Google Plus, among the major social networking platforms, gets more than its fair share of online traffic myths. One of the most pervasive myths regarding Google Plus communities is the fact that if you have a lot of Google Plus friends and people share your content in their circles, chances are, Google will send more traffic your way. In other words, according to this myth, Google Plus has search engine benefits.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but studies by research marketing firms conclude that Google doesn’t really give much weight to Google Plus activity. In fact, one of the head honchos at Google has gone on the record as saying that Google Plus activity doesn’t really benefit your content. According to Google, at least officially, Google Plus is its community which is separate from its search engine. Another way to interpret it is Google Plus is basically Google’s response to Facebook, and it is not really a research mechanism for its search engine.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is still traffic to be generated from Google Plus. Considering the fact that hundreds of millions of people have access to Gmail and by extension, Google Plus, you would be a fool to overlook Google Plus’ traffic generation possibilities. Keep the following tips in mind so you can maximize the value of your Google Plus traffic generation initiatives.
Search by Niche
It’s very tempting to look at Google Plus marketing in the same way as Facebook group marketing. If you have ever been a member of a Facebook group, you know how much spam there is in Facebook groups. This is really sad because a lot of these Facebook groups are actually highly targeted. A lot of these Facebook groups have the seeds of greatness in them. Why? They are so specific to particular niches that they can actually be high-value resources for highly particular research.
Unfortunately, many Facebook spammers have flashed these Facebook groups down the toilet by using software that just blast unrelated and irrelevant crap to these groups. This is really a shame because it is cut down on the usefulness of Facebook groups. The good news is that Facebook groups are moderated. If the moderator wants to, the Facebook group that he or she is moderating can offer high quality materials. This is why when you visit Facebook groups, some of the groups are almost worthless while many are actually top-notch. Unfortunately, if you are researching a particular niche, or you are looking to market a particular niche, it can be a hassle filtering out the wheat from the chaff. You have to filter a lot.
Unfortunately, this is what’s happening with Google Plus communities as well. There are so many communities that have just been put up for spamming purposes. As if the people that join them (assuming that they are people and not software) would actually take the time to read the links. As a result, many of these Google Plus communities are actually spam communities. You don’t join them so you can read stuff. You join them so you can spam. The saddest part of it all is that the other people in that community are also spammers. Since spammers rarely buy from each other, it’s not a stretch of the imagination to say that many of these Google Plus communities are a complete waste of time.
Avoid Spam Communities
If you want to generate real traffic from Google Plus communities, it would do well for you to pay attention to the communities that you join. In many cases, it’s very hard to know right off the bat whether that Google Plus community is a spam community. Pay attention to the behavior of the other members. Look at the stuff that they are sharing. You can see quickly whether a community is worth your time or not. If you get hit with at least two pieces of spam, leave the community. At the end of the process, you should be able to compile a massive list of clean communities that don’t send any spam.
Fewer but Better
When it comes to Google Plus community marketing, you would profit tremendously if you adopt the Zen Buddhist philosophy of less is more. In other words, focus on targeting fewer communities, but make sure that these are quality communities. You have to understand that if you really want to sell online, you have to build trust. You can’t build trust by being a spammer.
You can’t build trust by just randomly blasting ads to a wide number of people. The lack of targeting will basically ensure that you will get very little results for your activities. We are not even talking about cents on the dollar. We are talking of zero money. This is why it’s very important for you to zero in on highly specific niche communities in Google Plus, and spend a lot of time engaging those people. In other words, focus on building rapport and building a real community with these people.
Engage with Real Thought Leaders
Just like with any group of people, there are always going to be leaders. You take one thousand people or even one hundred people together, and you will see that there will always be at least one influential person there. This influential person doesn’t necessarily have to have a title. This person doesn’t have to be elected or anything. This person doesn’t even have to be particularly good looking, tall, or have some sort of physical indicator of greatness. Regardless of how this person talks and carries himself or herself, this person rises above the competition.
The 80-20 rule is true regardless of what human activity we are talking about. The 80-20 rule is very basic. Twenty percent of any population is responsible for 80% of the results. This is true regarding wealth, real estate, wages, productivity, you name it. This is also true regarding influence. So when you join a Google Plus community, make the 80-20 rule work for you. Look for the 20% of that community’s members that exert real pull or influence with other community leaders. Engage with those people. Get on their good side. Make them trust you. Make them feel that you know what you are talking about. Make them comfortable.
What Benefits do you get?
What benefits do you get from spending time with thought leaders and getting them to rebroadcast your messages? Well, first and foremost, you get direct traffic. If you hit the right people, and they share your content, you will get direct traffic. Why? These people actually have influence. In other words, people actually pay attention to them and click on the links that they share. This is how you get direct traffic. Also, these people are either bloggers, or they are followed by bloggers. This means that if they like your content enough, they might blog about you, and you get backlinks. Finally, if you spend a lot of time filtering the right people, the mere fact that they are talking to you and are acknowledging your existence, gives you credibility and authority. Why? They have so much credibility and authority that some of it spills over to your brand.