I recently read that the “+1” button on Google+ is pushed more than 5 billion times a day. While I tried to wrap my head around what 5 billion anything really means, the marketer in me immediately thought: There’s a lot more people using Google+ than I thought. How can I take advantage of that?
Google+ does have a lot of users (over 343 million active ones, to be exact), and with the recent encryption of all search activity along with the announcement of Google Helpouts, Google+ is on every marketer’s radar. And it’s not only great for SEO, but it’s also the perfect place to practice social prospecting.
So, to help marketers make the most out of their Google+ network, we put together this post that includes 6 steps (and visuals!) to help you find potential prospects for your business in the vast world of Google+.
Update: The Google+ platform was sunset by its developer in April 2019.
6 Steps to Find New Leads on Google+
Step 1: Write down the top three keyword phrases people use to find you on search.
These keyword phrases are a great starting point to recognizing how people are finding out about you now. Three of these keyword phrases will give you a solid foundation for prospecting. (HubSpot customers: You can find your top ranking keywords right in the Keywords tool.)
Step 2: Write down three pieces of content that are related to the search results of your keyword phrases.
Being able to identify content topics that hit home with your target audience is key to understanding how to draw new prospects into your world. (HubSpot customers: You can identify your best performing content by checking out the Landing Pages tool.)
Step 3: Head on over to your Google+ account and search your keyword phrases.
Tip: Get better context from your search results by toggling between All, Friends, Family, Acquaintances, and Following.
Step 4: Identify three people and pages that could potentially have leads for you and follow them.
This step requires a bit of poking around. Spend a few minutes really checking out what you’re seeing in your search results. The more time you spend being thorough now will set you up for success in the future.
Step 5: Identify three communities that could potentially have leads for you and “join” them.
Same thing here. You should approach your initial search into these communities like "window shopping": Look around before you commit.
Step 6: Start engaging the potential prospects you discovered on pages and in communities.
Take the pieces of content you identified earlier and use them to:
Dig into pages and people you’ve followed and add value when possible through comments.
Like (“+1”) any content that's relevant to you and your business or industry.
Identify regular contributors in your communities and engage with them through answering questions or providing helpful content.
How to Continually Improve Your Google+ Lead Gen
As a take-home exercise to keep up with prospecting on Google+, you should:
Spend 15 minutes a week scanning Google+ posts and commenting on one relevant piece of content.
Spend 15 minutes a week working to build relationships with regular contributors in communities by adding thought leadership to content they’ve shared.
Want to practice social prospecting on other social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest? Download our latest workbook on using social media to find new leads.