Google Plus arrived on the scene in late June, 2011. Although considered a social “late bloomer,” the platform made up for the lost time in a big way. A little over two years later, Google Plus continues to acquire hundreds of new users and unique visitors every month. I became an early adopter and started using Google Plus during those times when people often referred to it as a “ghost town.” Many predicted Google Plus would die slowly and quietly, just as each of Google’s other attempts at social media had before. I ignored the naysayers and chose to stick around. Along with many others, I rejoiced as Google Plus eventually began to blossom and evolve. Trust me – Google Plus is no longer a ghost town and I personally doubt it ever will be again.
In February 2013, GlobalWebIndex named Google Plus as the second most-used social media platform worldwide. In other words, more people are turning to Google Plus as their network of choice for engaging online. Many people still think of Google Plus for its SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefits and for online searches. Google Plus continues to introduce and enhance its social features, making it a powerful social media platform as well as a SEO booster.
Are you new to Google Plus or simply interested in connecting with more people there? The following basics will help you build your network.
Getting started on Google Plus
Google makes signing up for Google Plus easy and efficient. Having a Gmail account makes the process even easier, but it is not a requirement. Going to this link will walk you through every step: http://memarketingservices.com://www.google.com/+/learnmore/
After you register, your very first step should be creating your profile. Start by adding a profile picture and cover photo. The cover photos are huge, so keep this in mind if you are creating one of your own. The dimensions for cover photos are between 1060(w) X 590(h) pixels (minimum) and 2120(w) X 1192(h) (maximum). Associating your image with your profile lets others “see” you are a person with whom they are connecting and engaging. This should help increase the chance that people will connect with you. Other information you can add to your profile include: (1) where you live, (2) where you currently work, as well as your employment history, (3) where you currently attend or previously attended school, and (4) any other information you want people to know about you – as much or as little as you prefer.
Connecting with intent on Google Plus
Now that you have a Google Plus profile of your own, you are ready to start connecting with other people, brands and businesses. One of the unique features Google Plus offers is known as “Circles.” As you start connecting, you are able to categorize your connections. This allows you to communicate with as many or few people as you prefer. Google Plus allows you to share anything you like to the “public,” but Circles may be more appropriate for some of your content. For example, you may be planning a family gathering or high school reunion. Rather than shouting out your plans to the world, you can contain them within a circle of those who fall into a “need to know” category.
One way to build your network on Google Plus is to start “circling” people you know from other social media platforms. As you begin circling each other, Google Plus suggests other people you may know. As you begin having conversations with people currently in your circles, as well as sharing your own and others’ content, you are provided with other people you may choose to add to your circles.
Another great way to connect with like-minded people is through Google Plus Communities. These are groups of people, brands and businesses who share common interests and engage in conversations related to certain topics. Most Communities are open to anyone, but some are “secret.”
This article is only a brief introduction to connecting on Google Plus. There are several other features – such as the photo sharing and video “Hangouts” – which require a separate article (or more) to fully describe their capabilities. Google Plus has so much to offer and is, in my opinion, one of the best social platforms out there. Just like the other platforms though, the quality of your own personal experience on Google Plus depends very much on your own level of involvement. The more time you spend giving other people “+1’s,” comments and shares, it is more likely they will do the same for you.
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Next week: Connecting 101: Facebook