Everyone wants to know the secret sauce, how to build vibrant communities in digital social venues. Here is a question to a community manager to whom I responded recently in a gated enterprise forum. The question was, “What are some effective ways to improve circle count and follower engagement on google+?” Read on for some general pointers and references for further reading.
- To arrive at a satisfactory answer, we need more context. For example, ask yourself what are the top3 stakeholders you want to engage? Define them specifically enough to distinguish each from the others clearly. In addition, around what actions do you want to engage each? Given the answers to those questions, you can create a robust strategy for your Google+ Page.
- In the beginning, maintain a rabid focus on community quality, not quantity. In networked environments, your core membership is the root for the tree. If your community/following is a grab bag, you will have trouble creating critical mass to have a distinctive Page. If there are a few people whose social actions detract from what you’re trying to create, block them (very few of these in most cases). Proactively seek out stakeholders interested in the actions relevant to your business and Google+ strategy.
- 99.5% of all Facebook and Google+ Pages have poor/no strategy, so they get poor results. “Engaging with members” in general won’t be very efficient until you have a solid value proposition for each stakeholder *with* its actions.
- Another general rule is that you will get better results by facilitating stakeholders’ participation because it is far more effective than what you say. Achieving this involves an intricate journey up the Google+ hierarchy of social actions (see http://bit.ly/fbladsocact).
- Plan on interacting consistently at lower level social actions. As people perceive your sincerity and commitment, they will start interacting on your Page at higher level social actions. And people mirror each other; they feel it when others are trusting you more and sharing more deeply, which will influence them to do the same.
- The other general advice I can give is to build using a networked model. The context of this post is Facebook Pages, but the strategy will work well for Google+ as well (http://bit.ly/fbnwkstrt).
What is your experience with building Google+ and/or Facebook Pages?