This is a quick start guide to Google+, and is a great way to introduce new people to the platform. The first place to start is with your profile. A completely filled out profile helps people, who don’t already know you, get acquainted with you. Google+ is about being social, and when people see you have a complete profile they know you’re a real person. A quick tip about filling out your profile. It’s a good idea to list a number of categories into which people can put you.
One of the most outstanding features of Google+ is circles. Circles are a way for people to categorize you into. That’s why it’s a good way to put some categories into your profile information so people know into what circles to put you. Circles allow people to communicate, or see information from, categories or individuals of interest to them. So for example you may have a family circle where you post pictures of family vacations. This way only people in your family circle will see your vacation photos.
It’s also a good idea to make a circle of people whose posts you’d like to see more frequently. Rather than seeing posts by everyone all at once you can organize your home stream, that’s the main view you seen in Google+, into circles. Then you select which circle you’d like to see posts from in your home stream.
Being Social on Google+
Once you have a filled out profile, with some categories of interest to you, it’s time to add a good clear photo of yourself. Google+ is about being a real person online, and a good photograph tells people that you’re a real person. It’s kind of like extending a friendly handshake. Google+ is an incredible way to make new connections, whether personal or professional, and a good clear photo let’s people know you’re a good person to connect with.
Start sharing posts! Many people, myself included, don’t know that a post won’t be seen by everyone unless it’s shared to “public”. You can select any number of circles, or individual people, to share your post with. If you want your post to be available to everyone, even indexed by search engines, share your post to “public”. To get started post 5-10 new posts, shared publicly, so people can get a sense of your interests.
Next go find those people who are posting on the topics of interest to you. Circle them, plus 1 their posts, comment on and share their posts as well. Don’t just post a few times a day, and sit back waiting for interaction. Go out and make friends! One of the fastest ways to grow an audience on Google+ is by engaging others. Shared circles are a good way to get a jump start when you’re first starting out. Use the Google+ search feature to find these publicly shared circles, and use them. However use them sparingly because you don’t want to circle too many people you don’t know or who may not be interested in your topics.
Finally go out and find the Google+ communities that are already centered around the topics of interest to you. The same advice of being social applies to communities as it does to Google+ more broadly. That is be social! Engage people’s posts, help people out and ask your own questions.