How to Use Google+ Circles to Promote your Website [An Introduction]
Like most people today, you probably have online friends and real life friends. You’ve probably not met many or even most of your online friends, but you connected with them because you share an interest.
Your real life friends may or may not share some of your passions. Your friendship may be based on history, proximity, or something else that has nothing to do with your interests. With your real life friends, you pick and choose what to share with each person. You probably don’t share the latest teething problems your baby is having with friends of yours who dislike children. Right?
Having this kind of control over sharing is the beauty of Google+ Circles which allows you to put your online friends into particular Circles – very much like in real life.
Think of it like this – posts on Facebook and Twitter are put in front of the public in general, whether or not they are interested in your topic. People on those social media sites scroll down faster and faster every day because they know that most of the posts don’t interest them. Not so with Google+ Circles.
Suggested reading: Promote Your Blog with Google+ Circles
You probably have some friends who have completely stayed away from social networking because they didn’t like the idea of their posts being so accessible to strangers. They can be far more comfortable using Google+ Circles since each Circle is like an exclusive club.
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Starting with Google+ CirclesIf you’re convinced that you should start using Google+ Circles, let’s see how to actually get started.
- If you don’t have a gmail address, sign up for one, and then login at https://plus.google.com/.
- Click on your icon in the upper right of the screen, and then click ‘Google+ Profile.’
- Fill out your profile. Each section will have a clickable ‘Edit’ button that will bring up a window with places for you to type in the information appropriate for that section. Make your profile as interesting as possible.
- Once you have finished your profile, look to the upper left of the screen. You will find two icons, click on the icon of two persons. You will be presented with a list of people that Google thinks you might want to include in one or more Circles.
- At the top you might also see a list called ‘People to add back.’ These are people who have added you to one of their Circles, and now you can add them to one of yours. Below that is a list of ‘See more suggestions’. These are people that Google thinks you are connected to in some way.
- Hover over the ‘+ Follow’ button under each person and you will be presented with the choice to add the person to one of your Circles or to create a new circle.
- If you click ‘Create new Circle,’ a box will appear for you to type in an appropriate Circle name. Then click ‘create’ and you’ve got a new Circle.
Following PeopleYou might want to follow some of the people in the list instead of adding them to a Circle. Once you have followed someone, that person will have the chance to follow you as well. He’ll check out your profile to see if you look interesting. That’s why it’s important to make your profile as complete and inviting as possible.
SharingWhether you realize it or not, you may have already been put into various Circles. People who are already using Google+ Circles have probably added you to one of their Circles. You do not need to give permission to be put into a Circle.
When you sign in at https://plus.google.com/, you will see what Google calls your Stream. These are posts that others have shared to a Circle that already has you as a member. If you want to write and share something, you will:
- Click in the box at the top left of the Stream that asks ‘What’s new with you?’ Write your post in the box that is presented to you. Attach photos or videos if you like. (Remember to share your blog or website if you want to share it)
- In the ‘To’ box, you can click the ‘X’ to erase the ‘public’ designation, and choose the name of the Circle that you want to share with.
- If you want everyone in that Circle to be notified by email, check the box at the bottom of the window ‘Also send email from you to...’
- Click the green ‘Share’ button, and your post will appear in the Stream of everyone in that Circle.
Suggested reading: Tips to Write Engaging Blog Posts
ConclusionGoogle+ Circles may seem confusing, but once you have used it for a while, you’ll wonder why you were so perplexed at the start. And doesn’t it make more sense to send your well thought out posts to people who are as passionate as you about the topic of your post? Google+ Circles gives you the chance to do just that.
Each of your Google+ Circles is like a club with members who are passionate about a particular topic. People who are passionate about the topic are more likely to engage by commenting and/or offering tips.
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Author: Kate Benzin