Start Now on Google Plus

Plus

For all that I believe the world has all discovered and become settled into Google+, I’ve heard that lots of people have yet to find their footing in there, and haven’t really set up a home. First off, if you’re still looking for an invite, there are lots and lots and lots of people who have free invites. Just search Twitter for #plusinvites, and you’ll find lots of URLs to pick from.

But then what?

Start Now on Google+ : Start With Your Profile

First off, go to your profile page. Click the red “About” Link (2nd one in), and click the blue “Edit Profile” button in the corner. Put in a photo. Add some information to your “introduction.” Add some (but not a lot) of links to the links area to the right.

And then, this is really important, where it says “Employment” (not occupation), put something REALLY interesting in the “current” one that lets people know who you are, what you do, and where. This is probably the most important part of profile editing that people don’t know much about. Why is it so important? Because when someone sees your name anywhere on Google+ and they hover their mouse over that content, that’s what they see as the representation of you. That little bit of text explains who you are to them at a glance. Don’t write a novel. Just, don’t leave it blank or put something lame there. It’s a power move. (hint: that’ll be in my new book.)

Everything else in your profile section is up to you.

Create New Circle Structures

Circles are how you group and organize people on Google+. Your circles are here. The first thing MOST people do is rename these circles into something more useful. For instance, if you want to follow local people, and you live in Charlotte, NC, then make a circle called “Wilbur.” If you want to build a circle of people who post great amounts of interesting and useful data, like myself and Robert Scoble and Chris Pirillo, make a circle called “Loudmouths.” Make sure you do this step. Organizing people LATER is a big pain in the butt, and it is important to put people into lists that match your interests and needs. Call them what you want. Editing circles is reasonably easy. If you get stuck, ask us in the comments. Someone (maybe even me) will walk you through it.

Find People to Circle

Now, find interesting people to connect with on Google+. I have a few ways for you to do this. Go to FindPeopleOnPlus.com, for one. There’s also group.as. Those are great for just striking out into the wild to look for people.

Once you add a few interesting people, go to THEIR profile page and see who they’ve added to circles. Now, you’re finding some interesting people. I call this “friendsurfing.” This, to me, is where the cool stuff happens. Once you find someone interesting, like Mahei Foliaki (you know him as @iconic88 on Twitter), or Ben Kunz, or whoever makes you cheery. There are celebs and things, but their list of people followed are normally lame. Besides, Ben and Mahei are my kind of celebs. One more for your list: Glenda Watson Hyatt.

Post Interesting Things

You can create 4 types of posts in Google+:

  1. Link posts.
  2. Video posts.
  3. Photo posts.
  4. Location posts.

You can write a post and offer a link to something interesting (like your latest blog post). You can upload a photo and write something to go along with it. You can point to YouTube videos or upload a video (terribly slow, even on my amazingly fast Comcast service). And you can post location information, if that’s your thing. (It is not my thing.)

Sharing is Caring

The other thing you can do is share other people’s interesting posts. There’s a “share” button below most posts. That lets you find the good stuff and share it with your growing community. One point: If someone else has shared something, and you see it in your stream, and then you decide to share it, it’s nice form to credit the person who shared it with you via the text above the share. (So, if Chris posts a funny photo, and Dave shares it, and then Margie finds it in Dave’s stream and decides to share it, Margie clicks share, and says “found via Dave” in the text). Make sense? It’s a nice thing to do.

Comments Are All the Rage

The advantage that Google+ has over Twitter is the comments. People are having really great time contributing to really good conversations in the comments sections. Comments on photos are just amazing, and in other forms, it depends on what you’re putting out, but people seem to really enjoy the back and forth. As I say about blogging, I’ll say about Google+: try to be the #1 commenter on your account. Respond as often as you can.

Try a Hangout

Last, but not least, try a live video Hangout. They are pretty fun. You can do some fun things with them. Aaron Smith does Bible study with his. John Herman does a game show with his. Michael Dell (yes, THAT Michael Dell) does all kinds of conversations with his. It’s really a great way to see what Google+ might be able to do for you as a platform, I believe.

So Go Forth And Plus

The reasons to love Google+ are that it’s clean, it’s fast, it’s useful, people are very engaged, and it’s got a strong boost to your searchability (I know that’s not a word) built right in. It’s fast-paced sometimes, and yes, there are a few too many animated cat gifs floating around, but I think that’s just us clearing the lines for something truly new, interesting and amazing.

Oh, and if you want to connect with me on Google+, I’m right here. Love to get talking with you there soon.

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  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    Yeah, I don’t have that shirt… #justsayin 

    But here’s to Google+ and cheers on the upcoming book!

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    Yeah, I don’t have that shirt… #justsayin 

    But here’s to Google+ and cheers on the upcoming book!

  • Ian Goodall

    I have to admit that so far I’ve found Google+ a little too much to take on. Social media burnout perhaps?

