Using Google+: Who sees my content, Tagging, Building followers, Google Alerts, Sharing posts, Ripples
Note: These are the transcripts of some of the videos from one of the most complete Google+ training for people that want to learn how to get most out of Google+. I formatted it to ease reading, and am not allowed to include any images, but even though you will learn a LOT! If you would like to get the full course, including videos, MP3s and Transcripts go here… In the meantime, Enjoy!
This video is continuing from the previous one, where we were actually using Google+. It provides more information to help you get more from Google+. So let’s go through that now.
OK, so we’re going to build on what we talked about, and what I showed you in the previous video. And just to maximize the leverage we’re going to get out of Google+. So let’s go and continue.
Circles – When does a user see MY content in it’stream
Now a couple of points to start off with. Just a reminder that when a user adds you to any of their circles, they will see your public content. Up until then though they will only see comments and +1’s on their content that you make on their behalf. In other words if you go into one of their posts, and you click on +1, or you comment on it, they’ll see you there. But any information that you’re publishing, they won’t see until they actually add you.
So the reason I’m bringing that up and emphasizing that again is that we do get questions from people who have added people to their circles, their own circles, and are saying how come people aren’t seeing my content?
If you think about it, the reason for that is to stop spam. Otherwise it would be possible for anyone to send you heaps of information, any sort of information, purely if they had your name. This way, until they add you to their circles, they won’t see anything.
The important thing therefore is to focus on making sure you get people to add you to their circles. Because without that they’re not going to see any of your content. So again, +1’s and comments are a great way to start.
In relation to that also, using the tagging feature. That’s very important. I showed you that obviously in the video but I’m going to show you another example of that on the next slide. Basically typing in the + sign and the person’s name, the Google+ name, and as you’re typing you’ll see their name will actually come up. And again you saw that in the video yesterday.
The advantage of doing that as opposed to just commenting is that they will actually get a notification in their email or SMS on the mobile, depending on how they’ve configured their notifications, when you do that.
So if it’s an interesting comment and something they want to talk about, something they’re interested in, you might find they add you to their circles, purely from doing that. So keep that in mind. It’s one of the best ways to engage people. And again what we’re talking about is engaging people – the more of that, the more they find out about you, hear about you, and get to know you, effectively, by what you’re doing, the more likely they are to follow you, and obviously other people as well.
Let’s have an example now of the tagging.
As you can see there on the screen, up here is the first person Alex. If you scroll down here to have a look you can see up top, then a plus (+) and then his name. Then a bit of a brief message. Then I’ve tagged a separate person, and it’s got here Richard Frost, and it’s put a plus there as well. “Not sure either..” blah blah blah.
So the point here is that if I click on Post Comment now, both people will see the notification. So this comment will appear on this post, but each of those people will receive a notification (whether by email or SMS) to confirm that you’ve left a comment on their post that has referenced their name.
So again a very good way of doing that if you want to attract someone’s attention.
Particularly when you’re posting in “what’s hot in Google” where there could be hundreds of comments and you don’t want your comment to get lost, or you actually are talking to a specific person, it’s a great idea to use that comment for that reason.
I did show you an example of sharing posts in a previous video, but I just want to go on about that, about how important it is to be doing that as much as possible. Because one of the great things about sharing content is you can actually give the original person credit, and that happens automatically when you click the Share button, but you also get a credit as well. So the people who are following you will see that you have shared an interesting post. But the original person also gets notified that you’ve shared. And he can often come on board and thank you and give you a +1. And that has happened to me quite often when I share the content.
But it goes out to the world. The advantage here is that everyone of the people who you’ve shared your post with gets a copy of what you’ve shared into their Google+ stream, which basically, from Google’s perspective is a link. It’s a link from their to your profile. So you can see how this can go viral very quickly.
And if it’s great information who’s not going to be happy if it’s useful and great information that’s compelling and you want to read.
This is really good when you’re starting out perhaps and you haven’t got a lot of really good content, and you’re wanting to get some content and get some people to start recognizing you. It’s one way of becoming well known. And it’s the example again that we showed you in the video, the guy who was sharing images. He doesn’t create a lot of his own content. He just finds interesting images and either reposts them, or gets them from another source. So basically he’s sharing and re-sharing information. And that’s a way to attract people. Just one method. It works really well.
Let me show you an example of this shared content again. You can see the point up here, this Randy Hilarski – he’s actually shared this post and put this comment here. And again it’s very important when you’re sharing good content to make sure you’re putting something in there to give your followers a reason for why they want to read it basically, to see what the content is all about.
And it also makes sure that the content is unique, that you’re sharing. This is obviously important because you’re sharing someone’s information. You don’t want to just share it without putting in a message. You want to put something in here to give people a reason to want to read it.
And down here you can see that The Next Web guy was the original guy who shared the post. So he’s getting two links effectively there. He’s getting a link to his profile on the left. And on the right there’s the original post. And Google+ as you saw the last time you saw the previous video, you’ll see they actually put the title and the details of the post in there. So again that’s a good example of how sharing content, and how easy it is on Google+.
