How does your brand engage your social audience on Google+? Engagement itself isn’t necessarily a measure of success, yet an engaged audience shares your social content, demonstrates affinity with your brand and takes an interest in your company by clicking through to your website and buying products and services.

In this second post in the Get to Know Google+ series, we look at different strategies for audience engagement. Whether your brand shares content on your Google+ Page, in a Community, or even in Hangouts, here are 7 tips to help you better connect with and engage your audience:

1. Post interesting content regularly and often. Meet the expectations of your Google+ fans and give them great content to look forward to by posting on a regular basis. This is a far easier task when using an editorial calendar to make sure you cover a range of topics and content types.

2. Use rich media such as photos, videos and infographics. Different sources put fan preference of images over other types of social content anywhere between 40% and 53%. Visual content allows brands to tell stories in photos, memes, charts and more. Video can be a great way to illustrate complex tasks or showcase product features and benefits, as well.

3. Segment your audience and target posts appropriately. Google+ Circles are a great tool for marketers to ensure the most relevant audience sees the content most apt to be interesting to them. Segment your audience using geography, age, gender, or other parameters appropriate for your goals. Target specific Circles with your social content.

4. Ask questions.  Social channels are a great place to do informal polls, ask fans to “fill in the blanks,” or even crowdsource content ideas. Ask your question and make it clear you would like fans to add their input. If you then share the responses with your fans by way of writing them into a blog post, or otherwise using them in future content, it becomes clear to fans that you are truly listening, making them more likely to respond in future.

5. Share insider information about your company. Social fans love getting a behind-the-scenes look or having access to exclusive information. It gives value to your social presence and makes clear why they choose to follow and engage with your company. Do you have an announcement coming out? Share it with your Google+ fans a few hours before everyone else. Share pictures of your team at work, or products in development, for an insider look at your company.

6. Share sequenced content. Episodic or sequenced content is a great way to generate sustained interest in your Google+ posts. This might mean sharing 10 tips over a period of 10 weeks, or talking about a certain topic every week on the same day, at the same time. Break complex topics into smaller, more manageable and socially-friendly posts and let fans know there are more good things to come.

7. Be responsive. This is critical; engagement begets engagement. Respond to fan questions and comments promptly and be an active part of the conversations happening around your brand. Any new visitor to your Google+ Page should see a steady stream of conversation between fans and your brand.

How does your brand engage fans with Google+ content? Share your tips and tricks in the comments!