social media tools Do you know you need to focus more on Google+?

Are you having a hard time building your community on Google+?

In this article I’ll tell you about 3 tools to build your presence on Google+ and get more value for your business.

#1: Friends+Me—Distribute Google+ Content to Other Platforms

Friends+Me automatically shares content from Google+ to other social networks by checking your Google+ business page and/or personal profile at regular intervals. If new posts are found, they’re reposted to any social networks you’ve associated with Friends+Me.

Friends+Me has some excellent configuration options available, but you’ll need to spend some time setting them up. Once that’s done, Friends+Me is a robust way to share your Google+ updates across multiple platforms.

friends+me repost to twitter

Sharing from Google+ to Twitter brings more traffic to your Google+ account.


In addition to auto-syncing your Google+ content with other social platforms, this tool lets you:

  • Connect your established social platforms—Friends+Me supports Twitter; Facebook business pages, groups and personal profiles; LinkedIn profiles, groups and pages; and Tumblr public pages and private blogs.
  • Selectively publish—You may not want to publish your content to all social networks, so you can append specific hashtags (discussed a little further down) to indicate which platforms you want to share with.
  • Integrate tracking links—You can share content using either the Friends+Me web address shortener or you can use Both link shorteners let you track how your audience responds to your linked content.
  • Include Twitter inline images—When you attach a picture to your Google+ update, it’s visible on Twitter as well. Since visual content is a major part of community engagement, definitely try this feature and see how your fans react.

Here’s an example of a Google+ update reposted to Twitter. As you can see, the tweet includes a link back to your original Google+ update and the image shows up inline.


When you launch Friends+Me, you’re asked to connect your Google+ business page or personal account. Then you can connect your other networks.

friends+me sharing destinations

Add your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Tumblr accounts to Friends+Me.

The Google+ page you link to Friends+Me is your source network. Content you publish on your source network is copied to your destination network(s) (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Tumblr).

In the example below, I selected a LinkedIn profile to connect. Friends+Me recognizes whether you’re already logged into LinkedIn, and all you have to do is click the button to add a LinkedIn profile.

connecting linkedin to friends+me

Connecting my LinkedIn profile to Friends+Me.

What I like about Friends+Me is that you can schedule each platform to share your Google+ updates at different times so you aren’t inundating your fans with the same information all at once. For example, you can schedule LinkedIn updates to go out in the morning while Twitter updates go out in the afternoon.

scheduling linkedin shares on friends+me

Each social profile has its own set of menu options for scheduling.

By default, Friends+Me posts your content to all of the social profiles you connect. However, there may be times when you don’t want to share with a specific platform.

Friends+Me uses specific hashtags that allow you to share only with the platforms you want. For example, you can include #f so that content is only republished to Facebook or #ft to republish content to Facebook and Twitter.

hashtag control on friends+me

This Google+ post will only be reposted to Twitter.

If you don’t want to republish anywhere, include either #ns or #noshare as part of the article you share on Google+. (Don’t worry, there’s a cheat sheet for the hashtags, but they’re very intuitive.)

Friends+Me has several sections to help you make the most of your sharing:

  • Timeline—The timeline shows the updates you have recently posted on Google+ that were reposted to a network (e.g., LinkedIn). You can click on each update to bring you to the actual post in Google+.
  • Queue—Any items that are in the queue will be published at the time set in the Scheduling section. If you don’t have automatic scheduling enabled via the Scheduling screen, then any new Google+ posts are placed here in the queue. You can either post those immediately or manually set a posting time for each update.
  •  Scheduling—This section is where you set up your sharing schedule. You can specify that posts be sent to a social network at a specific time interval after the original update is published (e.g., 30 minutes later). You can even set it up so updates are reposted on specific days and times. For example, in the screenshot below, the Google+ updates are scheduled to be reposted to LinkedIn on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at various times during the day.
    repost schedule on friends+me

    Schedule your Google+ update to share on specific days of the week.

