1. Create a page for your business or website
When you include your URL in your profile, all your pages will be automatically shared by you. This means that people who have added your page to their circles will see your web pages shared and promoted up the Google search results automatically when logged into their Google account. Even if you’re a one man band or run a personal website, many people are happy to swap follows for follows, so it’s worth looking into to increase your exposure.
2. Use all the image space you’ve got
Google+ lets you upload five images at the top of your page as well as a profile picture. Unlike Facebook, the five images at the top of your page stay in the same positions on refresh, so you can be creative in what you upload. Take a look at some inventive personal and brand G+ images on posts from Mashable and Dreamgrow.
3. Check out the competition
Whether you’re self-employed or work for a company, there’s always going to be competition and inspiration. Check out competitors and websites you admire to see how they’re making use of the network and if it seems to be proving successful.
If you’re a small business or freelancer, it’s a great way to get an idea of the time and effort you’d need to put in to get results without having to start from scratch yourself. There are plenty of useful Google+ articles and reviews out there if you need more information and advice.
Can’t find any of your competitors? There’s a good chance you can get in first to fill the gap, which could be a great opportunity for your business.
4. Find great people and brands to follow
Most big brands are on Google+ now, although there are huge variations in activity. Many companies have chosen to simply duplicate their statuses, whilst others post unique updates and photos you’ll be missing out on if you’re not on the network.
5. Take part in hangouts
Hangouts are becoming an increasingly popular and valuable tool. Whilst the feature is often dubbed a ‘video conferencing solution’, the simplicity and flexibility of hangouts means they can be used for everything from mini webinars of ten people to simple one-on-one chats. Hold a virtual book club, build your relationships with other businesses or just talk to friends and relatives – it’s free!
6. Give the games a test drive
One way to really get involved with a social network is to spend some time taking advantage of the activites on offer. Google+ has added a surprisingly good selection of games to suit all tastes – and they’re nowhere near as intrusive as Facebook’s app game system.
7. Add Heart Internet to your circles
Shameless plug time! We’re working on making our Google+ page into a community for people to share and discuss their designs, businesses, ideas, questions and much more. Add Heart Internet to your circles to get involved.