
I acknowledge Google+ is new and represents yet another social media to get your mind around. In addition there are only so many hours in a week that you, as a lawyer, can spend on social media.
But Google+, being owned by the largest search engine and growing faster than any other social media, is too important in building a reputation and relationships to take a pass on.
1. Optimize your profile. Google+ is much like LinkedIn in that if you have a Google+ account, your profile is going to appear in search results when I search your name. An incomplete profile leaves you looking unprofessional. Don’t have a Google+ account so you don’t have to worry about your profile? Hardly. A profile is too valuable to pass up and with the accompanying Google authorship for your blog, search will start to perform at another level for you. Here’s my post on how to complete your Google+ profile.
2. Post periodically. You gain the most exposure on Google+ and Google search when you post regularly. If you are not using an iPad to read and share content, get one. Armed with an iPad, you’ll be able share content to Google+ and other social media from apps such as Feedly, Zite, or Flipboard (take your choice) in a seamless fashion which will only take a minute or two. Sharing a couple or three items a week is a enough to get started.
3. Include your commentary when you share articles and links. Dumping links adds nothing of value to your followers. It makes you look like a blowhard and someone not worth following. Share your take or insight in a sentence or two. Yes, that brief. Over time, you’ll start to get occasional plus ones and comments from followers. Don’t worry if it’s not many, that’s okay.
4. Acknowledge other users mentions. Respond to comments on your posts and when people mention you in a post of theirs share a comment. Like Facebook, you’ll receive a notice prompting you.
5. Add Google+ badges to your blog and website. Two things here. First, on your blog make sure there is a share button for Google + for each one of your posts. You’ll not get many plus one’s, that’s okay. Second have a badge on your blog and website that prompts people to connect with you (include you in a circle) on Google+.
6. Share pictures. Google+ will feel like a more professional network to you than Facebook. At the same time, like Facebook, sharing items that are less formal and more personal nurtures relationships with your business associates. Photo’s are the best and easiest way to accomplish this. You’ll be prompted on your iPhone, iPad, or other mobile device to share on Google+ recent photo’s you’ve taken. Share one with a little commentary. People love photos on Google+.
These tips assume you have started following others (adding them to your circles) and that others have started doing the same as to you. If not, spend a little time doing this and continue adding people you like from those Google+ suggests to you.
Don’t beat yourself up for not using Google+ enough. Look at it as an experiment or entertainment that you get to when you have the time. I find myself drifting in and out of using Google+, though recently interaction is picking up for me and I am sharing more often.
Try using Google+. For a lot of important reasons there’s no time to get into here you’ll be glad you did.