Google+ Interactive Posts: A Marketing Gem’s Front-End Implementation (for WordPress)
When I first stumbled across the term “Interactive Post” on Google’s very own Developer Section, I initially didn’t pay too much attention to it.
Then I saw this post by Swellpath, called Get Up and Running with Google+ Interactive Posts and since here at inlineVision we’re all about increasing Conversions and CTRs, better Calls-To-Action and any kind of Performance Tracking we can get our hands on, I decided to read up on it and to find out what it is all about.
And I discovered what could be the next big marketing thing.
The Missing Link: The Call To Action
While creating and sharing content on Social Media is (or should be!) an important part of a business’ daily efforts to increase and maintain its visibility and to connect with users, there is no other way to include a dedicated Call-To-Action in the post, other than somehow embedding it into the post’s content itself.
If you are in any way involved in optimization and/or the testing of landing pages, you already know that having a clear Call-To-Action is one of the most important factors that directly affect your conversion rate. Whether it’s the “Add To Cart” button, a “Sign Up Now” button, or a “Download Free Trial” button – they guide the users and (hopefully) lead to the desired conversion.
Getting To Work: Creating The App
Inspired by SwellPath’s article and their Command Center Tool, I followed Google’s API implementation guide on Sharing Interactive Posts and created our own app in Google’s API Console:
Next, I tried SwellPath’s Command Center tool and then looked at Paul Shapiro’s Google+ Interactive Posts Plugin for WordPress.
Said WordPress Plugin is based on SwellPath’s Interactive Post Creation Tool, and while the plugin does exactly what the author says it would do, I found the implementation to be a little “raw”, especially the fact that it opens another tab (or window) and that it’s overall not too visually appealing.
There had to be a better way.
It would a lot easier if there was a button on the front-end which allows site administrators to create the Interactive Post for Google+ right then, right there, without having to switch to the backend, searching for the post, clicking a link, clicking another button, etc etc.
Front End Implementation
How It Works
– The initial dialog loads the parameter collection form and and pre-populates the input fields (based on SwellPath’s Command Center and Paul Shapiro’s Plugin) with the current page’s title and its URL.
At this point unfortunately, you cannot insert mentions, they do not transfer over as interactive elements to the final post creation box. If you want to insert mentions, you have to do it in the final post creation window, since at that point you are interactively connected to the Google+ API and therefor have access to your circles and other functionality.
– It then process the user’s input behind the scenes and generate the actual interactive Google+ post generation button.
– In the final post creation box you can insert mentions by simply typing + and the first letter of the page/profile you want to include.
NOTE: We protected direct access to the script to avoid unauthorized access.
How It Looks
Google+ Desktop View
The Next Big (Marketing) Thing?
Did you notice that the app’s name is showing up in the post?
Besides the fact that you can have a real Call-To-Action button, you get a chance to sneak in your company’s name or anything else (as long as you do not violate Google’s policies).
– Anything that potentially makes a post more engaging is a welcome addition!
– Anything that makes Social Media Management easier is welcome as well – my major reason to code this implementation.
We can plan and execute your Social Media Strategies!