  • Routing—This section lists the Google+ pages or profiles you want to share updates from. So if you only want posts on your personal Google+ profile to be reposted to LinkedIn, you would specify it via the Routing screen. You’ll also see which of your accounts aren’t currently connected to Friends+Me.
  • Link Shortening—By default, Friends+Me uses its own link shortener so any links you share will have as part of the link. You can change this to if you prefer.
  • Setup—The setup options depend on the social profile you are configuring. Each platform has parameters you can specify. For example, if you’re setting up Twitter, you can specify a character limit (e.g., 110) to allow room for retweets.

A great feature is you can tell Friends+Me to always link back to your Google+ update instead of the original post on the web.

friends+me setup options

Different setup options for each profile type.


Friends+Me is a useful tool to share original content from Google+ because you have total control over how, where and when content is shared.

#2: Chrome Do Share—Schedule Posts to Your Personal Profile

While you usually want to share company news via your Google+ brand page, there may be times you want to schedule it to go out via your personal profile too. Unfortunately, the usual content management tools can’t do that.

Chrome, the Google web browser, has a plugin that solves that problem: Chrome Do Share plugin.

There’s one catch: Your computer must have the Chrome browser open at the time you want the content delivered.

This is because the Do Share plugin runs directly on your computer and the posts you schedule are stored in your browser. When the scheduled share time arrives, the posts are sent to Google+. If Chrome isn’t open, you’ll have to reschedule the posts.


While it’s important to configure the plugin properly to get the full range of features, once that’s done you can:

  • Schedule content to update to your Google+ personal profile and/or your business profile.
  • Schedule content you find while you are browsing through Google+ posts. This is an extra option added to Google+ posts so you can schedule delivery of this content at a later time through Do Share.


Open the Chrome browser, then search the Chrome web store and add ‘Do Share’ as an extension on your browser.

install doshare plugin

The Do Share plugin is available through the Chrome store plugin directory.

Once it’s installed, access it by clicking on the Do Share button in the browser toolbar.

doshare toolbar icon

The plugin adds a button to your browser toolbar that allows you to add content to Do Share.

In the screenshot above, you can see that the number in the box is zero. That means you don’t have anything scheduled. That number changes as you schedule posts.

When you click the button, it gives you the option to create a post with a link to the current webpage.

For example, if you’re on a post on the RazorSocial site and click the Do Share button, a new tab comes up with all of the things you need to create a new Google+ post that automatically has a link to the RazorSocial page you’re viewing.

doshare webpage share

Just click on the Share option next to the link to retrieve and display details of the post, then schedule it.

If you want to add this post to your schedule, just click on the Share option to the left of the link. This presents a snippet preview of how the post will look on Google+.

creating a post with doshare

Add in the title and description and schedule.

Now you can add more details to the post. You can:

  • Specify a title. The title appears in bold on the first line of your Google+ post.
  • Enter the details of your post, and make a comment about the link you’re sharing.
  • Mention and add people to your post. When you add people, they are notified and it can be a good way of catching someone’s attention.
  • Create a poll, add an image or add a link to your post.
  • Publish your post immediately or schedule it for later.

Using Friends+Me With Do Share

Friends+Me and Do Share have different strengths. What’s nice is that they work well together. You can share content via Do Share and then Friends+Me will pick up that content and share it out to the social networks you have configured.


If you want to schedule and share content to your Google+ personal profile, Do Share is your solution. It’s easy to use, gives you control of what’s shared and works well with Friends+Me. The only downside is that you can only use it with Chrome.

#3: Steady Demand—Analytics for Your Google+ Strategy

Steady Demand is a Google+ audit and analytics tool. The audit is free; the analytics tool is paid.

Free Audit Tool

To use the audit tool, go to Steady Demand and click on Launch Tool to reach the audit page. Enter your Google+ brand page URL and click TEST.

The results show you an overview of what’s working on your page and what’s not.

steady demand audit tool

Enter your business page to get an audit to see what’s right or wrong with your page.

