There are mixed reviews about the growing popularity of Google+. As yet another social networking site, Google+ hasn’t of course been around as long as Facebook and Twitter, so it may be too early to judge its viability. However, if you’re looking to enhance your presence on Google+, now’s a good time to get started.
Maggie has written a PDF Guide to getting started with Google+, and the social media guru, Guy Kawaskai recently made his What the Plus!: Google+ For the Rest of Us available for free PDF download. In this article I’ll highlight and recommend tips and suggestions to get you started for improving your status on Google+. My suggestions assume that you have already set up a Google+ account, or that you know how to do so.
Add a Tag Line
Users of Google+ might not always click through to your profile, so the best way to let them know about you is to add a tag line to your profile. When a Google+ user puts a cursor over your name, your tagline will appear.
When you add someone to one of your Circles, they in turn may not know who you are, but if your tagline indicates something about your job and/or interests, it may help users know which of their Circles to add you to. So click on your profile, click the Edit profile button at the top of the page, and then add your tagline positioned at the top of settings.
You may or may not know that you can add photos and create photo albums to your Google account. In your Google+ settings you can identify which photos and albums you want to make public or to share with your Circle members.
While you may not want to share all your photos to a public community, you probably should at least maintain the default Scrapbook album that appears at the top of your profile. It should consist of of images that depict your interests and lifestyle. It is a visual way to quickly show other Google+ users who you are.
Speaking of photos, if you have Google+ installed on your iOS or Android device, you can click on Settings in the app and tap on the “When to upload” button, and enable the feature that will automatically upload all new photos and videos in the device to a private album in your Google+ account.
Not only is this feature a great fast way to back up your mobile photos, it might also be useful for selectively adding images to your public Google+ profile.
Join a Community
Google has recently added what is called Google+ Communities to its social networking services. It sort of works like Circles, but instead of users adding you to their Circles of interests, you choose Communities of interest to join. This is a great way to find like-minded people, and add them to your Circles.
+ And Comment
As you may know, clicking the small red + icon indicates that you like a particular post in a Google+ stream. While favoring a post is a quick way of thanking someone for adding the content, adding a comment is even better.
Comments can often enhance a post while at the same time help you connect with the people you follow.
Organize Your Circles
When I started to improve my Google+ profiles, I realized that my Circles were a mess. When I first added Google+ I really didn’t pay attention to what circles were all about.
But I quickly realized that if I was going to be serious about adding content to Google+, I would need to clean up and reorganize my circles to ensure that I was sharing content to the right group of people.
If you don’t already have lots of followers, it is quite easy to view all the current members of your Circles, and drag and reorder them appropriately. As I discussed above, I try to use the profile tagline of Google+ members to figure out which of my circles to add them to. You might also create temporary circles for say a conference or event in which you know other G+ members are attending.
Personally I find it easier to have two Google+ profiles, one for job-related Circles, and another for everything else. While my full name appears on both profiles, and that may be confusing for some users, I find it easier when sharing content and adding people to appropriate circles. However, a case can be made for not adding two profiles, simply because Google+ enables you to use Circles to differentiate the people you follow and share content with.
View As Public
Speaking of profiles, as you work to improve yours, you can click on the “View as…” button to see how your profile page will be publicly viewed.
When you edit your profile, Google provides many options for what you make public, and which information you make available for limited viewing. Nearly every item on your profile enables you to specify how you want to share particular information, e.g. with just your circle members, or the entire public. Click on the grey globe icon to to specify how you want each item shared.
Google does not provide a way to create personalized Google+ URLs. So basically your profile URL consist of a long set of numbers. But this handy little gplus.to site will allow you to create a nickname that will be added to a short form Google+ ID.
This URL could be used in an email signature, other forum profiles, and for related links.
As you start becoming a regular user of Google+, you will want to use shortcuts to quickly get some things done.
- Use asterisk on each of a word(s) to bold it: e.g., *MUO* = MUO
- _MUO_ = MUO
- -MUO- =
- Click the Space bar to scroll down your Stream
- Use Shift + Space to Scroll up your Stream
- Click the letter “J” to Scroll one post down
- Click the letter “K” to Scroll one post up
- Click the letter “Q” to Jump to Chat feature
- Click the Return key to Start a comment
- Click the Tab + Return keys to Post a comment.
That’s it for this round of Google+ tips. Please let us know which tips you find useful, as well as share some tips of your own.