Google+ – A Circles Tutorial

Circles is one of the things that really sets Google+ apart from other social networks. In Facebook for example, your friends are your friends – It doesn’t matter if that person’s the postman or you sometimes talk to or your best friend from childhood.

In Google+, you can create circles and put different people in different circles. You can then choose to share things only to certain people and not to others. For example, you might share only professional updates with your work contacts, while sharing photos of a night out with your friend circle.

The people in your circles won’t know what circles you put them in. It gives you a whole lot of control over your data, without any potentially embarrassing situations.

Here’s how to use Google+’s circles feature.

Step 1: Click Circles

To access your circles settings, click on “Circles” in the top navigation boxes.

You’ll see a screen of the people who are already in your circles.

Step 2: See Potential Friends

Click on “People who’ve added you” to see who added you to their circles. You can think of these are your “friend requests.”

Step 3: Drag and Drop Into Circles

To add someone to a circle, just drag and drop them into the circles along the bottom.

Step 4: Create a New Circle

To create a new circle, click or drag and drop into the “new circle” circle.

The create circle box will pop up. Choose a name for your new circle, then either add people to the circle or create an empty circle.

Step 5: Adding by Search

If you want to add someone who hasn’t already added you, do a search for them along the top bar.

Click on the name to go to their profile page. Then click “Add to circles” to add them to a circle.

Step 6: Circle Specific Stream

Want to only see photos and updates from your friends? Or want to see what your family is up to? Google+ makes it easy to see only updates from the people you want to see updates from.
On the left hand side of your home screen, just click one of the circles whose streams you want to see. Google+ will update and only display updates from people in those circles.

Step 7: Circle-Specific Posts

To post an update to only certain circles, click on the status update bar and start writing a post. A box with who can view your post will pop up along the bottom.

To remove a circle, click the small “x” in the top right corner. To add a circle that can see your post, click “Add more people.”

You now learned how to see who’s in your circle, who’s added you to their circles, how to add people to your own circles, how to create a new circle, how to add people who didn’t add you to a circle using search, how to sort your stream by circles and how to post to only specific circles.

Google+’s circles features really makes it easy to use social networking without “leaking” updates you don’t leaked to the wrong people. It allows you to connect with the different people in your life in different ways.

Sarah

 

Like this post? Don’t forget to check out the 30 Day Google+ Challenge, and kickstart your G+ account in just 30 days!

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How do I Improve my Google Plus Profile?

A sneak peek! I twisted Sarah’s arm and she’s giving us a quick look inside the 30 Day Google+ Challenge. Enjoy!

You’ve got your Google Plus account, adjusted your privacy settings and set up your Circles. What do you do next?

It’s now time to take a look at your Google Plus Profile. G+ profiles show up in searches and it helps people decide what circle they add you too. It’s important to get your G+ profile right. Your profile shows when someone presses the “about” tab on your profile.

Let’s take a look at my friend Steven’s profile. Imagine you’ve never met him or heard of him before.

click to enlarge image

If you had just discovered Steven’s profile, you’d be hooked enough to add him to a circle.

  • Add images. Make your profile pic a pic of you. The 5 images across the top can be images that describe you, your work or things that you find important.
  • Add links to make it easier for the reader to understand who you are and what you do.
  • Remember it’s ok to brag / boast about something. Put something memorable in this section.
  • It’s okay to leave things out. If you don’t want to mention what schools, colleges and universities you went to, that’s ok. If you add them it can reassure people that you are “educated” in what you do – it can add to your credibility.
  • Add links to your other social profiles so people can follow you on those sites.
  • Remember to add links to your websites and blogs

The more hooks you have in your G+ profile the more likely you are to be added to a Circle that’s listened too. The secret is to get the right balance of business and personal. I work to the rule if I wouldn’t want my mum to read it it, then I don’t write it.

Depending on your privacy settings you can see what type of content you share in your circles. For me this is a big indicator of where to place a person. If it’s things that I find interesting then it’s easy to place them. If I see they share other people’s content I can see that they are getting around and may share interesting things even if I don’t like their recent shares.

If I see a logo as a profile pic and a heap of self promotional tripe then I don’t add the person to anything. I move on to find someone else of interest.

Take a good hard look at your G+ profile.

Would you follow you?

Sarah

If you haven’t already grab a copy of the 30 Day Google+ Challenge here

Grab it pre-sale asap

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Don’t bother with Google Plus

If you have been off visiting another planet, buried deep in the snow or only read mainstream newspapers I’ll forgive you for not hearing and knowing about Google Plus. Anywhere else, and you have no excuse 😉

Google Plus is a terrific tool for small businesses everywhere and if you get to grips with it you will reap the rewards.

It takes a bit of work, if you don’t like work stop reading now and go and play with your kittens or something. There’s no such things as a free lunch and Google isn’t handing you one right now either.

A little effort, spread over 30 days and you’ll see terrific results.

Grab it pre-sale asap

1. Go and get a Google Plus account. Right now.

2. Create a circle and call it “just for me”. Drop the URL of this post into that circle. You know where to find this article now, so come back often.

3. Add a G+ button to your website and blog 

4. Ask some friends to Plus a page. Make note of the pages usual traffic and see how much better it does once it’s been plussed. A week is all it takes to see better results.

5. Getting into it? Need some more tools? Take a look at this post  – 13 tools for smarter Google Plus action.

6. If you need more info on how to start Google plus; Chris Brogan has some screencasts on how how to change your privacy settings.

7. Anson Alexander has a great post on how to use your Circles.

8. Sharing good content with relevant circles is essential to growing your relationships. Need  a Google Plus bookmarklet – handy for sites and pages you wish to share and they don’t have a g+ button.

9. Upload some images to your profile. People are visual and having a profile image and several images across the top of you profile means you have put some effort into being on Google Plus. You are more likely to be added to circles if people can see what you look like. Personally I never add a logo to a circle to me it’s an indication that all I am going to get from that person is self promotional rubbish.

Of course if you don’t want better search traction, better engagement experience and more customers then don’t bother with Google Plus. Carry on as you are and let your competition get ahead of the game.

Sarah

Want to make the most of Google+? Sarah is the author of The 30 Day Google+ Challenge, available to prebuy now at just £4

 

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