Going into December 2013 roughly 220 people had me in their Google+ circles. I had been using G+ for a couple years, and I employ the word “using” quite loosely here. By that I mean I was squarely in the Facebook and Twitter camp, and saw no point to investing in my G+ presence.
Why? Well, when I first got onto G+ years ago it didn’t seem like anything was happening there. None of the people I knew were active on there, nor were people I interacted with on other social networks. During those couple years I went all in with using the other social networks to establish myself, and have maintained a Klout score close to 80 during a lot of that time. G+ was not integral to that strategy.
So what changed? Maybe I realized I hadn’t given myself over so completely as I’d thought. Instagram was a revelation, and after plunging into that during the summer/autumn of 2013 I realized how much more I had to learn. Concurrently during that time frame I was learning how to use Empire Avenue. It was one of the major Empire Avenue users–Michael Q. Todd–who energized me to achieve on G+.
As of the time of posting this 5,074 G+ users have circled me. That’s more friends than you’re allowed to have on Facebook, and I gained it all in roughly 7 weeks. More importantly, my posts not only are getting “plussed” they are getting a lot of plusses and shares. I think my top post had 46 plusses and 15 shares, as compared to a couple months ago when there were no plusses, no shares. And believe it or not, but when I started this piece a few days ago I was only at about 4,600 followers, so you can see this is just growing exponentially.
How did I do it? Well, Mr. Michael Q. Todd got me to share a type of post I had not seen before, something called a “circleshare,” and it grew from there. Well, sort of. A lot of observation was required, and also drawing from my experience with other social networks. On top of that I looked up what circleshares were and what was the best way to make use of them…there were multiple articles and opinions about this.
What I can tell you is that I came to rely on the following 10 guiding principles for using Google+, and I realize they are just a short term jump-start technique for new users. At the end I’ll post some resources that expound further on utilizes G+ to its fullest. But, for now, I give you the 10 ways to boost your G+ profile 2,400%!
- Functionality: G+ functions much the same way as Instagram. That means the environment is highly visual, so you have to supply a lot of visually-oriented content.
- Posting: this aspect mimics Twitter. Posts just flow on by, so posting very frequently is not only forgiven, but a must.
- Social aspect: the networking feel is somewhat similar to Facebook. People the the happy birthday wishes here, comment on each others posts regularly, make introductory posts to each other after being circled, and so forth.
- Circles: these are essentially “friend lists” with following functionality. This part was confusing when I first joined, but now I love it because your content can be set to be seen by people in certain circles. When you circle someone you are deciding what level of access they’ll have to your posts, but there’s more to it–I’ll touch on that in a second.
- Sharing settings: sharing your posts to “public” works best. You can keep posts private by sharing to certain circles, but it seems you can inadvertently be sending a lot of notifications to the circle members.
- Circlesharing: I wish every social network had this! It’s an improved version of those sometimes questionable follow trains on Twitter. Basically somebody puts together a circle of up to 500 G+ users, attaches them to a sharable post, and people can add them all with just one click of a button. To make their circleshare a success people usually include high quality active engagers so everyone will want to share the post, improving their circleshare rank. Follow the instructions on the original posts and soon you’ll find yourself being included in those particular circleshares.
- Engagement: when you log in check each of your circles (friends / family / following / custom circles, etc.) to plus, share, or comment on what the members have recently posted. This is especially important for those you’ve just circled in circlesharing posts so you can build a relationship with them, thereby encouraging them to circle you in return. That is if they’re not at their limit (unlimited people can circle you, but you can only circle 5,000 max). The best solution seems to be to make a new, custom-named circle to add the circleshare members to, so you have definitive lists that you know contain all-new G+ users for you to engage.
- Reciprocity: this has worked to various effect on all social networks, best of all Instagram, but if somebody plusses your posts on a regular basis–or a lot of posts at once–try to plus their posts sometimes. You create a positive feedback loop just by putting in the time.
- Groups: accept group invitations if the groups aren’t based around something illegal or offensive to you. You’ll be seen and circled by members, and invited to more groups, and it will become self perpetuating.
- Etiquette: be polite at all times. You’d be amazed at what doors simple, baseline common courtesy will open for you without attempting to “get” things. A huge portion of my success on G+ is derived from thanking people when they do things for me, helping out where I can, and so forth. I was even included as part of the new People Who Say Thank You circleshare earlier this week!
That’s all I have to offer for now. As you can see there is no magic here, just putting in the time working to build something–or, more accurately, knowing where to direct your efforts. Like I said, I don’t anticipate unlimited growth based on this model, so my G+ momentum could very well drop off soon. I’ll continue doing the things outlined above, though, and beyond that I’ve uncovered some resources you can also investigate. Pretty soon I’ll be giving them a try, but with just a cursory examination they do seem quite valuable. They are included below. Hope you have a great G+ experience!