If you scroll down, you can see an analysis of the last 10 posts on your page. Posts are graded on three criteria:

  • Post length
  • Mentions
  • Hashtags

If two out of the three criteria are met, the post passes.

steady demand post analysis

Posts that have (and haven’t) satisfied the audit criteria.

Paid Pro Tool

Steady Demand Pro provides detailed analytics on your Google+ business page.


Now that you have your basic audit, you can upgrade to Steady Demand Pro and get many more features, including these:

  • Dashboard—Your dashboard is a quick view of your overall performance analytics.
  • Post Quality—Steady Demand reviews individual posts and assesses their quality, then provides recommendations for improvement.
  • Engagement—You can see the details of engagement on specific posts.
  • Alerts—Steady Demand warns you if an update has low engagement.


To set up your Pro account, all you need to do is go to the Steady Demand Pro page and click Start Trial. Once you fill out your account information, you can enter your Google+ business page or personal profile details.

You can also add competitors’ profiles/pages so you can compare performance and see what is working well for them.

When you login to your Pro account, you’ll see your dashboard with menus on the left and analytics displayed on the right:

steady demand pro tool dashboard

The Steady Demand dashboard gives you a quick look at overall stats.

The dashboard is a high-level overview of your Google+ performance:

  • Connections by Day shows the growth or decline of the number of circles you are part of and the followers broken out by day.
steady demand connections by day report

Look at growth or decline in circles you are part of or of followers.

When you click on a particular date, you can see that day’s posts and evaluate why there was growth or decline on that day.

steady demand posts on day view

View all post activity related to your posts on a particular day.

  • Engagement by Day shows each post’s individual engagement rate. Select the View option to see whether the actual post had good or poor engagement.
steady demand posts engagement by day report

View engagement on each individual post and then go directly to the post.

  • Engagement Distribution by Post Type shows how your community responds to different post topics. For example, in the chart below, Articles/Links–type posts get good engagement and get more +1s than shares or comments.To get this most out of this metric, be sure you’re posting a similar number of different kinds of posts. For example, in this chart you would think that video posts are not very popular and don’t get much engagement, but the truth is we just didn’t have very many video posts, so it’s hard to tell.
steady demand engagement report

View a breakdown of engagement by post type.

  • Post Engagement by Time of Day lets you see what works and when. You can also see what time of day you are not posting. Experiment by posting at those times to see if you get higher engagement.
steady demand hourly post distribution report

Figure out what time of day gets the most engagement.

  • Post Quality Breakdown is an assessment based on how many people recommended your Google+ updates. Steady demand recommends your posts have at least 50 characters, include a hashtag and mention someone. The following illustration shows that the posts don’t have any mentions, so this is an area to focus on.
steady demand post quality report

Analyzing the Post Quality chart will give you some ideas for improvement.


Steady Demand gives you an idea of your current Google+ success with its free audit. To really dive in and improve your Google+ presence, you need a Pro account with full analytics reporting—which includes monitoring your competitors. By watching your competitors, you can evaluate what’s working for them and adapt your own strategy as needed.


As expected, Google is integrating Google+ efforts into its suite of tools. It’s more important than ever to establish a presence there.

It may take some effort to build your community on Google+, but the tools in this article will get you on the right track.

What do you think? Is Google+ working for your business? Tell us what tools you’re using to get an edge.

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  • Wow Ian! Thanks for sharing this article and educating me about Steady Demand a Google+ audit and analytics tool. “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

  • I used the Google+ Brand Audit tool a few days ago to make sure my page was well connected and doing well. I didn’t agree with their grading of the Google+ posts, I think it’s not really a good metric to see whether or not someone has been “tagged” in the post or not – but other than that – a good checklist.

  • Thanks Patrick, you’re right about measuring. It’s so important! Ian

  • Thanks Avtar, it’s useful to tag people where relevant but it’s not required all the time. Ian

  • Hey Ian,

    great and informative post, thank you!

