A Guide to Social Media Marketing on Google+

  1. Chapter 1 – An Introduction to Social Media Marketing
  2. Chapter 2 – A Guide to Social Media Marketing on Facebook
  3. Chapter 3 – A Guide to Social Media Marketing on Twitter
  4. Chapter 4 – A Guide to Social Media Marketing on Google+
  5. Chapter 5 – A Guide to Social Media Marketing on Linkedin
  6. Chapter 6 – Planning for Social Media Success

Google+ might not get quite as much media attention as Facebook and Twitter, but it is actually the second-largest social network in the English-speaking world, with more than 540 million active user accounts! Google+ was established in June 2011, making it one of the newer networks on the social media scene. The network’s enormous success and fast-growing user base shouldn’t come as any surprise, since it is owned and operated by the world’s premier search engine, Google. In fact, according to a survey conducted in 2014, over 40% of users interacted with brands’ content on Google+, generating almost as much engagement as Facebook.

While Google+ offers much the same functionality of Facebook and Twitter, it provides some innovative new features of its own, including Circles and Hangouts, which we will take a look into in this chapter on marketing with Google+.

Why Businesses Use Google+

Being one of the newer social networks, and originally dwarfed by the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, many businesses delayed investing in Google+ fearing that marketing efforts may be in vain. However, largely due to its close association with Google Search, as well as Google’s many other online products and services, almost any business can benefit from creating and maintaining a profile.

Let’s take a look at some of the key advantages to including Google+ in your social media marketing:

  • Provides unique and innovative ways for people to communicate.
  • Encourages businesses to join groups and build meaningful relationships.
  • Maintaining a Google+ profile helps to increase search engine exposure.
  • Similarly, everything you publish on your profile gets indexed immediately.
  • Part of a much larger set of resources, including Google Places and Google Maps.
  • Allows users to promote and rank great content via the +1 button.
  • Highly visually-orientated, allowing for greater audience engagement.


Setting Up Your Google+ Profile

Anyone with a free Gmail account automatically has access to Google+. All of Google’s online products work together under a single account, conveniently providing a central location to manage a large portion of your online marketing. However, it is important to use an accessible Gmail account that exists exclusively for your business rather than using a personal account.


When you first create a Google+ profile for your business, you’ll be provided with three options for the type of page you want to create: Storefront, Service Area and Brand. Choose the most suitable option, and you’ll be able to customise your profile by choosing a tagline and profile image. Most businesses use their company strap line or something concise and engaging as their tagline. For the profile image, your logo should suffice. You can also choose a cover photo, so use this opportunity to showcase your brand and capture its personality.

To encourage people to add you into their circles, you should start posting content on your page and sharing some links first. This way when people view your business profile, they will have a reason to follow you!

Google Circles and Hangouts

One of the core features of  Google+, Circles allow users to organise their connections into groups for sharing. Both personal and business users can also create their own circles. For businesses, Circles also allows the added opportunity of promoting personalised content to users in different Circles. To begin with, you’ll need to focus on joining other Circles related to your niche before creating your own Circles and adding people who share your interests into them. Your focus should be on creating Circles with people who are already engaging with your business page by way of comments and contents shares. Circles provide the next level of engagement. Note that there is a limit of 5,000 profiles and pages that you can add to all of your Circles combined, as well as a daily limit to the number of people you can add. These limits exist to prevent spam and encourage both individuals and businesses to focus on building meaningful relationships rather than the quantity of followers alone.


Another major feature of Google+ is Hangouts, which allow users to hold video conferences with their Circle members. Some businesses have used this feature for casual business meetings, providing customer service or even for announcing new products or services.

Best Practices for Google+ Marketing

Research shows that, similar to Facebook, Google+ users tend to engage more often with visual content such as images, infographics and video. Businesses that see the greatest returns from marketing with Google+ tend to be those that promote visually content. As a result food and travel related businesses often find it easier to grow their followers. It’s important to bear this in mind when coming up with a marketing strategy for your business, and find ways to utilise professional photography and lifestyle images that represent your brand. Google+ also supports hashtags (similar to Twitter), +1s (similar to Facebook likes), video conferencing with YouTube support and useful insights into your performance through the Google Analytics dashboard.

Let’s take a look at some of the Google+ best marketing practices:


  • Be sure to use a branded profile image along with an unique and quality description of your business. Use your description create links back to your website products and services. Consider accompanying your posts with keyword-rich titles. If you are a local business, you will also need to verify that you are the business owner, done over the phone or via a Google postcard.
  • Accompany a large portion of your posts with images, provided that is appropriate for the subject matter at hand. King Arthur Flour, formerly a small business in the baking industry in the United States, saw enormous success with their Google+ marketing strategy largely because of the visual content that they posted to promote the recipes on their website.
  • Make use of video content – It doesn’t always have to be your own videos either! Sharing videos of other users is also beneficial to growing your follower engagement. The Best Made Company, a business in the outdoor lifestyle industry, experienced soaring user interaction levels thanks largely to the video content that it published and shared to inspire its followers.
  • Joining other Circles that concern your business and its industry, and get involved! By joining and participating in other Circles and sharing other people’s content, you’ll increase your exposure and help to inspire others to join your own Circles. When inviting people to join your own Circles, choose your connections carefully, not least because the limits on the number of members you can have exist to encourage quality, meaningful connections.
  • Add the +1 social sharing button to your website so that your visitors can more easily recommend content that they like.
  • If you are a local business, Google+ will be particularly useful to you, since your profile will be connected to your listing in Google Local searches and on Google Maps. Be sure that your business page provides all of the necessary information, such as contact details and opening hours, that your visitors are likely to need.
  • To give your profile even more exposure, consider using Google AdWords. AdWords is a pay-per-click advertising platform that you can set a daily budget for, and your ads will appear on relevant websites and in Google search results. With a verified Google+ page, the number of followers you have will appear on your ads.

In addition to the above points, don’t forget that you need to be committed to your Google+ profile. While many of the more general social media marketing good practices also apply to Google+, it is important that you don’t treat it like Facebook or Twitter. Instead, focus on taking advantage of the more unique and innovative features that Google+ provides in order to encourage engagement and facilitate brand building.

Final Thoughts

Success with Google+ relies heavily on regular and consistent participation and two-way conversation. On a final note, be sure to start tracking your performance right from the outset. You can use Google+ Platform Insights to track important information, such as follower growth, successful posts and much more.

  1. Chapter 1 – An Introduction to Social Media Marketing
  2. Chapter 2 – A Guide to Social Media Marketing on Facebook
  3. Chapter 3 – A Guide to Social Media Marketing on Twitter
  4. Chapter 4 – A Guide to Social Media Marketing on Google+
  5. Chapter 5 – A Guide to Social Media Marketing on Linkedin
  6. Chapter 6 – Planning for Social Media Success