Joining communities related to your interest and business is a very good way of meeting people that have interest similar to your own. Many of whom will be able to improve your skills. You can also use this to grow your G plus following and authority while potentially having a great time.
It is also a great place to begin to establish you as an authority within a niche or industry. You can do that by providing your own information. Perhaps share a post that you’ve written on your blog. You can also do this by answering questions that others pose.
Help Others to Increase your G+ Following
Helping others is also a good way to get mentioned on their blogs. You can’t count on that but it can happen and be very good for your reputation. Most will not mention you but if one in ten does and links to your blog or Google plus profile, you’re scoring authority points in the eyes of Google. Matt Cuts of Google has stated they want relevance and reputation in their top search engine results page.
Plus, many people within that group will begin to follow you. I don’t know but I find it hard to believe that Google is not using the information within G+ to gain knowledge of whom and what is important to you. I can’t tell you Google is using G+ data for this in search results but I just find it hard to believe they are not.
Join communities for each area of interest that you have. If you’re like me that might present a confusing picture of who you are. My interests are too many and very hard for me to concentrate on a specific group. To overcome that, I create a page related to that interest and on that page; I’m very specific about what I post and who I add to circles. I also join those communities with my page.
When I make a blog post, I share that blog post on my related page. I usually wait 24 hours and then re-share the post from my page to my personal profile. Usually, I get more engagement on the post once it hits my personal profile as I have far more followers there.
What to Post in A Community
I think the first thing you should do when you join a Google Plus community is look for an introduction category within that group. If they don’t have one, look around and see if anyone else is writing them. Even when I don’t see any, I think it is a good idea to make a post and say hello to everyone and introduce myself. You have to make a judgment call on that though. If in doubt about a post, don’t make it. I find that to be a good rule to follow.
By all means, do not spam the community. Should you survive and remain in the group, you’ve damaged yourself severely. Many people have a service or product they want to sell. Do it on your page and do not do that in a community unless you have specific permission to do it.
Instead, provide valuable information and when possible also provide a link to your website. I wouldn’t link to my website on my first few posts. Be patient in your marketing. People have to trust you before they will be interested in anything you have to sell.
Enhanced Engagement with A Google Plus Community
Add the top posters in a community to your circles and then engage with them. I often setup a circle for a specific community and put the interesting people within that community into that circle. Later I will go to my home page and view that circles stream. If you need help with that, visit my article about sharing circles on Google plus. It is a rather long article but there is a subheading that deals with this. I am discussing shared circles in the article, this will work with any circle you have on G+. Look for the heading How To View a Shared Circle’s Stream to find out how to view a circles stream.
When you are viewing that stream, its likely you’ll see many things that are of little value. Pass right on by those and look for the gems. Reshare those post and comment on them. Leave meaningful, engaging comments.
When you re-share the post tag the authors name in your re-share. Add some text about the post and then say by or via +Rusty Ferguson but change the name to that of the person that wrote the post.
If the post you are sharing is a re-share of the original post also add the person’s name from the post you re-shared with a via +Tantalizing Web Marketing for example. That way, the person you re-shared the post from will be alerted. If you don’t do that, then the person you’re trying to engage with will probably never know you shared it from their profile.
Don’t over do it though, you’re better off with real engagement. That is, comments and reshares that add your own thoughts than just hitting the plus one on everything rapidly. I have people that do that on my post. It can become a bit of an annoyance. Having someone fill up my notifications with 100 plus ones isn’t making a great first impression. It is just too obvious what they are trying to do.
When you engage with others in a thoughtful way, especially with re-shares and comments you are going to get many of those people to add you back. With some people, it make take longer. If the person is sharing great content that will be of value to your readers, stay with it. You’re getting something from the engagement too.
For any of this to tie back into your website, you must have you’re Google Authorship setup properly. Scott Buehler has a very good guide and if you follow the steps in his blog post, you will be able to properly setup your Google Authorship.
Your Google Plus Profile is of utmost importance. Do not post anything on Google Plus before you properly complete your profile. While I find it extremely boring and tedious to complete my profile, it is also the most important Google Plus post you’ll ever make. I’ve written about it extensively on this blog. There are at least three post involving your G+ profile. You can find the first of those on How to Increase your Google Plus Following.
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