    I am guessing you need to have a ‘Pro’ account for SteadyDemand to show full results for the ‘tests’ it does?

  • Hi Alex, yes you do. There’s a 14 day trial to get you started. Ian

  • Excellent post Ian. I am going to give all 3 Google+ tools covered here a try. Prior to this post, I had not heard of any of them. In general, tools for Google+ seem to be lagging. For example, I am not aware of any robust tools for circle management, something akin to FollowerWonk for Twitter by Moz which I use every day.

    The only Google+ circle management tools that I have used is a plugin called “Inactives” which is good to prune inactive G+ users from your circles when bumping up against the 5k limit for # of G+ users you can have in your circles.

  • Thank you, Ian!

  • treb072410

    Amazing post Ian… I really had a great read.. Thanks for sharing!.

  • Thank you so much Rick. A few extra Google+ tools would certainly be nice. Ian

  • Thank you so much, I’m delighted you liked it. Ian

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  • venkyiyer58

    Hmm. All three tools unknown to me. But then, I am just beginning to get warm to Google+, though I have been there since the beginning. Thanks, Ian.

  • You’re welcome,I hope they are useful for your business! Ian

  • Ben Fisher

    Thanks Avtar, the post grade actually only needs two things to pass post length and hashtags, the +mention = a bonus. But the tool goes a bit deeper than that as we also take into consideration the engagement a posts gets as well. Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  • Ben Fisher

    Hey Alex,
    Actually the Pro version does way more than the Audit. The Audit is included but you can deep dive into analytics, insights, get alerts, analyze personal profiles and business profiles ( yours or others ) , track progress of social signals and much more.

  • Thanks Ian. Justed signed up for Friends+me. It’s just what I needed. Thanks!

  • Great thanks Myles.

  • Ben,

    thanks for making that clear, for me, and everyone else!

  • Am I the only one who feels like that Friends+Me tool sounds a little bit spammy? Or am I just not understanding it completely?

  • Hi Megan, it’s not good to automate all your updates and Friends+Me uses a hashtag system which allows you to define which updates you want copied to other platforms. This means you can share only the relevant updates to Twitter, Facebook etc. Ian

  • Amanda Shaw

    This is fantastic! I’m excited to try it all out with my G+ account.

  • Great Post Ian

    I’ve been using Friends + Me for a few weeks now, to share posts out from Google + to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and LinkedIn.

    As in my opinion G + is only going to get bigger (and the posts themselves are great for SEO), to base everything off just this platform as a sharing base and track it all with links has been a real eye-opener for me. It’s so simple and the results are great.

    Just one thing about Friends + Me though, if you’re sharing to Twitter make sure you only include a very short teaser line before your shortened link – or when you view the Tweet it will only link back to the G + post and the Twitter image, and will cut off the link to the original source.

    Hope this helps 🙂



  • Personally I’m not a fan of cross posting between platforms. I follow a few people and brands that use Friends+Me to post from G+ to Facebook and it just looks sloppy and lazy to me.

  • How is Friends+Me significantly different from Hootsuite?

  • That’s great Amanda, thanks for your feedback! Ian

  • Hi Scott, selective cross posting can be useful but it’s not suited for all content and needs to be used wisely. Ian

  • Some very helpful tips, thanks for sharing! Never heard of Friends+Me before this post. Going to head right over and set it up! Thanks again:)

  • I love Friends+Me and Do Share and use them regularly and am interested to give Steady Demand a try.
    As a heads up to Do Share users, they are currently experiencing problems when a post is scheduled and contains an image you will receive the message “Could Not Send the Post To Google+” if you have just a text or link post the message should post without issue.

