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Google+ Tactics of the Blogging Pros

Over the next couple of days on ProBlogger, we’ll be taking a look at key marketing tactics bloggers are using on Twitter and Facebook.

Since we covered Pinterest recently, I thought I’d explore Google+ today, and check out the approaches some of the A-list bloggers are using on this network.

Tactic 1: Cross-promote a particular offering

Gary Vaynerchuck might have become famous for his books, but he’s been vlogging since 2005, so its no surprise that his Google+ page is dominated by video posts. In fact, he appears to use Google+ primarily as an outlet to cross-promote his YouTube channel and associated videos.

This is interesting, because Gary has a lot of different projects on the go (notably, his agency VaynerMedia, as well as writing and speaking), but he’s focusing his Google+ engagement on his videos.

A similarly focused strategy might be suitable for you if you feel that some aspect of your blog offering is particularly appropriate for the Google+ audience, and you want to see how much traction you can get from the network for that particular offering.

Tactic 2: Day-in-the-life reportage

Deb Ng, Blog World Expo’s community director, and Sonia Simone, the self-proclaimed “Pink-haired tyrant of Copyblogger Media,” both use Google+ to engage with followers on a combination personal-and-professional level.

Have a look at their Google+ profiles and you get a feel for them as people, but you also gain insight into what they’re doing for the brands they work with. Both use Google+ to mix personal interests with family, home, and work-related content. They regularly provide glimpses behind the scenes of their work on brands that are extremely important to many of us in the blogosphere.

While Deb has her own blog, Sonia doesn’t, so this approach can either complement your other online offerings, or be used independently. But in both cases, these Google+ pages give us an insight into what makes these guys tick—something that I expect is pretty valuable for people wanting to engage with Deb about Blog World, or with Sonia about Copyblogger. I imagine more than a few bloggers have tried to get inside the heads of these A-listers by putting them into circles on Google+.

This tactic might be a good one for you to use if your followers and readers would appreciate an insight into how you operate on a professional level, behind the glossy front of your blog’s brand.

Tactic 3: Personal brand miniblogging

Anyone who follows me on Google+ knows that my own approach has been to adopt the forum as a sort of all-encompassing miniblog.

I have branded Facebook pages for ProBlogger and Digital Photography School, and separate Twitter streams for each, but on Google+ I combine those brands under a kind of personal brand.

I see it as a location for rich exchange with followers who want to engage with me as a person, rather than simply with ProBlogger or DPS. In this way, Google+ has become a personal branding outlet for me, and has helped me strengthen engagement with readers and followers significantly since it launched last year.

I think that Google+ allows for a broad reach and a richer kind of interaction with those who have me in their circles, which is why I’ve made it a key part of my online strategy.

Tactic 4: Close curation

Serial entrepreneur and ideas woman Gina Trapani is always re-sharing other people’s Google+ posts. She also spends a lot of her Google+ time sharing content she’s found herself, that she feels others will appreciate. This approach turns her stream almost into a curated newsfeed: it’s cultivated, professional, and targeted.

After decades in the industry, Gina knows her audience well, and knows what they like—and as the host of This Week in Google, she can be sure that a large portion of her tech-savvy audience is using Google+ heavily.

If you’re in the same boat, you might take a few ideas from Gina’s approach. Of course, in any case, re-sharing is a good way to provide valuable information to those in your circles and to support and encourage those peers you admire. How far you take that curated approach will likely depend on your niche and audience, but the sky really is the limit.

How do you use Google+?

This list represents just a handful of approaches used by bloggers, but I’m very interested to hear how you use Google+ in your social media strategy. If you don’t use it, why not? If you do, what tactics and techniques are you using to build and engage with your following there? Let us in on your secrets in the comments.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. joe says:

    I used google + for promote my new blog. Hopefully it could give some visitor

    • CPA says:

      It is a great idea to use google+ to promote your blog, but you have to get followers to make it happen. How do you get your first followers to share your blogposts?

  2. Mridula says:

    Is there a grey area about the copyright of photographs posted on Google+?

  3. Hi Darren,

    I like Gary V’s strategy. Video and pics seem to work really well on Google Plus. Awesome interacting tool, and the bright, shiny images seem to get the engagement train going.

    I use G Plus to share my posts. I also do a little bit of content curation like Gina. Creating value for your followers and engaging persistently – like yourself – seems to work best. I recently posted a few more questions to engage my audience. As I post more questions I note more engagement. It also helps to be patient, letting your posts simmer for a bit. Allow your followers to check out your updates; do not be in a rush to post too frequently as readers have no chance to check out your content.

    I am branching out quite a bit too on G Plus. I did the one way street thing for months due to spending so much time on twitter and Facebook. Now I know G Plus works similar to any social network: 2 way streets work best. Visit your friend’s profiles. Leave value-packed comments Plus 1 excellent posts. Share content. Branch out. Connect. Grow your network and blog readership.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Darren.

    RB

  4. Binny Oinam says:

    As Google+ is relatively new, it may be shocking to admit that I have only 7 people in my circle, all of them friends. I am thinking of following some bloggers and the first one that came to my mind is definitely you..lol. Well, I dabbled and managed to create a Google+ page for my blog which still needs a lot of tweaks. I’ll have to confess, I haven’t gone further. It would be great if you share its pluses for a blogger.

  5. Seriously no interest in trying out Google+ like Facebook. may be I miss the fun element in it. No attraction at all.

  6. Some cool tips there for G+, it’s one network that can really work wonders but I still think it’s a bit under-rated if I’m honest. It has such good impact on search as well you would think that would convince people…

    Thanks Darren
    David

  7. jeffreyskang says:

    we can all agree that plus is a powerful sharing tool with seo benefits. it will kill fb eventually. fb/username exists but where is g+/username?

