How to Get Started on Google Plus

Many people who’ve used social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook with success still don’t understand how to get started on Google Plus. Perhaps they’ve become so familiar with the mechanics of using their old standby platforms, the fresh look and feel of Google Plus intimidates them. They just don’t know how to get started. If you’re one of these folks, help awaits below:

  • Ask active Google Plus users (also called plussers) about what they did to become familiar with it. You can tell them what you find confusing and see if they have suggestions as to how you can overcome your angst. Here’s a little secret: Google Plus takes the best of Twitter and Facebook and combines them into social media fabulousness. You’ll see.
  • Schedule time each day to engage on Google Plus. If you use Twitter or Facebook regularly, you know that you’ve got to work it and work it regularly to get the most out of these two popular social media platforms. The same goes for Google Plus. Most people who use social media successfully, set aside distinct blocks of time each day to engage with fans and followers. It’s as easy as setting aside 15 minutes, 3 times a day.
  • Share content from sites you find interesting and think may benefit other like-minded individuals. Just like on Twitter or Facebook, you don’t want to lurk around, sharing only your own content and promotions, like some kind of narcissistic wallflower. Get your feet wet. Share stuff you come across that has such high value and relevancy, you have no problem taking time out of your day to read it.
  • Find people who have the same passions and interests that you have. Circle them and reach out to them by giving great content in their streams a plus 1 and re-sharing the best of this content in your own stream. Most of these likeminded folks will circle you in return. Find circles people have shared publicly by searching “shared a circle”. You’re bound to find something that catches your interest. When you do, give it a whirl – er – I mean a circle.
  • You can search for your friends on Google Plus too. Ask the more experienced plussers to show you around virtually. You can get the attention of others by giving them a +Mention (+Samantha Gluck or +Darren Rowse or +Another Plusser). Do this right in the comment area, when commenting on content they’ve shared. This will send a clear signal that you want to join the conversation in a material way.
  • Right when you meet new, interesting folks during one of your regular visits, circle them. Circle them immediately. They’ll get a notification alerting them that you’ve circled them and will likely check out your profile and circle you back.
  • When sharing content to your Google Plus stream, don’t just share to Public or Extended Circles. Target relevant circles as well as the Public or Extended Circles catch-all groups when you share. For example, if you share something about how to improve writing, share it with a writing circle and any other distinct circles that include those who might find the content useful.
  • Read What the Plus! by superstar Guy Kawasaki. It’s well written, easy to read, priced very reasonably, and includes everything you need to rock your Google Plus stream and more like a boss.

Use these tips right away and stick with it for at least two weeks. If you get on and plus away every day, using these suggestions, you’ll have fun and begin to see the amazing potential in this smart, fresh social media platform. If you still have questions or want to add your own suggestions on how to get started with Google Plus, please sound off in the comments section below.

Samantha Gluck

Samantha Gluck

President and CEO at All Media Freelance, LLC
Creative visionary and business owner, Samantha Gluck is a health care journalist who writes feature stories for various print and digital publications all over the United States and across the pond in the UK. Her company, All Media Freelance, LLC, has grown rapidly since its founding in 2011, requiring Gluck and her partner to contract a carefully selected group of professionals to work in the areas of content development and marketing as well as digital branding.
  • Lisa Buben

    I find it amazing many people are still stuck on Facebook. I love Google+ for great info and some fun too :) It’s really grown since we started there over a year ago Samantha. Great advice to circle interesting people immediately so you don’t have to go and search later or you’ll forget, I know I would :) .

    • Samantha Gluck

      Hi Lisa! Yes it is and while I still post (remotely, however) to FB, I actually physically visit G+ on a regular basis. I really have found lots more opportunities for networking and engaging conversation there.

      While I don’t advocate leaving FB entirely, I definitely advocate getting on the G+ train now!

      I have a circle that’s just called “Interesting people I don’t know” LOL! I move them over to other distinct circles if they engage with me and I get to know them. I also have a circle called “Badasses” that has people like my buddies and heroes Darren Rowse and Brian Clark in it.

  • Hal Baird

    I find even though I’ve circled people on Google+ very few return the favor. I removed my Facebook account two years ago because of serious privacy problems (despite having correct settings on my account) and I will NEVER use them again. So my social media are: Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. LinkedIn is easy in that both people have to agree to connect, so it’s not like I want a relationship with you but you have no interest in me. The other two are different in that the relationship can be one sided. I may circle you or follow you and you do not have to reciprocate. My personal stance on this is if after a week a person hasn’t responded in kind I remove him/her, feeling there’s no interest in establshing a relationship between us.

    • Samantha Gluck

      Hi Hal,

      This does happen on G+ and all other social media platforms, for sure. Have you reached out specifically to these people? I wouldn’t reach out and ask them directly to circle you back, but find something interesting in their stream, make a thoughtful comment, while +person them.

      I usually don’t circle people back that circle me if they have never made any attempt to engage me and did not do so upon circling me. There are people who I don’t care if they circle me back, they’re still going to remain in my circles because they have so much great content. These are usually the Pete Cashmores of the world; although, some of those well-known people have actually circled me back, or at the very least, have engaged with me in the comments.

      I have a FB page, but only really post remotely there. Like you, I engage on LI, Twitter, and G+.

      Thank you for commenting!