There are certain rules for which you are held accountable for on Google Plus. There has been a shift in dynamics as to how these rules are applied to each and every person that wants to build something for themselves in terms of a successful future in the online industry. Etiquette and mannerisms are being watched more closely and people are more responsive and are being held to a higher standard of interaction (when one interacts). The message is simple. Be engaging.
These are the rules for which I would like to spell out for you. Gone are the days of "post and run". People are expecting more from you, and, if you want to succeed, you need to heed to the rules.
The Engagement Factor
It's really easy to talk about what to do when you go to engage with people. There are specific ways to engage with people to earn their trust, but what about the people that you need to engage with you? Some people get so caught up in social signals and statistics for their website or Google Plus account, they'll spend all day looking at webmaster tools and other tools, drooling over stats. Me, I have never even been on webmaster tools except to hook it up. I could care less about the number of people coming to my site.
However, I do care about engagement. Engagement means direction when you do it in the right way, and you'll spend a lot less time looking at your stats and more time looking at Paypal.
Getting readers to engage with you
Of course the writing of your article is one of the important steps that you have to take. It's got to be thought out and well written so that when people do show up, it has to mean something to them. The other avenue to that is actually getting people talking about your article on Google Plus. Getting them to engage with your posts is a bit harder to do. Now if you're just starting out in the platform you're going to have a hard time getting engagement simply because you don't have a following. That said, having a following doesn't guarantee you engagement anyway. I see people with tens of thousands of followers that get few engagements altogether, so the social count has no meaning.
I recommend building your reputation on Google Plus by following people that are in your area of expertise. After that, you will start to see their posts in your stream. Build relationships with these people by staying visible and on their radar. In other words, instead of sharing content that you've written, save that for later and help someone with theirs. This creates visibility with that person (and you should be doing this with a lot of people too) and get's you on their radar.
There is actually two points to getting people to engage with you. One is for the sheer purpose of helping you create relationships that bring your content to more people and the other is actually creating solid bonds with influencer's as well. Both help your content, but one establishes you as an authority. Because when someone of influence shares something of yours it builds trust and respect for you with their followers and also puts you in front of more people, therefore starting the whole thing all over again.
Communication is key. Simply do this with the wrong reason behind it and people will find you out. Have you ever had that friend that always showed up when they learned you had money that weekend? That person is never around during the hard times, only when they know you have something for them. Don't be like that. People can tell when you're trying to "mooch". Creating personable relationships with each and every one of these people will take time, but it's an investment that you should be willing to make to bring the most out of your engagement.
Watch this last Relationship Marketing HOA on The Rules of Engagement and you'll see what I mean:
Your part is essential in the engagement process. That new person isn't going to talk to you unless you get the ball rolling on it. Slowly come in to their visibility through the uses of comments and reshares (with Plus mentions).
People have a tendency to do this and take a shortcut. I bet you already know what it is too don't you? If you guessed "they never read the post", then that is correct. It's imperative that you take enough time to read this new person's article before you share it out to your followers. The first reason is simply because you don't want to be sharing bad content or false advice to people. Don't think that since you didn't write something that the blowback doesn't affect you...if it appears in your stream, you take responsibility for it. People that DO check out the article, and see that it's bad have a questionable opinion of you as well. The content you're sharing tells you a lot about the person you're trying to win over. Read the post. Perhaps their follower count pulled you toward them and you thought it would be good if I could get this person to engage and share my stuff. If you read the post, you will definitely find out what they're about.
#2-The Plus One
Don't just plus one. People that are worth creating a relationship with hate it when you just plus one so don't do it. Take the time out and see above.
#3-The Plus Mention
There's a lot of talk about whether or not we should plus mention people in both our posts and reshares. It goes without saying that when you share someone's article on Google Plus that you should definitely give them credit, however, the question bodes about mentioning that person/people when you're writing your own update, perhaps promoting a post you wrote.
My personal opinion is this: if it's relevant to what you're sharing, then do it. Perhaps you connected with the user and they helped you with something so you decided to write an article about it and share it with your followers. I believe that is fine. You're giving proper credit. Simply plus mentioning over and over can go against you especially when you're trying to get their attention and you're doing it all the time. Rule #1 is the best option to get on someone's radar quickly.
#4-Call To Action
This has been a valid course of action for my posts on Google Plus as you can see below.
Supplying a call to action is one of the best steps that you can do to get people to respond to you consistently. These prompt engagement like commenting, building up your notification circle for your blog, reading the post, creating an image and title that pulls people in, etc. There are many routes you can take, and I've made a video tutorial on how you can create a call to action in your posts on Google Plus below:
Engage, Engage, Engage
If you're thinking about bridging your Facebook strategy on Google Plus, then I highly recommend against it. When in doubt, put your content aside and engage, engage, engage! Also, when you're not in doubt, do it anyway too just to be sure. Google Plus is full of engagement and there are certain things that you need to do to pull that out of your followers, but the best advice that I can give you is to be your friendly self.
People love real. They love hick accents and mistakes. Don't build yourself so high on that pedestal, because no one will think you'll ever talk to them! We're all just people over on Google Plus and it's a platform that will build your business but you have to learn how to build relationships that bring engagement. When you take the path of helping others instead of yourself, then you've took the first steps in long term success on this social media platform.