  8. Ryan Hanley says:

    I love Google+ Hangouts… I have a Marketing Mastermind group that meets the 3rd Friday of every month on a Google+ Hangout. It’s really amazing because anyone can take control and show the rest of the group exactly what they’re talking about.

    All the stuff you’ve listed here is great too… But the Hangouts are a fantastic tool!

    Thanks,

    Ryan H

  9. Brandon says:

    Yes… and how many times a profile has to be reported before having the Google account closed?

  10. Ed Boyhan says:

    Seems kinda odd: here you are providing some useful info on how some use G+, but nowhere on this page is there a “+1″ button to let me share with a circle I have for future reference. Makes me doubt your involvement in the G+ community.

    That said, I’m planning to use G+ — especially +pages — for miniblogging, and for curation (a la G Trapani). I also use some circles as “holding containers” for stuff that I want to store for reference or later actions. Two such circles: ReadLater, WantToPostOnThis — these circles generally just have me as a member (some have no members). I also have a lot of topic-oriented circles: some with members, and some with just me (containers for reference info).

  11. Fraser Cain says:

    Once a week we connect up a bunch of telescopes into a Google+ Hangout, and then broadcast the night sky as we look at planets, galaxies, etc. We’ve even had 5 telescopes going at the same time. Very cool stuff.

  12. My main readers are on FB and although I do have a G+ account, I still cannot see how it helps me. Most of my readers doesn’t have G+ accounts yet. My social media time is primarily on FB and Twitter and I still haven’t seen how G+ can bring another angle for my traffic. But that’s why I keep reading Problogger because I want to keep learning if I am missing something in my thinking.

  13. Yes Good points. I never did understand the pros of guest blogging. Thanks now i understood and i will start guest blogging right away

  14. Ehsan says:

    Honestly, I’m using Google+ just to share my blog posts:D. I have just 8 peoples in my circle and all of them are bloggers like me. Thanks Darren for the tips of Google+.

  15. Julia says:

    We love Google+ and have used it to attract a whole new audience and to enhance our brand. Whereas our Facebook page is more about promoting our blog and trying to drive traffic to it, we use our Google+ page to share other people’s Turkey-specific photos and news articles we’ve found ourselves. We share a lot of photos as we find Google+ to be more visual. Unlike Facebook, it doesn’t send a huge amount of traffic to our blog but that’s not important for us. We’ve got an active page so as far as we’re concerned, our name is out there. And as other comments have mentioned, it’s had a positive impact on search.

    • Ian says:

      Good post Julia – your Google+ page certainly makes me want to visit Turkey every time I see the pictures you post! We’re doing something similar with respect to Baja California, curating interesting articles about the peninsula’s fauna and flora, food scene, etc. Now we need to focus on creating our own unique content, and occasionally promoting what we offer as a tour operator.

  16. Liam Moore says:

    Good article. Tactic 2 is very relevant, bringing a personal touch to your work is so important. I also use Tactic 4 alot on twitter.

  17. Marc Ensign says:

    Hey Darren, great post! I would have loved it even more if you used actual examples within each tactic! I’m still trying to find my Google+ voice so I won’t bother fumbling around telling you how I use it just yet :)

  18. Keith B says:

    It is my hunch that G+ will become a factor in regards to video results within Google search and possibly included across the board at some point as well. Gary knows what’s up. :)

    This is their third shot at social media and it feels like they may be stacking the deck with this version. It is just a hunch though, but they do seem to be changing things around over there.

  19. Daniel says:

    excellent article. i have not used G+ until recently when i found that is much easier to get in contact with people than Facebook. And to me google+ is used more interactively for professional purposes (promoting products, sites) than other social networks.

  20. Deb Ng says:

    Thanks for the mention, Darren! Though I haven’t seen as much engagement on Google+ as I have in the past, I still think it’s a wonderful community building tool not only for my own blog, but for BlogWorld. One thing I’m noticing is Google+’s emerging international community which helps us to reach people from all over the world. I do find the engagement to be more thooughtful than on other channels much of the time and that’s the main reason I’m sticking aroiund.

  21. I used google + for promote my new blog. Hopefully it could give some visitor

  22. Ross Corbett says:

    Personally I am still trying to work out how to actually set Googe+ up. Sounds crazy but I just have not got to grips with it yet, let alone think about how I am going to use it to help build my brand.

    Is it just me or is it more complicated than say facebook?

  23. I’m definitely trying to get more into Google+ and their new UI definitely helps…I love the new layout. As of right now I mainly use it to share my blog posts or other content I have found on the internet. I do not engage on there too much but have slowly begun increasing that as of late. Like I said, the new UI just makes me want to get more involved with Google+, so hopefully I can really start taking advantage of it soon!

  24. Emonne says:

    I use Google+ to promote my blog posts and share articles/information that I think would interest my readers. I love the idea of using it for promoting video content. I plan to incorporate that with my vlog posts.

  25. Tudor Davies says:

    I use Google+ to build up my social media profile, I connect with like minded people and share any links I find using the G+ chrome extension. I don’t actually go to the site very often really, I mainly stick to twitter.

  26. Hi Darren,

    You ask a valuable question – one I’ve also asked myself : “How am I using Google+? Thanks for sharing info on how others are using it – helps me think about my approach.

    Today I finished most of Guy Kawasaki’s book on G+ (loved it). Together with Chris Brogan’s book – I have more than enough inspiration & instruction I think.

    I’m a big user of Twitter (which I love to bits) but so far G+ has been a poor relation. Now I intend to ratchet up my G+ sharing & posting. My aim is to let others into my world as much as I go into theirs. Building my experience of brand building through social activism – especially storytelling. Your post hit me at exactly the most useful point – the tipping-point… Thanks very much