Who the Heck do I Put In My G+ Circle?
One of the first questions a business client asks during or immediately after their Google+ Training has to do with… Who Should I Put in My Google+ Circles?
Who, or What, you place in your G+ Circles will have a tremendous impact on your experience. Who is in your Circles will impact what you’ll see in your Google+ sream. Who you see and what they post for you to see will be who you will interact with the most. So, it is important that who you place in your Circle actually are real people, places and things you share a common interests.
This certainly is the direction to take if you are out to just socialize on Google+. However, for businesses, their approach to who to put in their Circles is a little different.
Understanding How Google+ Works
For businesses, their common interest for being online generally lies with them wanting to promote their products or services. Most businesses are only motivated to find consumers of their products and services to place in their Circle. There is nothing wrong with that, but over promoting a product or service online (or anywhere for that matter) gives off an image of desperation.
It is very important that businesses clearly understand Google+ before for attempting to use promote their business. Google+ clearly is not Facebook..and way more powerful in producing results than Twitter.
The primary value Google+ has to offer businesses over other social spaces is Google+ is Google’s content farm. Google goes to Google+ to satisfy the questions being asked in the Google Search. Google first look at both content quality and the interaction to that content receives from the users of Google+.
This instinct most business people have to use their G+ Page like other social spaces and only post promotions of their business products/services is their first misunderstanding of how Google+ best works.
Google Promotes Quality Content and Interaction
Google ranks what content it will provide to the first page of the Google search from a complicated review of the content it finds that satisfies the Search. Not only does Google look at the quality of the content it finds but it also looks at the content and social interaction to the content. Google weights the value of interaction more than the volume of content.
So, to only post large volumes of content on a business’ product and not have any social interaction with the people on the Google+ platform is not seen by Google as the most valuable content to provide on the Google Search results.
In other words, for a business to only post promotions articles, ads or commercials in the Google+ stream and have no interaction with the people making comment to the content posted is not as valuable as if the business had been more social.
No Number Game Need
The Second instinct businesses have developed from using other social spaces has to do with feeling they need to immediately develop a huge following. Have a trillion people in your Google+ Circles is OK, however, as is the case in the other social spaces, having a huge following of inactive followers does not accomplish anything outside of the business developing a false popularity.
On Google+ the number of people you have in Your Circles and the number of people who have put You in Their Circles means very little towards developing a sound digital footprint.
A business with a few thousand very active people in their G+ Circle, who interact frequently, will produce far more valuable content for the business than having millions of inactive people who never interact.
So, for businesses, it is important to hunt for and place in your Circles people, places and things who are interactive.
Be Selective Who You Put in Your Circles
The answer to the question on Who Do I Put In My Circles is simply answered by saying..Be selective to who you put in your Circles. The people you select to put in your Circle are going to be the people you are interested in interacting with. So select people who interact, or businesses of interest to you socially, personally or professionally.
Here are a few pointers on how to Enhance your Google+ experience :
- Almost everything you see in your Home stream is a direct result of who you have circled. Add and Remove people from your circles to help tailor your Home stream to the kind of content you want to see.
- It is very important to Check people out before adding them to your circles. Ask yourself whether you want to see their posts in your Home stream. If you’re not sure, look at their profiles. Remember — it is not an expected or a required part of Google+ etiquette to add people back who added you to their Circle.
- Stay away..or Runaway..from Shared Circles. The best advice is to not accept a Shared Circle from anyone you do not know. There is no doubt Shared Circles can immediately inflate your overall Google+ following. However, before adding a shared circle, look at the people in the circle as critically as you would if you were adding them individually. Ask yourself whether the criteria used by the creator of the circle to include people are in line with your interests.
Quality Circles Take Time
Developing a quality Circle of people, places and things to interact with takes time. Managing the circles by frequently adding people is just as important as removing people who do not meet your interest..or decide to post large volumes of .gif and other worthless content.
The time it takes to build circles is the biggest complaint business have. That is why it is important businesses spend the time they have searching out the people and professionals who have been using Google+ for a long time to ask, or employee, their assistance in suggesting communities to join and if they have a Circle they can share to get started.
Businesses have to learn to be patient and understand that Google+ is not a space to play the ‘I Gotta Be Famous Quickly’ Number Game. Developing an artificial image of influence will play against a businesses online image.
Winning Over Plussers
The key to developing a large following on Google+ is to get people interested in what the business has to offer. The more interesting a business can be the more people are going to put that business in their Circle. Getting people to put you in their Circle is a WIN.
Don’t fall for thinking that putting someone in your Circle will result in them reciprocating and putting the Business in their Circle. That will not happen.
It use to be that over 80% of the people who receive a notification that someone has placed them in their Circle would automatically Add them Back to their Circle. With all the scamming type of businesses learning the advantages of G+, the percentage of people who will automatically Add Backs is well below 5%.
No Headshot/No Profile/No Circle
There a few things to stay away from when it comes time to determine who to put in your Circle. The main thing to look out for has to deal with people, places and things who do not post a Headshot Photo. If someone does not take themselves seriously enough to post a clear photo of themselves they probably are not someone you want in your Circle.
Same thing with Profiles. If their personal profile or business description is not complete it indicates they are not taking their existence on Google+ serious. The best policy to have is to not place anyone in your Circle if they do not have a Headshot or a complete profile.
Bottomline: It is very hard for most businesses to understand that Google+ is more than an online social network. G+ is a social platform and a one of a kind. Businesses do not have to have trillions of people in their following to be successful on Google+. A business can be just as good with fewer people in their following than they have on other social spaces. The reason why is the people who you put in your circle on Google+ are real people and more likely to support a businesses that interacts with them.
So remember, success on Google+ does not come from playing games..it comes from being social…so Let’s Get After It.
Let me know how I can help.