  • Web Hosting Jaipur

     Its very nice blog and great service.I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog,especially on this post. Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.timemanagementninja.com Craig Jarrow

    Chris, I am trying… really trying to like G+. 

    But, I can’t get going with it. I still find Twitter much more active for meeting people and connect. Yes, you are going to tell me to “follow more people.” ;)I will head over there… and give it another chance. Promise.

    • http://bitoftech.mkronline.com/ Michael Robinson

      It’s not necessarily circling more people. You need to circle enough active people to get the most out of it. You’ll run out of circle space if you follow every person who looks interesting but never posts anything. :)

    • http://twitter.com/susangiurleo susangiurleo

      I’m with you, Craig. I am trying, but it’s not jelling for me. I still get much more interaction on Twitter. I think there are lots of people circling, but not saying anything. There are a few folks who say lots, most ‘slightly famous’ so they get interaction, but I’m not feeling the love over there. I’ll keep trying, though…

      • http://hannahsharvest.com Hannah Marcotti

        Susan, I agree it seems to be people with a name already who get the comments and the conversation going. I’m finding it quite lonely over there which makes me hesitant. I’ll come say hi to you over there! :)

  • http://hannahsharvest.com Hannah Marcotti

    I have attempted google + but I find that FB does for me everything you describe as your experience on google + (I ignore the stupid bits of FB). I have such a strong community over there and it has helped my biz boom. I have trouble imagining all the moms in that community moving their platform to google +. Where I do see potential for myself is in learning about completely new people and interests. But I’ll be damned if I can get one conversation going over on google +….I’m trying!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Facebook is swell, except they are a closed garden and you can’t see ANY Google juice for stuff inside there. Zero searchability. 

      Absolutely stay on FB if you want. It’s a good place. 

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Chris,

    Super Plus tutorial here!

    I’m adopting Plus pretty quickly. Like any social network, sharing is caring. 

    Share good content and comment as much as possible. Be a person, not a profile. The more value you can add to the Plus experience the more valuable a Plus’er you become. It’s quite simple, if you’re willing to engage and add value on a consistent basis.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Chris!

    RB

  • http://twitter.com/BeckySocial Rebecca Hollis

    Hey Chris,

    Great post and some good recommendations that I will be trialling.

    Thanks!

    Becky

  • http://ajleon.me ajleon

    Thanks for the reminder, Chris. Been using it, but not as much as I should. Thinking of some ways that I can make it a completely different channel to Twitter. 

  • http://twitter.com/RalphOAnderson Ralph Anderson

    Have to admit, still can’t see the point or have the desire to use Google+. I’m kept busy enough on Twitter and LinkedIn and have found it hard to get enthusiastic about what seems like such a bland social media site.
    I think the only effect it has had is to spread a marketer’s audience out even further just to give them more work. Not really worth it.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      People were very busy using MySpace until they weren’t. 

  • http://twitter.com/RalphOAnderson Ralph Anderson

    Have to admit, still can’t see the point or have the desire to use Google+. I’m kept busy enough on Twitter and LinkedIn and have found it hard to get enthusiastic about what seems like such a bland social media site.
    I think the only effect it has had is to spread a marketer’s audience out even further just to give them more work. Not really worth it.

  • Mary Ulrich

    Okay, I’ve got the profile and started some circles. Question: How do you follow the conversations? Is there a stream somewhere? Thanks.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Notifications. Upper right corner, and/or a buttin you can click in your stream. 

  • http://webpromoexpert.com seo company

    I Really enjoyed your blog. I just bookmarked it. I am a regular visitor of your website I will share It with my friends .Thanks.

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    I Really enjoyed your blog. I just bookmarked it. I am a regular visitor of your website I will share It with my friends .Thanks.

  • http://www.stevescottsite.com Steve Scott

    Thanks Chris!  Some awesome tips.  I am just getting started on Google Plus and have already put a few of these into effect as I was reading the post.

  • http://www.inspiredgiftgiving.com marquita herald

    Thanks Chris, I finally got started and filled out my profile and stalled. Fortunately some online friends have nudged me along so, with your well timed article and tips, I’m determined to dive back into it. Thanks!

  • Julia Rymut

    Chris,  I like Google+ because it’s not FB.  I feel much more comfortable there.

    I have a question–you said that people should be the #1 commenter on their account.  I’m missing something–wouldn’t I always be the #1 commenter on my account?  What did you mean by that?

    Thanks!
    Julia

    I went right to my Google+ profile and updated my employment.  It must take some time for the changes to show up.  Any idea how long?

  • http://www.automatedsocialnetworking.com Treb072410

    Thanks Chris… I’m a big fan of Google + now… I’ve been using it for a month now  and im still learning a lot… Thanks for sharing some great tips… 

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  • http://cubedwellerfitness.com/ Troy Pesola

    Thanks Chris.  So far I’ve found Google Plus much more interactive than either Twitter or FB. Time will tell how if that continues as the novelty wears off.