  • Hey Loz, thanks so much for your feedback. Good point about having the short teaser! Ian

  • Hey Robert, thanks for the feedback! ian

  • If Google+ is an important platform for you you’re better off posting directly on Google+ so you can use all the features. There are some limitations posting from Hootsuite to Google + (i.e. no support for posting to personal profiles). Ian

  • Hi Chad, thanks for the feedback, I haven’t come across that issue. Ian

  • Wow, Ian this is an amazing post – thank you! It’s great to know there are tools available that we can use to effectively manage the content our Google+ business and personal pages. I really like the features you’ve mentioned here for Steady Demand; being able to measure your Google+ presence is a must! Thanks again.

  • Hey John, thank you so much for your feedback. It’s great to see tools like Steady Demand coming to the market as Google+ increases in importance! See you in March! Ian

  • Thanks so much for putting all this information together Ian. I really appreciate you sharing these tools.

  • Thank you so much Michele!

  • AmandahBlackwell

    Great tips!

    Thanks for including Chrome Do Share—Schedule Posts to Your Personal Profile. I’ve been wondering if there was a way to schedule posts on Google Plus. That’s the one drawback to Google Chrome, at least for me. They don’t offer a schedule feature like other social networks.

  • Thanks Amandah!

  • Great Ian for these new and helpful tips. I love Google extensions, so looking forward to test this out. See you on G+!

  • CircleCount is my favorite G+ tool… lots of competitive intelligence as well as information about your own pages, profiles, and communities.

  • Andrea Morgan

    Great post Ian as usual x

  • Pingback: Build Your Google Presence | Marketing With Candace()

  • Google+ has so much potential, but unfortunately Google has not a good strategy in place. For example: allowing users to scheduling posts, or allowing third party apps – Like Hootsuite, Buffer… – to post. Also, lack of a native analytics dashboard is an important issue…

    I think until they will fix all these issues, there’s no way they’ll be able to compite with Facebook. In the meantime, having posts like yours are the best resource we can find to overcome these issues. So thank you!

  • I’m sure a Circle management tool is an opportunity waiting to be seized by someone with the right skills. Like hewing wood and drawing water just now – time intensive and tiring.

  • I agree Des. Definitely an opportunity. The only reason I can figure on someone not having seized it yet is the real risk of Google changing or even retiring Google+ APIs necessary to build circle management tools, making the investment to create and maintain those tools as well as their payback potential unclear.

  • Good point Rick. There is a lot of uncertainty built in. I just discovered they’ve once again changed the layout for our G+ profile cover pics, so mine is all out of whack and I’ll have to re-do it. Just as well I have *basic* Photoshop elements skill! 🙂

  • Ben Fisher is a great tool for circle management.

  • Ah, thanks for the clarification Ben! 🙂

  • What an info packed post. I think it’s going to take me the rest of the evening to absorb all this great info. Until I have a chance to digest everything, I’m just going to try and continue sharing quality content in the right context one platform at a time 🙂

  • Thank you Tiana, looking forward to connecting on Google+.

  • Hey Takeshi, great suggestion. Certainly a useful tool! Ian

  • Thank you so much Andrea!

  • Hi Antonio, thank you so much for your feedback! I agree that Google has a lot of work still to do and this year is a crucial year!

  • Thank you Mitch, I know there is a lot of detail in the post but I hope it saves you time doing the investigation! Ian

  • I have two of the three above. I cannot say that they are truly great tools to work with. I am still at a loss as to how to get G+ working for business. Let us hope it will evolve faster and better, soon.

  • Lavania

    Thank you for this excellent article! As always, packed with comprehensive information and easy to understand!

  • All I can say is Wow! We will try this at Thank you Ian.

  • Awesome tools Ian. Thank you for sharing such great tools. Friends+me & do share are amazing scheduling tools for Google+ profile because before this none of the scheduling tool allows posting to Google+ profile. Steady demand is very similar to facebook insights which will be beneficial for businesses to audit social media efforts through Google+

  • Thanks NavNeet.

  • Thank you Lavania.

  • Hi Krish, thanks for your feedback. It’s going to be an interesting year for G+

  • Vivek G Maudgalya

    Waw !! This is a very good insightful post. We need more such tools for Google plus to make it better social media channel and reach more number of social media analysts to use this effectively. I tried all the tools, I felt we can add some more insights in Steady Demand, yet to try the free trial version. But it was simply amazing!

  • Vivek G Maudgalya

    We still fail to calculate the reach, impressions of the posts on G+. Hope we get some similar insights for every posts. I liked the equation i.e. mentions+hashtags will have a better reach. !!

  • Thanks Vivek!

  • Ian thanks – just added your advice and all the comments to my GoogleDrive doc – the one I use to keep useful links to share in our weekly newsletter

  • Thank you Barbara, I love your comment!!! Ian

  • Thank you Paul, I hope all is great, Ian

  • Wow indeed! What a fantastic resource post. So thorough I’ve got to try them all! Thanks so much for the share.

  • You’re welcome Shannon, thank you so much for your feedback, Ian

  • Mitch – the thought that you could absorb all the info in Ian’s post fills me with dread. You’re obviously capable of absorbing instructions at about three times the rate I am. So when we meet face to face – how are we going to cope with these very different abilities 🙂
    As for what you’ll do while digesting everything – you have only one life & keeping up with Ian Cleary would require a huge gang of supporters. Be sure to continue doing what you do so well – click with people, individual by individual, community by community.

  • Not too bad, bloody great really – only I’m finding it hard to prioritise which of your incredible range of tools would suits each of our clients. I could spend all my time sorting that one. Would you like another job? Several people I’d like to introduce you too – maybe you could meet them all at the same time – I think that’s what some people call training 🙂

    – better be clear: I said that last bit tongue in cheek. You’ve moved on from training people on how to select the best tools + how to use those ones well, I feel sure?

  • Great insight. Thanks. Please do any know of any means of posting to Google+ Communities? Please advise.

  • Hey Moses, Nextscripts have functionality for this but I have not tested it yet so cannot recommend it. Ian

  • treb072410

    Sure did Ian, hope to here more from you..

  • Wow! Steady Demand is awesome! Thanks for the great G+ tips!

  • You are very welcome!

  • I concur, these tools are all excellent, plus I personally know the creators of two of them and they are great guys! Do Share is still an excellent source of marketing as well. Used it. Loved it too!

  • Ben Fisher

    You hit the nail on the head NavNeet!

  • Ben Fisher

    We are working on that Vivek 😉

  • Ben Fisher

    Thanks @disqus_F9HnGvOBPX:disqus let us know your favorite feature!

  • Ben Fisher

    Rock on @makemyblogmoney:disqus

  • Thank you Wade!

  • Vivek G Maudgalya

    Thanks Ben.

  • I didn’t know that Google+ could actually take marketing to a new level and get more value to your business. But thanks to you Ian, your article somehow enlightens me of the things I could do on G+. 🙂

  • Thanks Judy!

  • The social web is never ending deep. Note to self: Avoid decision paralyzis

    Ian, thanks so much for this post. It helps a lot.

  • Thank you so much Martin!

  • Thanks Ben for the info 🙂

  • Thanks for the updated news.

  • Great article! Although I wish other tools such as Hootsuite or Magenta River to be at least mentioned.

  • Edin Lud

    Is there any tool that can help me find all comments made by a certain google plus user?

  • Hi Edin, I’m not awae of one!

  • Eric Broennle

    Thank you, I’ve bin looking for a way to share to all my pages, personal & business at the same time. I think this may be just what I need!

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  • Audit tool has been updated

    New features include:

    Will work with the new G+ layout.

    Detect if a page is LOCAL or not

    Detect if rel=publisher matches the rel=publisher Google needs, we saw many people add the wrong code to their sites. So now we suggest the proper code.

    More stats about a G+ page can be unlocked.

    Better layout and design, fully mobile responsive as well.

    Check to see if you have collections

    Next Steps – Shows you what to fix and post grade + stats

  • cristina Wilson

    Hi Andrea,
    You should try Blog2Social as it is user friendly and has no corn job to be done. There is no server side installation to be done.