Recently, I had the opportunity to try my marketing abilities with Google Plus. As a marketer, I try to have at least somewhat of a presence on the majority of social networks. In fact, whenever I see a chart showing the popularity of social networks, I make sure I’m signed up for most, if not all of them, to ensure I have a foot in the door of the social media world.

Working for a large automotive group, I try to keep my company well-represented online, not only to build relationships, but to take advantage of SEO achieved through posting regularly. This week, I tried my hand at Google Plus.

I’ve been maintaining several social media sites and learning more about them in the process. Facebook and Twitter have become second nature, but what about Google Plus? How can I get people to interact with us there? I was determined to find the answers.

How to prepare:

  • Make sure your page is set up completely and properly. As the representing social media page of your company, you must make sure it is branded consistently with the rest of your sites and has accurate information.  (Here’s a handy guide for Google Plus covers & images, although it’s highly littered with ads)
  • Follow companies, brands and groups relevant to your company.  Because we are an automotive group, I follow our brands as well as automotive review sites, local interests and related groups for fans of our brands. Following these groups will give you content to share and lead to followers and fans.
  • Post regularly. This should be pretty obvious, but if you’re not posting regularly, it becomes obvious that you are not monitoring the page and people won’t want to follow you because the page appears inactive. By posting even just once a week, you are showing your online presence and increasing your chance of gaining more followers.
  • Post photos. Lots of photos. Engaging photos. If you hadn’t noticed, the average consumer attention span is decreasing faster than the speed of light. They are bombarded with so much content on a steady basis that they don’t take time to read much (are you even reading all of this blog post? Probably not.) Share photos, helpful links and anything they can consume in very small bites. Be concise and clever and don’t overload them with too much content or they will simply skim right past it.

Now for the pièce de résistance: the simple things I did to gain 60+ followers overnight:

We received 3 amazing Ford Shelby GT500 Mustangs from a car collector with dash plaques autographed by Carroll Shelby AND each had less than 100 miles, even though they were 3 and 5 years old. These are not something you see very often and to have THREE of them is even rarer.

So I took artsy photos of them and created a photo album on Google Plus. I described the cars in each caption for SEO and included links to our site, since they are all available for purchase. Once the album was complete, I had the option to share it. Since we follow a 3,500+ group of Mustang enthusiasts, I shared it with that group.

Instantly, many of them received an email of the post and within 1 minute of posting, I already had 3 comments. Within an hour, our + count had increased by 30 and I was responding to as many comments as I could to keep the fans engaged. By morning, we had more than 60 +1’s on our profile and even more on our photos. As the day stretched on, our photos were going mildly viral through the Ford and Mustang community and we were steadily gaining popularity.

Next Steps

As much as I don’t want to admit it, that burst of popularity was accidental. I dabble in Google Plus to gain experience using it and to learn more about it, but Facebook and Twitter have been my comfort zones. However, because of the SEO, targeting, and ability to share links with a much larger audience without having to pay for advertising, Google Plus is definitely a platform to pay attention to.

So now, I will be duplicating my “Shelby project” with other photos, increasing our +1’s, sending potential customers to our site, and placing efforts into growing our other brands.

I’m so impressed with how quickly the photos went viral, if even for just a few hours. I felt the energy of increasing our popularity and that is the momentum needed to continue surfing through the waves of Google Plus.