20 Ways to Improve Your Google+ Knowledge

social media toolsGoogle+ is rapidly evolving.

If you’re looking for easy ways to improve your knowledge and experience with this hot new social network, keep reading.

The fast-paced development of Google+ has become a force to be reckoned with. Social media marketers and community managers will undoubtedly feel the pressure to keep up.

In this post, I’ll share 20 tips and resources to help you keep learning about Google+ and ways to enhance your user experience.

#1: First things first: Get started with Google+

On July 5, SME blogger Kristi Hines published one of the most comprehensive How to Get Started guides for Google+. The post has literally helped thousands of people get started on the platform and if you weren’t an early adopter, it’s not too late!

This post will provide you with the basics you need to know to create your profile, add connections, create circles, tweak settings, set notifications, see a stream of updates from your connections, give a +1 to your favorite posts, send updates, chat with friends, get a feed from Sparks and access Google+ on your mobile device.

sme google+ guide

The essential, nuts-and-bolts guide to Google+.

#2: Engage and learn

Engage in the conversation about Google+ by searching for “Google Plus tips” on Twitter. Too many to read all at once? No problem, you can save the search and return to it a later time. When you’re ready, pull down the “search” tab on your Twitter profile to access your saved search.

google+ tips

Search, save and retweet Google+ tips

#3: Watch and learn

Watch videos about Google+ on YouTube. The search illustrated below, for example, found 10,600 results for videos about Google+. Recent videos posted include Is Google+ Killing Anonymity?, Google+Games, The Google+SongGoogle+:The Potential of the Newest Social Network, Google+Invite links on Facebook.

youtube google

An abundance of Google+ videos can be found on YouTube.

#4: Use Google+ Help

Utilize Google+ Help and learn about Google+ from the people who created it.

For example, how to upload and share photos, how to hang out, circles and privacy and keep up with what’s new in Google+ with releases being made regularly.

google+ project

What do you want to learn about Google+?

#5: Spark interest on Google+

Set up a “Google+” Sparks on your Google+ account and see timely posts all about Google+.

I found these interesting links on my “Google+” Spark. Sparks make it really easy to find what you’re looking for: How Google+ will succeed and why you’ll use it whether you want to or not, Google’s Bradley Horowitz Discusses State of Google+ with Tim O’Reilly, The Sekrit Circles of Google+.

google+ sparks

Interested in Google+? Add it to your Sparks for easy access.

#6: Become a voracious Google+ reader

Keep up with newly released and forthcoming Google+ book titles on Amazon. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that there are already a number of books available on Kindle and some slated to be released in paperback and hardcover this fall.

google+ amazon

Extra, extra! Read all about it!

#7: Keep it simple

Print out and share the Google+ Cheat Sheet to help you format posts, utilize hotkeys, know all about mentioning people in your posts, sending private messages and accessing permalinks.

google+ cheat sheet

A must-have resource for Google+ users.

#8: Become a Google+ insider

Check out the G+ Insider’s Guide for the latest news, tips and tricks on Google+. Currently there’s a list of 13 how-to posts to “introduce you to hidden quirks.”

google+insider

A resource for Google+ how-to's.

#9: Have an out-of-this-world Google+ experience

Read Google+Planet to stay on top of new features. Posts include info about the new +1 button features and +snippets, hangouts now integrate with YouTube and an announcement about games coming to Google+.

google+ planet

The unofficial Google+ blog.

#10: Become a savvy Google+ user

Sign up to preview the latest updates to the Google+ platform before they are launched to the general public. If you’re going to be the go-to person in your business for Google+, this will be an important sign-up for you.

google+ platform preview

Be among the first to preview Google+ updates.

#11: Throw around a few figures and stats

Stay abreast of Google+ Social Statistics.  You can see who the top 100 Google+ people are and even track your own Google+ statistics, search for people on Google+ and see a list of the hottest Google+ posts from the past 24 hours.

google+ statistics

A plethora of detailed statistics on Google+ users.

#12: Be part of a Q & A

Read the Google+ Q & As on Quora, including 11 best questions, 277 open questions, frequently asked questions and tips for marketing on Google+.

quora-google+

A great resource for curious Google+ users.

#13: Show off your Google+ profile

Promote your Google+ account by putting the Google+ Widget on your blog or website.

google+ widget

Install the Google+ Widget (user statistics are available within 48 hours).

#14: Get Google+ Facebook

Connect Google+ to Facebook by adding the Facebook Stream to your Google+ profile.

google+ facebook

See your Facebook stream inside Google+.