Now in terms of sharing content, obviously the goal in Google+ generally is to create content that people want to share and engage. Obviously that’s an example of this person that we showed you sharing someone else’s content. But if you want to get to the stage where you’re creating content as well that other people share… Can you see the advantages of that? If you’ve got a great post about dog training, for argument’s sake, and you can get other people to share it, then that content is going out to all these other people who are part of their circles or extended circles. And it just really can go viral very quickly.
But to do that you need to start building followers. Obviously you need to have people who have added you to their circles so that this can go viral.
So, first rule: Give in order to receive. Engage people, as we talked about. Flatter them, stroke their ego, tell them their information is fantastic. Ask questions is another great way. Go to a post that already has a lot of activity and start asking some questions. Not only to the original person who created the content. But have a look at the comments as well and you can find some compelling information, sorry, questions. And either answer the questions or ask questions of these other people, to help them engage more. Because again if you’re getting engagement, chances are that you’re standing out of the crowd in your comments and people are going to want to click your profile to see who you are.
So obviously you want to use tagging as much as possible. Tag people’s names that you’re addressing people’s questions to, so they don’t have to go back to the comments and just happen to find you. They’ll actually receive a notification that you’ve mentioned their name and they’ll be wanting to go back and engage you and find out what this is all about.
In other words what we’re doing here is making ourselves stand out a little bit from the crowd. Because you’ll find that the vast majority of your competitors won’t be standing out of the crowd. They’ll be using short comments, that won’t be interesting. Sometimes it won’t be relevant. It will be short stuff. So do the opposite of what other people are doing. And don’t be afraid to express your opinion. Having an opinion is good. And that what makes you stand out in the crowd.
So we did talk about this a little bit yesterday, and that’s engaging people. Let’s just go in a little bit more about that. Again, we talked about examples previously. But, be different. Have an opinion. Humor, knowledge, controversy: all those things will help you stand out from the crowd.
But in terms of engaging, don’t be a ‘used car salesman’. No offense to any used car salesmen out there! But this is not a sales fest. Google+ isn’t a platform where you should be putting links to buying product links. You know, Buy! Buy! Buy now! Click my link to buy this product! Be a real person. Here’s an example.
Let’s just say you’re in the life insurance industry. Would you go to a party and start immediately handing out business cards and start signing people up for life insurance? Yes, it might be possible that you could do that, but surely you would start a conversation first. You would engage the person. Ask questions and find out who they are. And just try and get a bit of dialogue. And that’s what we’re trying to do here with the Google+ Conspiracy Code, and using Google+ in general. We’re trying to engage people and get them interested in what we’re talking about, before we do any selling of any sort.
And you might find that you might not have to ever directly sell anything on Google+. There may be indirect benefits. But once people get to know you a casual mention of an ebook or a casual mention of a product will be enough for them to be asking you, What’s this product? Where can I find out more about this?
That’s the sort of thing we’re actually talking about.
OK, who sees your content?
Another important point here. Remember, I’ve said this a number of times now, adding someone to your circles does not mean those people will get to see your content. They won’t see any content you’re creating until they add you to their circles. So don’t waste time try to follow thousands of people.
Yes, you will find that some people, just by you following them, will actually follow you back. But the other ways that we’ve talked about, engaging people and getting a dialogue going with them, using tagging, +1, leaving comments and so forth. They are the ways that work to get followers. That’s far better than just trying to circle thousands of people and hope that a small percentage will follow you back. Which has been a big strategy with Twitter, but it’s not really appropriate with Google+.
Sneaky Tip time
If you’re having trouble getting someone to engage and add you to their circles, and it’s someone that’s a big person and you’re trying to get them to add you, because by doing that you’ll find a lot of other people will probably then get to know you – if you’re having difficulty with that, one of the ways to do it is look at their stream and other people who are contributing to, that are engaging with this person, and try and engage with those people as well. So you are coming from a different angle, and see how that goes. Try to build up a bit of dialogue between you and this other person. Then come back in. It’s a sneaky attack if you will, to try and get this original person to engage with you.
This is assuming you’ve got content that’s good enough. Because when you share that information, that other people’s going to see it on their wall. So what we’re doing there is we’re talking about a second prong attack where the original person that you really want to engage with, if they aren’t coming back and haven’t added you to their circles, then go to someone that they are engaging with, and try and get them to add them to your circles, so that when you share your information, that other person, because the original guy is in that other person’s circle (extended circle if you will), they will see your content indirectly. See where I’m going now? That’s another great way to take another door, if you will, to get to the same goal.
The bottom line with all of this is, it’s going to be rare to find people who will add you for no reason.
With Twitter it seemed to be the norm, certainly when it first came out, and still to a degree, just to add thousands of people. That’s certainly a strategy. And hope that a percentage will follow you.
That is not a good way in general to use Google+. It’s far better to not try and do that and focus instead on what we talked about in this video, on the other ways, of clicking on +1, commenting, engaging, using people’s name and tags. Those types of things. Stop begging people to follow you, in other words. And do make sure your profile is fully filled out. Because again the profile is usually the first place people will find out something about you. Yes they’ll send you a comment. They’ll see maybe you clicked on a +1 button on one of their pieces of content, and they’ve seen your comment. But the next thing they’ll do is click your name and have a look at your stream, and then have a look at probably your profile, to see whether you’re worth following.
