Please note that Google Plus is closing down on 2 April 2019, meaning that this blog post is irrelevant and outdated.
I’ve already written a post about building your social media platform online. In this general social media post, I do touch upon the subject of Google Plus. But my intention was always to write another post, focused on this platform, if only because I’ve found it difficult myself, to find much information on the subject.
People tend to dismiss Google Plus, but I have always believed it to be an underrated platform, and worth making use of.
Lately, however, I have had to question my own position. Being honest, it really does seem that posts on the site are reaching almost no-one.
However, for some time, I haven’t made efforts to actually check in.
I hadn’t been posting to my Collections at all. Also, I hardly use Buffer nowadays. The posts that I used to send fairly regularly, through this scheduler, were going, by default to Google Plus, along with Twitter, and my Facebook author page. I did discuss more about my current position, with my various social media accounts, in a recent post.
So, I don’t have a definite verdict, as to whether or not Google Plus is still worth using, as a writer.
For my own part, I’m hoping to experiment: become consistent on the platform again, and keep my content varied. Time will tell.
For now, I would suggest that it probably isn’t worth investing huge amounts of time into Google Plus, if you don’t already.
But I do feel that it’s worth paying attention to, not least because there’s some evidence that being active on Google’s own social media platform may have SEO benefits. As for Google Plus sending traffic to my blog – it has happened, but nothing significant. That said, I have heard of others who have gained a much more impressive amount of blog traffic through the site – and I believe that it can work particularly well in conjunction with You Tube.
For me, a major attraction of Google Plus has always been that most people do ignore it.
Yes, that’s the down side, in that there aren’t as many people to reach with our posts. But paradoxically, it’s also a positive aspect – at least, potentially – because it isn’t as crowded, “noisy” and competitive as more popular social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Even much of what actually is posted on Google Plus, tends to be spam. Anyone with decent content can definitely stand out, in a positive way.
Hashtags can be effective on Google Plus, so definitely make use of these.
Since not as many people post on each hashtag, your post can actually “hang around” for much longer. Use generalised tags, rather than some of the specific ones that work on other sites. For example, #MotivationalMonday might work for you on Instagram and Twitter, but probably won’t on Google Plus. Think in terms of “does what it says on the tin”. #Writing or #inspiration would be fine. As far as I can tell, #amwriting is a great hashtag for writers, on any platform where hashtags are a “thing”, so feel free to try that one.
My number one piece of advice is to make use of Collections.
They’re similar, in many respects, to boards on Pinterest. In common with Pinterest, others on the platform have the option of following one or more of your Collections, without necessarily needing to follow your account, as a whole. This can have definite advantages, because people are often more willing to follow along with you, if they don’t have to see all of your posts. It can make it easier to cultivate followings in multiple niches, using the same main account. Collections will be featured to other users, which is their major advantage.
Another tip is to browse other people’s Collections, and join any that are of interest. You can sometimes gain followers by doing so.
You might also want to explore Communities, which are basically the Google Plus equivalent of Facebook groups.
I lack experience with these, so won’t attempt to offer specific advice. The challenge, in general, would be discovering active ones.
The final point that’s worth mentioning, even though most people are aware of this, is that anyone with a Google account automatically has a Google Plus account.
If you’re on You Tube or Blogger, then you’re good to go. If the account is there already, why not try posting? If enough of us do, maybe we can make it into an active platform again.
09/10/2018 update: I was sad to learn that Google Plus is apparently closing next year, as a consumer website.