There is a reason that certain people get more engagement, more followers, and are more successful on Google+ than others. A lot of it has to do with they way they craft their posts.
In this post I’ll go over the anatomy of a perfectly crafted Google+ post. Seven components that, if executed properly can make your post look like they were written by a pro.
Why Should You Care?
Let’s face it– the internet is plenty full of garbage. There’s more than enough bad content littering the digital space than we could possibly consume in a lifetime. If you want to make your ideas and creativity stand out you must take the time to do things with excellence.
On Google+, the audience there is highly engaged and they have a low tolerance for spam. So don’t expect to phone it in or put your Google+ activity on autopilot and get a good response. But when you take the time to put a little craftsmanship into your posts, it really pays off.
So here’s a few tips to make sure your posts stand out and get the proper attention they deserve.
Start with a title, just like it were a blog post. If you’re posting a link to a blog post, just make it the title of that blog post. If you’re only making a casual Google+ post, give it a title anyways to give people a taste of what to expect.
Be sure to also use an asterisk (the * symbol) at the beginning and end of your title. Google+ will then make everything between the first and second asterisk bold. That’s how you get the bold title effect.
If you have a tagline, or maybe a second part to the headline, it adds a bit of extra flair to use underscores (the _ symbol) at the beginning and end of the sentence which will make the line italicized.
Take a few sentences to explain what you’re sharing. Tell people what it’s about. This isn’t Twitter, so don’t worry about it being less than 140 characters. Google+ers like substance.
If you’re sharing a link to a blog post, this is where you want to hook the reader and give them a reason to click-through to the full article.
Don’t just tease though, because nobody likes a tease. Really share something from the article that would make it worth clicking through. Maybe share a few of the best points from the full article or a summarized bullet list.
Give the reader a clear link to the article or blog post you want them to click-through. If you’re not sharing a link, then just ignore this step.
If you are sharing a link, it’s best to use a URL shortener like goo.gl, bit.ly or other similar service. Beyond just making it look prettier by not having a ridiculously long link in there, these services also allow you to track how many times that link was clicked on so you can measure your efforts.
Share your thoughts or perspective. If you didn’t already do this in the second part, give your readers a taste of your perspective. Let your opinion or perspective shine so people can hear that this is more than you regurgitating someone else’s content.
How’s that for a visual– content regurgitation. Yum.
Prompt people to respond in the comments. My favorite way to do this is to ask a question related to the article. Make it easy for them to engage with you by directing and sparking the conversation.
This is where you want to throw in any relevant hashtags related to your post. Make them specific, and don’t use too many because it can tend to make you look spammy.
Personally, I think you can always get away with three hashtags or less. If you need any more than that, you may be trying too hard.
Every good content creator knows that a relevant image is important. Google+ posts are the same way. Demian Farnworth would even tell you that this is the first step in the Art of Writing Great Google+ Posts.
When you use a high quality image that is relevant to your post people are much more likely to read it, +1 and/or share it. This is important if you’re sharing a link to an article or blog post because all of these social signals will be directed right back to the link that you are sharing. (I discovered this during my Google+ experiments.)
Additionally, using a high quality image makes it likely for your post to go full stream. In case you’re not familiar with that term, full stream refers to when a Google+ post is enlarged to cross over all of the columns in the stream. This makes getting noticed much easier.
To increase your likelihood to go full stream, be sure to use a photo this is horizontally oriented as opposed to a vertically oriented.
If you manage to hit all these points, you will surely grab the attention of many more eyes. Stay consistent at creating this level of craftsmanship in your posts and you’ll inevitably amass a legion of loyal followers who can’t get enough of your content!
Add this graphic to your own site:
One Last Thing
This formula has been proven time after time to get significant engagement for content. It’s not a magic formula that will give you over night success though. It’s simply a guideline for making your posts stand out amongst a sea of content.
Don’t feel like you have to keep the same format over and over again though– do some experimenting. Components 1, 6 and 7 are pretty important to keep where they’re at, but get creative with how you mix around components 2-5. Keep it fresh so that your readers don’t get bored.
For further reading, Peg Fitzpatrick has put together a fantastic post titled Five Easy Steps to Bake the Perfect Google+ Post.
Have you seen some of the more successful people on Google+ using any or all of these components?