  • Jargow

    Can you integrate twitter?

  • http://mattiasgronborg.com Mattias Gronborg

    Thanks for awesome G+ information. You help me with good tips here. But I have one question; probably I who misunderstand something..  When I hover the mouse over my name on my colleagues computer the content from “occupation” shows up?
    I love Hangout! Perfect for both business and pleasure. 

  • http://breastaugmentationbeauty.com David

    I like Google+ but still think it could use some improvement. Most notably the news feed.

  • Hozo1

    useless tool build by algorithm junkies .. going the way of the wave

  • http://www.videoconverterfactory.com/resource.html HughDiego

    Google + says it can protect users’ privacy better than Facebook, we will see~

  • http://www.compassionateactionnetwork.com dakini_3

    As always appreciate your thought leadership and centered, grounded perspective in the social space. As you know, we are integrating the first end-to-end Google+ integration for a TED event with TEDxRainier … We believe that a program centered around Speaker Lead HangOuts, capturing and posting the HangOuts to YouTube, extending the conversation through mobile G+ Huddles (where appropriate) and creating topic specific Spark streams can powerfully propagate our Speaker’s “Ideas Worth Spreading” We feel Google+ is the most powerful global social media platform capable of supporting the TED mission. Thank you for your intelligent foresight and educating the social media community about what Google+ has to offer.

  • Steve Woods

    Yes, please join!  You can find me there, I’ll be happy to follow back!

  • Ashley

    I’ve been invited, but haven’t joined the Google+ bandwagon yet. Still not sure if it’s worth the jump quite yet. But this info will certainly help if I choose to join. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/thejoshhoward Josh Howard

    Test

  • richard bonn

    Is this the simple way to become a professional in the internet, it’s quite easy to me for reading this best to do on how to become a professional of the said issue.

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  • http://affweek.com ChadB

    There’s still not much development on the Google+ side compared to Facebook. Hopefully it would catch up.

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    I would suggest a good place for you, there are fashion items as you need

  • http://twitter.com/carryitforward Christa Gallopoulos

    This is so, so helpful!  Thanks, Chris – just what I needed to get started.  Brilliant!

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    cool post! thanks a lot for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/benkunz Ben Kunz

    Thanks, Chris.

    I’d go on about how Google+ seems to decrease the cumulative distribution function of Zipf’s law in social networks, providing more meaning to shallow connections, but that topic is probably better discussed over on Google+.

  • http://www.businessandsoftwarestrategyforglobalisation.com Mae Loraine Jacobs

    One of the interesting things I like about Google Plus is the bragging rights. I think it’s cool and is a good way of promoting yourself to others (e.g., I’m an SEO specialist with 5+ years experience) without sounding too condescending. But I still find it quite disorganized, and knowing that somebody can add me into his circle without really asking my permission is uncomfortable.

    • Grace Acdd

      The good news is that just because they add you to their circle doesn’t mean they can see your circles. They do not have access to your posts until you add them to your circles as well. I wasn’t sure if you knew that and wanted to clarify for you. From what I can see, with Google+ we have more control over our information than with any other social media.

  • http://www.kaneworks.com Marvin Kane

    Ahhhh! Thanks Chris. I think I’m getting it. Ordered the book. Do I really have to wait until November?

  • http://roshanjoshi.com.np SEO Nepal

    has Google+ got potential to become more than a geek platform anytime soon?

  • http://nickwestergaard.com Nick Westergaard

    Chris – Best. Pic. Ever. When I do a post on Google+ I am always looking for creative images but this definitely takes the cake! Well done. Can’t wait for the book, BTW. Are you doing a blogger review program? Would love to be a part of it.

  • http://www.simplyzesty.com Niall Harbison

    Not really wanting to commit the time to it myself until I see a bit better if it is actually going to take off or not

  • http://traffikd.com George McConnell

    Making the switch from the established to the new always seems like a hassle.  Making a small time commitment can pay off in learning whats what and helping you form your own opinion.  If everyone just decided to stick with what works we would have no innovation or competition.  Plus giving new things a try is fun!

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    Hi Chris thanks for sharing some more info on how we cannot afford to skip using Google +. Thanks for the share.

  • http://www.riysoft.com Web Design Company

    Well i’m desperately waiting for Google + to add something new because they are loosing their   traffic now.

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  • http://ipad2keyboard.net ipad 2 keyboards

    I don’t think Google + will be successful. According to some reviews, the posts decreased 40% for the last week. People just registered and turned into their Facebooks

    • http://sylvanmedia.com/blog Michael

      Interesting.  I tried creating a personal Google+ account this week and was unable.  Apparently it’s limited now. Thought on this?

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  • Linda Knox

    Nice