#15: Use Mobile

Get Google+ for Mobile. You can send a text message to your phone with a link and receive instructions on how to get started.

google+ mobile

Use Google+ on the go.

#16: Use Google+ Tweet

Integrate Twitter with Google+.

google+ tweet

View your timeline, URL shortening, photo sharing and more.

#17: Become socially active on Google+

Find Google+ Groups and submit your profile to a group. For example, you can find a group of social media marketers or social media smarties.

groups-google+

Expand your Google+ reach.

#18: Find out who’s who on Google+

Find a selection of popular user-curated lists on Google+. You can search, find popular lists, create your own lists and see a hall of posters of some of the most followed Google+ members.

counter google+

Find new people on Google+.

#19: Keep it short and friendly

Make your Google+ URL short and friendly by shortening it on gplus.to. For example, before shortening my Google+ ID, it looked like this: https://plus.google.com/114279510179117392107/posts. After shortening, it appears this way: http://gplus.to/dhemley.

#20: Here’s a tip on Google+ for businesses

Stay on top of the plans for Google+ for business profiles. Follow this important advice from Google’s Christian Oestlien: Use a consumer profile of a real person at your company who is “willing to represent your organization on Google+ in the meantime until business profiles are rolled out.”


Who will represent your business on Google+?

Are you committed to incorporating Google+ into your social networking mix? What tips and resources can you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author, Debbie Hemley

Debbie Hemley is a freelance writer and social media coach. She helps businesses develop and maintain social media content strategies. Follow her on Twitter @dhemley & Facebook. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.jamienorthrup.com Jamie Northrup

    Thanks for this awesome guide Debbie, I’ve been ignoring Google + lately, but since it’s now open to all, I think I will step back into it.

  • http://www.chicwriter.com/ Shevonne

    Most importantly, be yourself

  • deb1221

    Good time to step back in. :)

  • deb1221

    Good advice!

  • http://www.konoozi.com/web-design-california/ California Web Design

    You Share Really good article. One extra point. Always make you article, page, or post super  interesting to read. Make people want to come back for more.

  • Czarina Cleopatra Mendoza

    Thanks for the interesting article Debbie! You just made me want to check back on my Google+ account. :D

  • Andy

    All good and helpful information, however, marketers are going to go where people are, and people are NOT on G+. Even reading the comments on here confirms that, everyone saying that they need to go back and check on their account. Social media only works if the people you want to connect with are there. G+ doesn’t offer a compelling reason to leave FB, and FB is rapidly adapting and changing to maintain market share – I just don’t  see G+ ever becoming a truly successful social media platform. 

  • Clyde S Fossum

    Agree with you 100%.

  • http://www.sugarpinerealty.blogspot.com/ mikec

    What can you say? This is just phenomenal info. Thank you :)

  • deb1221

    Andy, thanks for your comment.
    There’s an Interesting article in the Boston Globe today entitled Social one-upmanship with this quote, “Google+ visits surged by nearly 1,300 percent on the week of Sept. 24, with 15 million users coming to the site.”

    I think it’s going to be interesting to watch Google+’s growth over the next few months.
    –Debbie

  • Clyde Fossum

    Like everything that competes for our time, I like the items that make it more efficient to keep Twitter and Facebook updated also.  Prioritize a few minutes ever day and you will be very proficient at Google+.

  • http://twitter.com/Karyn_Barnes Karyn Barnes

    Hi Debbie, thanks for these top tips. It was frustrating when I tried it a few weeks ago but I’ll have another go with your guide. Someone else I know swore off it because he said that there wasn’t clear privacy control. Do you have any advice on that?

  • deb1221

    Hi Karyn, I came across a good post from CIO.com,
    entitled “Google+ Privacy: 5 Settings You Need to Know” which you might find helpful.

  • http://www.mynotetakingnerd.com/blog Lewis LaLanne – NoteTakingNerd

    Wow Debbie!

    This post got bookmarked QUICK by me! Too much for one feeding but this is definitely something I can’t be without.

    I especially thought that was awesome how you see your Facebook stream on your G+ page. This would be an easy way for you to see most everyone you’d want to invite on over to, or follow on what Facebook views as the Dark Side. Hahaha

    And if it streams everything Facebook chronological instead of preferential, I’ll love it even more!

    Thank you Debbie for doing all the homework you needed to in order to put this together. I very much appreciate it!

  • http://your-own-free-website.com/ Jason Matthews

    Great tips. I think another good idea is not to click the Notify box when posting to any specific circle unless the information is urgent/emergency/fantastic news. I find it spammy and am likely to scratch people from a circle who regularly do this since I don’t want to be notified every time someone makes a post.

