With 359 million users logging in every month, Google+ is hot on Facebook’s heels as the second largest social media site in the world. And now that Google is prioritising content from the platform on the search results page, it’s quickly becoming one of the most important online marketing tools at your resort’s disposal.
So how do you make sure you get noticed on the rapidly expanding social platform? Here are 5 tips for creating compelling posts that drive page views, comments and shares.
1. Insert a Head-Turning Image
Google+ falls somewhere between a blog and a visual-based platform like Pinterest. In May, Google signalled its intention to keep images front and centre with an update that supports large, screen-filling photography. This is great news for your resort – after all, what better way is there to capture the beauty of your local beach or your stylish new remodel than a stunning, high quality image?
If you don’t have your own photo for the post you’re creating, there’s a good chance you’ll find something that fits perfectly at image sharing sites like Tumblr, Society6, Flickr and Instagram.
Don’t forget to ask permission and give credit to the photographer whenever you use someone else’s image.
2. Spark Curiosity with a Magnetic Headline
After selecting your image, you need to create an attention-grabbing headline. This should be original, spark curiosity and promise value or the solution to a problem within the content. The better it is, the better chance your content has of getting read by larger group of people. Thanks to Google+ formatting, it’s also a good idea to limit your headline to under 60 characters to stop it from extending into the second line and leave more room for the all-important first sentence. Which brings us to point 3…
3. Craft a Compelling First sentence
Google has recently altered the format of posts so that only the top 3 lines appear before the ‘Read more’ link. It follows that the first sentence of anything you post really has to stir up interest in your audience if you don’t want to get ignored. If a headline captures your readers’ attention, the first line either intensifies this curiosity or loses it completely. Make sure you make it count.
4. Create Shareable Content
Following its Panda update in 2011, Google published a list of checkpoints to help content creators understand how it was defining high and low quality content on the search results page. Unsurprisingly, these points serve as a useful guide for creating posts that get results on Google+ too, and the emphasis is very much on the touchstones of originality, factual and grammatical accuracy and detail. If you can offer an exclusive insight, all the better. Your aim is to create interesting and valuable content that your guests can’t wait to share with their friends and family.
When it comes to formatting Google+ keeps it pretty simple, but you may find these four tips useful:
- Bold: Want to emphasize a point in bold? Insert asterisks around the word or sentence. You can do this with your headline too.
- Italics: Placing underscores around a word will italicize it
Strikeout: Putting hyphens around a word or sentence will ‘cross it out’
- Bullets: Sometimes a bullet point list is the best way to get your message across. To insert one in a Google+ post, simply press your space bar, type in a hyphen, then space again.
5. Segment Your Audience to Create Highly Relevant Content
As with any online platform, knowing and understanding your audience is essential to successful engagement. With Google+ Circles, you have the opportunity to segment your connections into different groups so you can ensure the content you share is always highly relevant and interesting. How you segment your audience is up to you. It could just be a case of creating a Circle for guests and one for industry contacts. Depending on your business and the strength of your Google+ presence, you may even be able to create different Circles for different guest personas. In general the more specific the content, the more it will resonate with your audience and the better your engagement levels will be.
Has your resort mastered the art of the perfect Google+ post yet? Share any tips with us in the comments below.