One of the most surprising facts about Google+ branding mistakes is the number of people who still make them!
Here are ten of the most common – and most often repeated…
It doesn’t matter if you made twelve posts last week: If this week you’re so busy that you forgot to update your company Google+ page completely you’re going to come off as unreliable. Worse, people who had been enjoying “the conversation” will feel suddenly let down.
Keep them waiting too long – or repeat “feast or famine” posting too many times – and you will actually lose followers. And hurt your brand.
Not paying attention to search engine results
If you stop and run searches for your keywords and competitors, you may be surprised to realize how many top spots are held by those with Google+ Profiles and Pages – and how these show up. Besides, if you don’t take advantage of Google+ branding opportunities yourself, you are ignoring the power of graphics and photos in boosting credibility and capturing interest.
Posting empty links
What’s an empty link post? It’s one that does not include a comment and the title seems irrelevant to your followers. Provide your readers a reason why the link you are sharing is important or at least the topic of the article or the title of video.
Forgetting to include calls to action
This is something you see time and time again – it’s not unique to Google+, but to all social media channels. Nevertheless, it’s included here because so many companies seem to make this really inexplicable mistake.
Include calls to action:
- In your Google+ Page posts
- On your website and blog
- With your Google+ badges and icons
- In your Google+ ‘About’ section
Forgetting to install Google+ badges
This one is really inexcusable. If you don’t make it easy for your followers, they won’t bother to share and engage – it’s as simple as that. Only slightly less understandable is installing a Google+ badge on your website – and not including a G+1 button so people can endorse your posts.
Copying your competitors
It’s great to analyze what works for them on Google+. Just make sure you put equal time into figuring out why. If you take those extra steps to get to the bottom of what seems to be obvious, it will be easier for you to apply critical thinking to your own brand strategies on Google+. You’ll grow surprisingly good at knowing what you are doing, what your audience is craving – and why your strategies are going to work. (And that’s most likely what your successful Google+ competitor actually did.)
Forgetting to test and track
Most people don’t actually forget this. The real excuse is usually ‘I’m just too busy!’ If you genuinely are – or you have trouble applying and understanding metrics – it’s worth outsourcing this to a social media expert. Just make sure you have regular meetings while they explain your results – and make recommendations that reap good results when later implemented.
Not having a clear Google+ strategy
You will get much stronger and better-branded results if you put preparation and study into what your strategies are going to be. (Also give yourself a time frame in which to implement them.) Pick one area in Google+ and make it your central platform (but don’t neglect the others). For example, become known for your company’s amazing Hangouts; or brilliantly unique blog posts; or gorgeous, sumptuous original photographs that prompt spontaneous sharing.
Just make sure that whatever you decide to become known for, it is relevant to your business, your products or services, your company’s areas of service or expertise – and, above all, your followers.
Not making use of branding keywords or Google+ hashtags
You’d think people wouldn’t forget these two very basic essentials. But apparently they do – all the time.
Hashtags (unlike comments) definitely increase your searchability and rank. And keywords provide the foundation. (Another big no-no: Forgetting to use actual keywords in your hashtags!)
Forgetting to acknowledge, thank or just plain talk with your followers
Yes, this happens on other social networks too – but it’s never excusable. And it’s a sure-fire way to ensure that people quickly stop trusting you. They’ll simply lose interest.
Finally, remember that everything you do online affects your company brand. If you are focused on your audience, know your business mission and goals, use the unique and exciting tools provided on Google+ and – most of all – have made a strong commitment to build your brand through excellent service – and content – you will be well on your way to Google+ branding success.