  • http://www.smallbusinessitshow.com/ Dexter Eugenio

    thanks debbie awesome info

    i was an early adopter to g+ but for me its still tumbleweeds.

    i find it hard to make it part of my “social media” breakfast routine maybe hitting it once or twice a week.

    im more likely interested in the business platform that is constantly mentioned

  • http://www.urbandizajn.com/ Web Dizajn

    Google+ is so young and is growing rapidly. So I’m amazed how fast you came up with all those ways to take all benefits from it. Way the go!
    Now, I’ll need some time to analize all tips from your guide, …and I’m looking forward to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Thompson/1348513934 Jonathan Thompson

    Thanks! I need to reengage my interests! This Facebook Google+ war is getting intense!

  • http://CMC-Insurance.info/ C. Michael Croston

    No, no one is on Google Plus. I was just circled by Kenneth Blanchard. Fact is Scoble, Pirillo, Tom Anderson, and many many more top tech reporters and celebrities are on and engaging with everyone on Google Plus. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen. If you don’t take advantage now you will kick yourself for not. googleplus.to/cmcinsurance

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  • http://www.popularbookreviews.com/ Gie

    Thanks Debbie! doing a couple of your Google+ tips right now. lol :)

  • http://dustn.tv/ Dustin W. Stout

    This is a great breakdown. However, there is a MUCH easier way of incorporating Twitter AND Facebook into your Google+ stream. It also allows you to also update both Twitter and Facebook straight from Google+. It’s an extension called SGPLUS: http://www.gplustuts.com/integrate-google-plus-facebook-and-twitter-with-sgplus-for-chrome-and-firefox/

  • http://www.buyrealplus1s.com/ Grace

    Great info ! As always! Thanks for sharing this…

  • deb1221

    An addendum to the post:
    As I had said in the intro to this post, “I’ll share 20 tips and resources to help you keep learning about Google+ and ways to enhance your user experience.” After this post was published yesterday there was a great amount of conversation (!) about it on google+ where folks took issue with my being so new at google+ and thinking that I was trying to insinuate that I was a google+ master. But now more importantly, I’d like to add #21 about my recent experience:

    I approached the topic of this post as a blogger who also wanted to learn about google+, how and whether I would ultimately add it to the platforms I use to communicate, and ways to keep up with the learning about it while it was still by invitation-only and all–I thought I’d give that perspective in the post rather than another how-to. 

    The problem was that even though I added my photo and photos across the top of my profile, and a one line statement describing my work,  I hadn’t filled out all of my profile– and if there’s one big takeaway from the experience on google+–that stuff makes a difference to others who communicate with you. 

    Whereas LinkedIn for example has that bar graph telling you the percentage of completedness with the goal being to get that profile 100% complete, people on google+ let me know how important the about page is as part of the experience on google+.

    I’m happy to say that the community (at least the ones I’ve interacted with in the last 24 hours) on google+ are extremely passionate about the platform, and passionate about the expectations of people who choose to be there.

    With google+ now being open to everyone and the fact that “Google+ visits surged by nearly 1,300 percent on the week of Sept. 24, with 15 million users coming to the site” I can see how important google+ will be, there’s already an extremely willing and active community there if you’re interested in joining in. But do, and I do repeat, make sure you take the time to complete your profile before engaging….

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  • http://www.beacontechnologies.com Ashley

    Wow Thanks for this awesome info. I honestly haven’t done much with Google+. I feel like it has a lot to offer but at the same time is a little overwhelming and honestly I don’t like the fact that people will see that I like stuff when they search. I like having privacy and my initial impression on it is that it lacks that.

  • http://customresearchpaper.net/ research papers

    Good! post! Thanks for the tips!

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  • Dasarathi

    Very Informative! Thanks.

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Shilpi Roy – Virtual Assistant

     I enjoy reading your blog, and it is relevant to the daily life of the people now. I am looking forward to read more thoughts and ideas here in your site.
    Shilpi Singha Roy
    Facebook fan page – http://on.fb.me/i9Oifw
    http://www.online-business-virtual-ssistant.com/

  • http://www.ebook-site.com Bryan Quinn

    An excellent post. I’ve also bookmarked it for future reference.
    Thanks

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  • http://twitter.com/WarForum_Notice Mark Lantz

    Now this is a great post that will be favorited! Has anyone ever heard or seen the Google Plus Girl Video? Awesome parody! Thumbs up, Sharing is Caring!haha! Enjoy.  http://www.mediafileshare.com/video/2214

  • http://www.waterproofcamerareviews.net/ waterproof camera

    Google is not just a search engine. It can do many things I want.

