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Google+ (or Google Plus, if you prefer) may be fairly new to the social media game, but they sure are hitting it hard. Currently they are basking in the number-three slot as one of the fastest growing new profiles. With over 350 million active users, it would make sense to build a page on this major social network if you haven’t done so already. What easier way is there to improve your search engine rankings and build your online exposure?  How can you make the most of this new arena and, more specifically, gain more followers?

Here are five often-overlooked ways to get more people tuned in to your Google+ page:

1. Show Your Google Badge With Pride
It may go without saying, but your Google+ badge should be right next to your other icons for connecting with popular social media platforms. These should all appear somewhere prominent on your website, making it super easy and fast for others to follow you.

Make sure that you adjust your settings so that you receive a notification once followers join up so that you can in turn visit them, engage with their posts and build a powerful and professional relationship with them as soon as you’re given the opportunity.

2. Hashtags: Use More Than Google’s ‘Best Guess’
As you are working to collect a large following, you’ll want to format your posts in such a way that your content gets the most eyes possible on Google+. Similar to Twitter’s hashtag system, incorporating one to two relevant hashtags into each of your posts that will best dictate how your posts will be seen by your audience.

While Google+ will automatically add hashtags that the algorithm suggests will match your content, don’t leave it all up to Google. The more discoverable you are able to make your content, the more likely it is that users will be interested in following your Google+ page.

3. Trending Topics: What’s Hot And What’s Not
The easiest way to be seen at school was to hang out with the popular, cool kids – the same is true for the internet. Stay in touch with what is currently trending and tie in with events, hot topics and new trends to gain a bigger audience.

One way to score with this concept is to create a calendar and find a way to share content that is relevant. For example, holidays will often give way to a hot little trend that you can use if you can somehow integrate Fourth of July fireworks or the Easter Bunny within your topic.

4. Make New Friends By Attending Google+ Events
It is easy enough to find a Google+ event that somehow relates to your business, industry, niche or prospective audience. Attend these events and gain insight through lively conversations and shared information. By connecting and relating to other professionals through these events, you’ll gradually build valuable relationships that may even lead to future business opportunities.

5. Share Content In Communities And Get More Connections
We all learned how to share in Kindergarten and now we can use this valuable tool on the web to get more people to play in our online sandbox. Do your homework and research communities that have common interests or other similarities and check their guidelines to ensure that sharing is acceptable. If they allow this type of trading then you are good to go! Given some quality, relevant content, people will be more likely to follow you.

Similar to Facebook, Google+ allows you to embed a public post into the content of your website or webpage. These posts are fully interactive so that people can comment, share, like, or give the ole +1 to follow your page.

The key here is to stay connected and interact with others in building your Google+ network. You don’t need to struggle or become lost on the superhighway of social media. To ensure you are on the right path, stay engaged and make sure to find something in common with your followers.

About the Author: Dave Landry Jr. is an online business journalist and is a personal finance counselor. When he’s not exploring the beaches of Southern California, he enjoys researching and sharing his knowledge about business communications, virtual technology, globalization, and social media marketing. Find more of his writing by connecting with him on Twitter.

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