Getting To Grips With Google +
I started using Google+ when in launched in beta last summer out of curiosity.As most bloggers are frequent users of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and several other social media platforms some will question whether they need another excuse to waste time on the internet.
So what’s different about Google+ and how do you use it?
I’ll assume that you have already got a gmail account, if not sign up for here.Once you’ve got a gmail account, you will need to set up your circles. Click on the MORE tab on the left hand side of the screen and you will have a horizontal bar appear.Click on CIRCLES.
It will bring you to a page with all of your contacts from your Gmail, hotmail and yahoo addresses.All of your contacts are listed in a panel on top of the screen in boxes. Below is a panel that has various circles. To add a contact to a circle, drag from the top of the list to the appropriate group. Contacts can be added to multiple circles.Both panels have a slider to move them panels individually.I first found this really annoying but you’ll soon get the hang of it.
Start dragging contacts into circles.You can have one contact in multiple circles.To take people out of a circle, hover above the circle, grab their icon and drag it back into the panel of boxes.
Here I’ve added 3 people to a new circle.I now need to label the circle and give it a description.Click on create circle that appears inside the circle.
When you have finished naming your circle and adding a description press enter.Then click on create circle.Note you can order the way your contacts appear by clicking relevant.You can have them alphabetically using first names or last names.
When a person is in your contacts has been added to one of your circles, they will get a notification that has happened (but they will not know what circle they have been added to). There are some people I follow but haven’t circled back or they don’t belong to any particular circle, I’ve just added them to my following circle but I’m thinking that I should sort through and add them to a circle .As you can on Twitter, you can follow people and see their updates without them having to follow you back. You will see at the top right corner when you receive a notification of someone commenting on a post you’ve added, when you’ve commented on a post, when your name has been mentioned or when you’ve been added to a circle.You will see suggested users on the right hand side of the screen and you use the Google+ search bar to search G+ for people you know.
Once you’ve added your contacts into circles, you can say hello or post something that will be relevant.So I’m going to show you how to make your posts stand out and how you can post to the relevant people.Click on the home screen on the left hand panel of your screen to view your stream.This where you will see everything that has been shared to you.To make your post interesting you need to grab people’s attention so write an introduction.
There are no limit to characters used so make the post as long or short as you like .You can see I’ve used #hashtags against the words #vegetarian and #vegan.Because I’m going to make the post public I want those outside my circles to who might find my post interesting find it.Anyone who isn’t in your circles or your not in theirs is public.When the search box is used (the box at the top with a magnifying glass after it) others not in your circles will see your post.Now you want to add the link URL to your post, click the chain that appears after the camera and You Tube icons.Add your link in the box that appears and hit enter.
Next you want to decide who you want to decide who to share to.Click the share button.Because I want as many people as possible to find it I’ve chosen public.I’ve also chosen my blogger circle and my cooking circle, this means I can target them specifically and it will appear in their stream when they next log on.If I wanted just a few people or one person to see the post I put a + in front of their names e.g. +Fred Bloggs +Jane Doe.Or you can share the post publicly but highlight people.
You can see that before I posted that 1+ my post.This makes my post more visible it also says, “This is really cool and I think you should read it”.If you see a typo and decide you want to edit or delete the post click the small upside down triangle that appears after you posted in the top right of the post.A drop down menu will give you options to edit or delete.
As you can see there are different ways you can distribute your posts and understanding them makes G+ easier to use.
Public and Limited Sharing
Public posts are visible to any Google+ user and the internet, which as a blogger you want all your blog posts to be public. Limited posts are shared to those Google+ users in circles you shared to , including what we call Extended Circles, which shares to all your circles and friends of your friends. You always control who sees what, and limited posts that you share with your friends cannot be shared publicly.You can see all the posts you’ve shared or G+ under your posts tab on your profile.
Connect with friends, family and followers via webcam.It’s fun and opens up a whole new way to communicate with a small group of people (maximum of 10).Click on the hangout button to start a hang out and invite people to join you.
I went here to switch all my e-mail notifications over to my phone.I use my iphone app to keep up with people adding me to circles and adding comments to post, I am a busy mum and can’t spend all day in front of the computer screen.You can see your notifications by your name at the top right hand corner highlighted by a red number.
Click on the highlighted number to open your notifications.Click view all notifications to view them on a separate page or view in the box.Clicking on the small upside down triangle will open up your profile.Here you can switch to your G+ page if you have one.
When you share a public post you can go back later to see how far the post was shared.Click the upside triangle as if you were to edit or delete a post.You will see an option to view ripples.Click on ripples and you will be taken to another page which will give you stats on who shared your post and how many times it was reshared.
I’m still sitting on the fence on whether I need a G+ page as well as a G+ profile.I have both for Facebook, so I’m using my page as I do for Facebook.Varying the content will be key but not everyone who has followed my G+ page is a Facebook friend or liker.So for now I’m sticking with it and I’m searching posts on Google+ to see what others are doing.
You can send a PM to people you have in your circles and they have you in theirs.Go home and go to your stream box.
Then click share.
If you selected one person, the message can be read only by that particular contact in your circles. No one else will be able to read the message. When you + many people, only the people you selected can read your message.
After sharing the message, you can check back whether you have sent the message to the relevant person or not.Make sure by clicking on the link limited and you will find the people you shared the message with.
Due to the huge amount of features G+ has I really don’t have the space or time to put all in this post.If you circle me on Google+ you will see me share lots of posts about how G+ works, who to add and tips on how to get the best out of G+.I’m no means a G+ expert but I’ll help if I can.I think I will come back in a couple of weeks to expand more on some of the areas I have already covered and some I haven’t.
Have you any tips you would like to share? Do you think you’ll use Google + more now you’ve understood a bit more? Or will you not bother?
Are you following me on Google+?