Top Google+ tips for growing your audience
Google Plus seems to have a low profile with people at the moment. Many appear to think that Plus is dying or not really catching on. We remember they said the same about Twitter once. Where people are going wrong, we think, is in not treating Google Plus as a specific type of network with its own tools to allow you to communicate and discover.
So here are our top tips for using Google+ and our methodology to growing your Circles.
It may seem an obvious one, but how you Circle people is important. To start with, we would Circle 500 people at random, naughty you may say, but as with any new network you have to start somewhere and we like a diverse range of topics, as people rarely post the same type of content constantly.
That diversity can help to build stronger inter-circle connections over the longer term. Add these 500 people into a Circle called Watch and create an empty circle called Keep.
Now you are following some people take a look at their posts and start to engage with them, write a comment, +1 their posts or share posts you find interesting and people will Circle you. Use +Name to tag the poster if you would like to refer to them directly. Do this every day as well as posting your own interesting content.
Keep an eye on the notification marker (top right) when someone replies to a thread you have engaged with and if they reference or reply to you in some way hover over their name and add them to your Keep Circle.
They should now exist in two circles your Watch and Keep. If other users on the thread interact with you add them to Watch if you have had a particularly good conversation you may add them to Keep at this point.
The reason to use a Watch and Keep circle is so you can grow your network quickly and keep those that engage over the long haul. In six months’ time you may want to prune your Watch folder or delete it entirely, that is up to you. We try to keep our Watch folder at under 500 so it can be monitored as efficiently as possible.
Expanding your Circles to topics
Over time you will find some Plus users fit better into categories like Fundraising or Charity. Create a new empty Circle and add relevant people from your Keep Circle into these topic-based Circles. This will allow you to keep a closer eye on certain topics you enjoy, drawing you closer to key influencers who post about that subject daily.
Start to write posts and share content directly to those Circles that match the subject type. By directing a post into a topic-based Circle those users are much more likely to engage if you have a relationship with them already through previous interactions. The fact it’s “on topic” is the icing on the engagement cake.
Use the Related Suggestions
Google Plus provides a tool that will suggest users you may like to Circle, based on people you currently Circle. This is a great tool. Once you have a few people you engage with regularly, drag that user into the suggestion box and Google will find other users who have a similar interest-graph to that user. They may be friends with that user which can help to increase your Circle base (the friend of my friend should be my friend).
Your Profile is you! Smarten up!
Take a look at your Google+ Profile page. Are you using the image blocks at the top to tell people more about you in pictures? A few nice images may be from where you live, you and your family or work can help to turn a “who’s this bloke” into a “oooh interesting, must Circle” person. Add details about your hobbies, work and career. If you run a website, blog or other online destination make sure you add those links to your Profile page.
No instant results, stick at it
In Social Media there are no instant results, just optimised paths that can maximise the outcome you receive for the time you put in, and that’s the key thing here. A little every day adds up to more than four hours once a month.
To build a network, people need to see you every day, be reminded of why they Circled you in the first place (your great content, conversation or engagement). Stick at it and in a few months you will see the same thing we see with Google Plus, a powerful and fast growing social network. Not an also ran, but a leader of the pack.
Don’t forget the Google Plus mobile app
The apps for Android and iPhone have come along leaps and bounds over the years. The Android app especially is first class.
If you’re a Google Plus user how have you found growing your network? If you’re struggling what has been biggest block for you? Sound off in the comments below.