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  • Jens Graikowski

    marvelous post! … i’m a 1st generation +er and (by now) manage to find my way around G+ pretty well, but this article still introduced some valuable features to me … thank you! …

  • http://www.sandfordhighschool.com Eddysfhd

    Wow Thanks for this awesome info. I honestly haven’t done much with Google+. very informative thanks…

  • sandhan

    Not ventured over to Google + yet as I’m still a bit intimidated by the time all this social media stuff is taking .. however… this was a GREAT article and I bookmarked a ton of links for future reference… won’t be to long now I have the knowledge! 
    Thanks

  • sandhan

    Debbie I really appreciate it when someone is honest and humble enough to reveal their learning curve… thank you for sharing sincerely your experiences and serve us all by doing that… Just think 10 years ago many of us were barely using the internet let alone being social LOL

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  • deb1221

    Thank you!

  • http://www.66quotes.org/ Sanjay

    wow this is incredebly a lot of that i want to know about google plus… thanks lol

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  • Maryanne

    HI Debbie

    I am running an A-Z of Marketing, and this week I am up to G, which I want to talk about Google+ (which I have limited knowledge of), could I share your blog on my site? http://www.wiseupmarketing.wordpress.com

    Please contact me at maryanne@wiseupmarketing.com.au to discuss how I can go about this

  • http://www.socialmarketingdynamics.com/ Sydney @ Social Dynamics

    I have a google+ account, and I still have yet to fully utilize it. I’m curious, is it a tool that won’t have a muddle timeline, like twitter can sometimes have?

  • Nigel Adams

    Great post, but what about mentioning the work of +Zane Claes (@inZania) providing very useful SGPlus to integrate G+ to other Social Networks | Post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more… http://t.co/JG73UNKf

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  • http://www.heartspoken.com/ Elizabeth H. Cottrell

    Not only that, but being active on Google + while it’s still small means you’re more likely to get notice.

  • http://www.heartspoken.com/ Elizabeth H. Cottrell

    This helped me a lot, Debbie. I’ve integrated Twitter and Facebook and fleshed out my profile. I haven’t been able to find Sparks, though. Is that something I have to install or is it just missing?

  • sandhan

    Any ideas how to convince Google + that I am a real person and only use 1 name LOL
    Currently have had my profile suspended even though I sent them a link to my blog where I am know as Sandhan 

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  • Dhemley

    Elizabeth,
    Thanks for writing. At the time the post was written (approximately a month prior to publish date) sparks was a standalone feature, it was since integrated into search google +. Sorry for any confusion.

    Best,
    Debbie

  • deb1221

    Sorry to hear about your difficulty. I’ll see if I can find anything out and let you know.
    Best,
    Debbie

  • sandhan

    Wow! I’d appreciate that… thanks x

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  • deb1221

    Hi again Sandhan,
    Have not forgotten about you. No resolution yet?

    So far no one I’ve reached out to has been able to provide any insights. Going to give it another try tonight. I’ll be back in touch.
    Debbie

  • sandhan

    You’re so sweet…. I think this may be a test case for many others in my position.
    What does Lady Gaga do (her name infringes Google terms of service as Lady is not a name!) or Madonna or Seal or anyone who only uses one single name?? !!!

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  • deb1221

    Hi Sandhan, thought you might be interested in this post , Google+to Support Pseudonyms:

    http://mashable.com/2011/10/19/google-to-support-pseudonyms/

  • sandhan

    Thanks Debbie
    I so appreciate you being so behind this! 
    I also got your message through my website the other day.. thanks! You see I DO exist as a one named person LOL And Google agrees!

    The link you have left here doesn’t work… can you email it to me at sandhaninc@gmail.com

    Thanks once again… I’m your No 1 Fan LOL

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  • http://www.suvaance.com/ Suvaance

    I’m getting very confused  with different options available on Google Plus, but the resources added here is not only very helpful but I’ll say that I’ll not have to find any more blogs or sources for more information about Google Plus. Thanks.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/mudasir.malik.1428 Mudasir Malik

    Google is best place to know about unknown

    Mudasir Nisar Malik

    CEO
    Jami’s communication

  • http://www.facebook.com/mudasir.malik.1428 Mudasir Malik

    I love Google to search every thing you think for

  • http://www.facebook.com/mudasir.malik.1428 Mudasir Malik

    i am love in it
     

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