Google Plus has been around for a while now. However, there are many people who have not embraced it fully. Some of the tips and tricks aren't easy to find but I am offering 12 goodies to get you going on Google+. No more excuses!
I had the pleasure to work on What the Plus! with Guy Kawasaki and have my own little guest chapter 10+. I hope you will check it out.
I am convinced that your Google+ posts and photos are boosted in the Google rankings; mine appear to be boosted in Google searches. Aaron Lee states that for SEO “Google+ may be the best way for you to improve your search rankings. Google puts a more weight on content that has more shares or +1’s.”
You can click on any photo in the post to enlarge it and see more detail.
1. Set up your profile
First and foremost, always complete your profile with eye catching photos and a sparkling little bit of text. They will be many people's first and maybe only thing they view when deciding if they should add you to a circle. Here is mine and my friend Mana's who inspired me to update my photos. My next step will to get professional photos as Mana did, you can see how appealing and cohesive her photos are. Mana's profile is a wonderful example of using the gorgeous graphics on Google+ to your best advantage.
2. Don't stop with the photos
Your profile needs to have more substance than just photos and a tagline. Google+ gives lots of space and structure for a creative, comprehensive bio with lots of links. Compared to the Twitter bio where you are limited to squeezing it all in, Google+ has a separate column where you can add all your other social Profile links, an Introduction, Bragging Rights, Occupation, Employment, Education, Places Lived, Work, Looking For, Birthday and Gender. Complete as much as you can — honestly and uniquely. Then let people know who you are and why they should follow you.
3. What is a circle?
This is how you organize the people that you want to share your Google + content with each time your post. When you follow someone on Google Plus, you need to select which circle you will add them to. You can create circles for friends, family, co-workers — this is limited only by your imagination. You can also add people to more than one circle.
When people circle you, you will receive a notification and then you may choose to add them to a circle or ignore them.
4. What can I do with a circle?
You can select individuals, one circle or “public”. There are many choices in which to share your information.
Being specific or creative with your circle names can be helpful as well as useful.
To view all your circles, select the icon at the top row with three circles.
This will show all the circles you have created as well as all the individuals you have circled. You may sort them by recently updated, first name, last name and relevance. Drag and drop people into circles to add them. If you want to see who is in a circle, mouse over it and mini avatars appear. If you click on this circle, the list goes to the top of the page and you can edit, delete or share the circle.
5. You can edit posts
One of my favorite features about Google+ is that you can edit a post after it is live. How many times have you posted something on your Facebook wall and then spotted a typo or remembered something that you wanted to add? On Facebook, you would lose all the likes and comments if you delete it and re-add the post. On Google+, click on the down arrow in a circle in the right corner and you have the option to edit this post, delete that post, disable comments or lock a post. When you update a post, you do not lose any +1, shares or comments.
6. Can I send a private message on Google+?
Yes! It is a bit awkward but totally doable. You send a message privately by using the regular stream but only select that one person's name. Make sure that “public” or none of your circles are in the box under the text.
7. Is there anyway to customize your text in Google+?
Use the * symbol to mark the beginning and end of bold text.
Use the underscore _ at the beginning and end of a phrase you would like italicized.
To include someone in a post, use + or @ and then type their name. They will receive a notification next time they check Google +.
8. What is a +1?
When you +1 something, you are recommending that to your friends and followers. This can also be a conversation starter and it a way to break the ice and start engaging on Google+. You will find the +1 button on Google+ and throughout the internet. If you are a Google+ user and you +1 a page outside of Google+, you can share that page to your circles by clicking share. Easy, right?
9. Gorgeous photos!
Google+ makes photo sharing and loading so easy! Using the Google+ Photo Gallery, you can easily view your friends photos and the comments are posted on the right side of the photos in cute chat bubbles. And I am not sure HOW Google optimized the photos but they are truly sharper and brighter.
More photos, more tags, more +1 = more SEO on Google for you!
+1, comment and share. Repeat. Social networks are created for engagement. Want to learn new things and meet new people? Of course! Commenting thoughtfully or with humor is a great way to start any conversation. I love that when you share on Google+, it automatically credits the original source. Great reminder for all social network sharing!
11. What's hot?
A new red text addition after your stream on your profile. This is “a selection of interesting content on Google+” where you can find different content and find more people to circle. Click on “what's hot” and you are taken to the “what's hot stream.” Clearly, this is where the action lies!
12. What is a ripple?
Google created a very cool thing called a ripple that shows the activity of a public share of public post on Google+. The goal here was to help you find interesting new people to follow. You can see the person who shared the post in the middle of the hub with the spokes being all those who shared.
What the Plus! By Guy Kawasaki
Hopefully I have shared some new Google+ tips and I look forward to hearing some of your experiences in the comments. If you haven't embraced Google +, I urge you to give it another spin!
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This post is republished with permission, courtesy of 12 Most and can be found here.