Google Plus has created much buzz in recent months, sparking the curiosity of a lot of people. Google+ indeed set a record for attracting the most number of members in just 16 days. By year end, Google+ members are expected to top 400 million.
Whilst those numbers may still pale when compared to Facebook’s 850 million plus (and most likely 1 billion by the end of 2012), one of the big differences between the two platforms is simple…
Google own search
If you’re looking to be found online, Google+ is a must add to your online tool kit. It no longer can be ignored.
As any savvy business does, they reward their loyal customers. Google is no different in this regard.
Use Google+ and you will be rewarded by Google in their search results.
I’ve previously shared my thoughts on Google’s Authorship Mark Up functionality and I strongly suggest you read up on it to make sure you are optimising your online presence.
Many users of Google+ have, so far, given the platform their thumbs up.
Benefits they enjoy include a user-friendly interface and the private conversations among specific circles.
If you’re new to Google+, you may have noticed several colorful icons used on the site.
Understanding what they mean and how to use them will make it easy for you to navigate around the pages on Google+ and explore all the cool features on the site.
First up is the Circles.
This is the heart of Google+ that allows you to connect with people important in your personal and professional life.
Isn’t it that in life, we create our circle of friends?
It’s a similar thing on Google+ and just like in the real world, you have the ability to create several specific Circles that you can then classify, be they friends, family, colleagues, business associates and so on.
Sharing with a particular circle means that your stories, comments and images will only be seen by those people belonging to that circle.
It is here that you should populate your Google+ profile with as much information as you can.
In the About section, you can give a brief introduction about yourself.
It’s here that you should also add more details about the education you’ve attained, details about your employment or your company, the work you do and the places you’ve lived.
There’s even a section called Bragging rights, so here’s your opportunity to share what you are really, really good at.
You also have the option to include contact details, you can share your relationship status plus what you are looking for (networking, for example).
Remember to include any website links. This, in my opinion, is one of the most powerful parts of your Google+ profile.
You have the option to share your other social media links too. So, here you can add the link to your Facebook profile, your fan page, your Twitter profile, your LinkedIn profile, your YouTube channel link and so forth.
Next, is the Contributor To section. If you have had any articles published online, add them in here as a link.
Finally, you can add links to your own website, perhaps to specific products or services that you offer and even to your blog.
Don’t forget to upload a profile photo as well.
As with many other social networks, Google+ gives users the ability to add photos to their profile and share with their circles and followers very easily.
In the case of Google+, you can drag photos directly from your computer onto your profile or stick to old style, and click the button to select a photo to load from your computer.
Uploading photos from your phone is just a click away too.
You can then create a new photo album or add to an existing album.
Google+ also gives you some pretty cool picture editing tools that you can utilise, right from within your Google+ profile.
Need to fix the exposure, sharpen the colour or crop and resize your image? No problem! All this an more can be done from right within the Google+ photo editing tool.
Whether you source these photos from your phone or online albums or from your posts, you have the freedom to upload as many images as you like.
In part 2, we take a look at Chat, Hangouts, Sparks and Pages.
What do you love most about Google+? What have you found to be the most effective way to connect with those you wish to hear about?
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By Wendy Moore
Copyright 2012 Savvy Web Women Pty Ltd
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Wendy Moore is the founder of www.savvywebwomen.com and creator of the Savvy Online Engagement Blog – the information packed resource that shows business owners and entrepreneurs how to use online strategies to connect with key stakeholders, influence decision makers and be seen as a thought leader, all via the use of social media. To receive your FREE Special Report and weekly how-to articles to expand your online List Building toolkit, visit www.wendymoore.net.
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