How to Win Followers and Influence People: Build Your G+ Following in 3 Steps

June 16th, 2015 by Search Influence Alumni

We’ve cracked the code to successfully increasing the Google+ following for a small business (or at least we know we’re on to something). Our little experiment shows that if you follow three simple steps, you can gain more followers on Google+.

Now, before you equate the importance of Google+ (colloquially referred to as “The Plus”—it’s a thing, I promise) to that of utensils at a pizza shop or a certain search engine that rhymes with “wing,” it is important to note that although Google has consistently denied any causal relationship between what shows up in a Google search and activity on “The Plus,” evidence shows there may be reason to listen up. Besides, even if you don’t drink the Kool-Aid and immediately become a Google+ fanatic, I think we can all agree that vying to be in Google’s good graces is always a smart idea. I mean, come on, you wouldn’t skip your boss in line at the movie theatre or punch Ryan Seacrest in the face after winning a trip to Hollywood (OK, I can’t make any promises on that one), but you get the point. Don’t bite the hand that feeds.

Follow and Compliment

Now that we have established that Google+ matters, let me clue you in on a little G+ secret. People on social networks are like that hyper-masculine guy on your road trip: all they want is to be followed and complimented. Following, and subsequently +1’ing a person on Google+, is like referencing your buddy’s cheese blog in the bar you are currently patronizing with a group of friends. Not only have you discovered him on an incredibly remote platform, but you’ve even followed up with a compliment! Go you, Stanley, you’re relevant, and people appreciate your knowledge of cheese.

In all seriousness, though, over the past few months our experimentation shows that you will receive at best a 40 percent return rate in followers. For every 100 people followed and +1’ed, we received approximately 40 follows in return. It is important to note that the client happened to be a particularly interesting and popular business. That’s not to say the inherent love of HVAC nuances isn’t bountiful across the land, but it’s just something to keep in mind.

Given the fairly low rate of return, you can see how this may prove to be quite taxing if your goal of followers is in the hundreds, especially considering Google+’s limit of 50 follows per day. So what shall we do as small businesses owners armed with this knowledge? Luckily, as your in-house guinea pig, I am here to break it down into three simple, effective steps.

3 Steps to Building Your G+ Following

1) Start by following larger, established pages in your geographic area. Think The Wizarding World of Harry Potter if you are located in Orlando. If you need help getting to the Google+ page for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I can’t help you. If you have to ask, you’ll never know. If you know, you need only ask.

2) Once you have lost yourself in a voracious “following” spree, now it is time for flattery. The people who occupy the comment threads of your newly acquired network are relevant to you in a few ways. Not only do they most likely engage with local businesses, but they are also active on “The Plus” ← there it is again! See, I told you it’s a thing. Start following and +1’ing posts in your stream you deem relevant to your business’s interests.

3) Be sure to watch out for exceeding Google’s “follow” limitation on a larger scale. After you exceed 1,000 people/pages followed on Google+, we’ve noticed that the social network gets a little buggy. If you begin “maxing out” of follows well before your promised allotment of 50, simply take a break for a week, binge on some Netflix, and live to fight another day.

That’s all for now, folks! If my team discovers any new, innovative ways to garner your Google+ following, we will be sure to let you know. If you hear nothing, that means Skynet, ahem, I mean Google has discontinued “The Plus.”

Image sources:

Kool-Aid GIF

Guinea pig GIF