Google+ is the latest social media offering by Google, and it has a slew of features that makes it worthy of competing with the current giants in social networking, Facebook and Twitter. Even though it just recently launched, it already has over 20 million users who have signed up, and more continue to join every day.
One of the things that the platform is proud and happy to introduce is its feature called Circles, which gives users the ability to create social groups and share specific content with each group. The idea behind the feature is the fact that in real life, we share different information with different people, so what one group may be interested in may not necessarily be another group’s interest.
For example, family may not really be interested in my marketing ideas, so that information is better shared with colleagues and friends in the marketing world. With Google+ Circles, it’s all about sharing the right information with the right people, so that groups who may not be interested in the topic don’t have to see it.
But how exactly do you take the Circles feature into the next level? How do you use it in the best way possible?
Well, the first step is to make sure to sort out your circles. This feature makes organisation easy and fun, so it’s a good idea to devote some time to making sure you organise your circles so you can share specific, targeted content. Some people find this a hassle, but it can really save you time in the future as your list of followers continue to grow.
Next, it’s important to understand the two main functions in Google+ Circles, which is the ability to share your own content, and the ability to stream the content you want into your homepage.
So when you want to share specific content with a group of people, you simply have to tag a circle and post your content. Also, when you want to know what a specific group of people are talking about, you simply click on that circle in your stream, and you immediately get the latest content they have posted.
Google+ Circles really makes sharing content convenient and easy for users. Though Facebook actually offers a similar feature where you can make lists of specific friends, it’s not as intuitive as the one that Google+ has.
As you know, Google+ is soon planning to allow brands to sign up for their own pages. Brands can also take advantage of the Circles feature so they can really target specific consumers for promotions, deals and special sales. This can be a good way to really encourage consumer participation and reward those who give an extra mile for your brand.
But perhaps the best thing to remember when using this feature of Google+ is to use a healthy dose of etiquette. Though a lot of people may be following you, it doesn’t really mean that they’re interested in all the content you share. So make sure you don’t clog anyone’s stream with unnecessary posts that they may not be interested in. Use the Circles feature wisely so your followers can really appreciate what you share with them.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog and is also the CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm. She helps create connection, credibility, community and cha-ching through mobile marketing and social commerce around your brand. She is co-founder of #brandchat – a weekly twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding.