How To Improve Your Google+ Experience
Google+ is an exciting platform. I'll be completely honest and said on multiple occasions, "I don't think Google can pull off social at all." Well, looks like I'm eating my words now.
The community continues to grow and there's a lot of interesting developments in terms of bringing functionality to the site. In this post, I want to do a mixture of tips and tools to help improve your experience.
Tip #1: Take Time To Fill Out Your Profile
One of the first things that people see is your stream and then your about section. If your about section is empty or has very few details, that can deter people from adding you to a circle. Really isn't that hard to fill it out and can take just a few minutes. That few minutes will pay off in dividends.
Chrome Extension #1: Usability Boost
I understand not everyone uses Chrome, but I've always been a strong advocate of it as its way faster than Firefox and continues to be a great browser when it comes to extensions. The first one to improve your Google+ experience is one called Usability Boost For Google+.
It makes great, yet subtle changes to the layout, making it easier for you to consume content within the feed. Google could take some solid pointers from this extension.
Tip #2: Make Good Use Of Bold And Italics
The great thing about Google Plus is the ability to bold, italicize, and strikethrough text. It makes content more open to being read and brings attention to your content. Now, don't overuse obviously, but make a point to use them where you can and you'll likely see more traction and interaction with your content whether it's comments, +1's, or shares.
Chrome Extension #2: Replies And More For Google+
Like with any mainstream social network, you can tag/mention people to communicate directly with them. Unfortunately, if you want to tag someone in a comment, you have to manually type it in each time. With Replies And More For Google+, it saves you time by giving you a "Reply" link on each comment. Want to reply to the person? Simply click reply and they will be tagged in a new comment, as witnessed in the image below.
Tip #3: Don't Just Post To Circles Because...
Often, I come across a profile and there's nothing in their stream. The thing is, this doesn't mean they've never posted anything. With posting to circles, only those people will see that content. If you prefer to mostly share to circles, make sure to also share some posts publicly, that way people don't see you as someone who's inactive and therefore, not worth circling.
Chrome Extension #3: G+ Stream Pause
You see a video or a longer post. You start to watch the video or read a post, and something new gets posted to the stream, pushing that content down making you have to scroll again...and again...and again. Thankfully, there's G+ Stream Pause.
In the top right hand of your browser, simply click the pause icon and it will temporarily "freeze" the stream until you unclick it. Great for videos and posts that may take a bit longer to read.
Tip #4: Give Value And Ask Open Ended Questions
One thing that is inherently true with all social networks is that they encourage talking about ones' self. Here and there, its good and lets people in on you and your personality, but as a business owner and building your brand, give as much value as you can.
People want awesome. People will share awesome. People will like you and trust you because of the awesome. Simple as that. Also, the best way to get interaction with your content is to ask open ended questions. Yes/no works, but not to the extent of a question that can't be answered with a simple one-liner.
Extension #4: Stream Filter for Google Plus
Say its launch day of a new Apple product. You have circled a good amount of people who are interested and talk about tech, and proceed to see your stream get overwhelmed with posts about that new Apple product. Have no fear, Stream Filter for Google Plus is here!
Made by someone I've personally got to know, it is well worth looking into and will help filter out unwanted posts and make other content more easily accessible.
Before finishing up this post, I took to Google Plus and asked what tips does anyone have to improve one's Google+ experience. Here's some of those responses...
Mike Corbett: "If you do not follow anyone it's like having a party but forgetting to invite anyone."
Scott Moroney: "Experiment with searching people with different things to share/offer. It makes your stream more interesting...if you are using it initially to learn and grow."
James Williams: "Use saved searches to keep up with breaking news."
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