But that’s where you need to be focusing, to make sure your profile is really filled out and has got some good information, and is very interesting. Because people won’t follow boring people, generally!
Google Alerts is another thing. It’s a free product. You can go and get it from google.com/googlealerts I think it is. Or it might be alerts.google.com. It’s one of those things. You can certainly do a Google search for it anyway. That’s another way to find content. So you can actually put in your keywords, and you can get it to send you once a day, or immediately, or an RSS feed (which is the best way of doing it), or just the content of what’s happening in your niche. So instead of just Google+ information, this is Google search engine wide. Anything to do with that topic. So that’s another way you can build up information. If you’re looking to find information to send out on a regular basis to send to people who have circled you, that’s a great way to find information.
Or, as we showed you in the previous video, how to add the Google+ search to find content and save those searches so you can come back to them time and time again.
I alluded to that earlier in the video when I showed you the example of sharing content: always be sure to add your own spiel to anything you share. Don’t just click Share and then Post. Make sure you’re adding your own little bit of unique content, which will help in the search engine rankings as well. But also from the perspective of the person who’s reading what you’re saying. This is where your bit of your personality goes in then. If you put something witty, engaging, interesting to give them a reason to read.
Because what we’re trying to do here is train people – I know that probably doesn’t come out the right way! But we’re trying to train people to follow what we’re doing and take action, so that down the track when we suggest people to do something else, they are going to be conditioned to the fact that you’ve been sending out great content. And they’ll be conditioned to take the action you want them to take. So that’s what we’re doing here. We’re adding our own spiel. We’re getting people used to the fact that you’re sending out good content. And basically we’re getting them to the stage where they’re trusting what we’re saying.
Just one other question we get, and that is something you should know is, you can actually send people to a specific post. I know this is harder to do in Facebook. But you can actually put a link to this post button. I will show you on the next slide. It’s in the top hand corner of any post. And if you copy that link you can send people that link. And if you’ve got an auto-responder list of people, for argument’s sake, like a list of subscribers, you can post that link and get them going to your Google+ page. It’s a good way to get people to add you to their circles.
Or if you’re in another Google+ post, and you want to reference another post, you can do the same thing. You can get their link and paste that straight in as a link when you’re sharing content. And that will come up straight away.
Let’s have a look at that example. You can see here, I’ve just clicked on a link. There’s this little disclosure triangle, if you’re a Mac User, a little button/down arrow that you click, that expands this. And you’ve got some other options. You can Edit the post…
…which I haven’t talked about before. That’s something that you should be aware of. Unlike Facebook where once you’ve saved, generally, that it’s. You’ve only got an option to delete. You can edit your post. You can edit your comments, at any time as well. That’s one of the great things about Google+. So keep that in mind as well. If you ever make a mistake, and you think, Oh No, What am I going to do? You can actually go back to it and edit it and make changes.
And obviously there’s delete, and disable and lock the post. But what I’m talking about here is linking. So if you click on that button it will bring up another little window. And from there you’ll actually have the exact URL that will take you directly to that post. And you can actually reference that in another Google+ post, or outside of Google+ altogether.
Viewing Google+ Ripples
Now, I’m thinking of ripples here, as in a lake, you know, when you throw a stone over it, and it creates a rippling effect, a cascading effect if you will. There’s a feature called View Ripples, which is a reference as well. It’s using the link on the right of posts. You can use this for other people as well.
And what it does, that I really like, it gives you an option, or actually it shows you how far that post has gone.
Now we’re talking specifically about here sharing of posts. And you can see how far a post has been shared, it’s ripple in other words. Every time it hits a user and they share it, it has rippled out. So it’s a pretty good analogy that Google have come up with, using the word ripple, where it explains how it works.
This is an example of a Lady Gaga post. You can see here, a View Ripples link. If you click that you will get something like this. And obviously it will be different for every single post, because it depends on who clicked on the Share and so forth. But you can see there, there is the original post in the middle. And you can see all these other posts. Some of these people have only shared it. But if someone here has shared it, someone else might have re-shared it. And it will go out, and go really wide.
So what you’re looking for, with your content, is you’re looking to find people who will share your posts, who themselves have got a good audience, so they can then share it, and ripple it out, for want of a better term, further.
These are the stats, information built into Google+, which is fantastic.
And just another screen I wanted to highlight as well. It actually gives you some stats and you can watch the ripple effect over a period of time. And see the statistics on how far it’s gone out and so forth, longest chain, how many shares per hour, and those types of things.
It’s something that is useful. It’s not something perhaps you’ll be using a lot. What I like using it for is to see how other people have rippled it out. Because by looking here you can get an idea for who’s a re-sharer, and then go to that person, and try and engage that person. Because you know that if they’re doing that on a regular basis with the posts they’re checking, chances are they’re going to share your posts. That’s a good way to find other people in your niche, as I said, to be able to share good information.
Very good capability that’s been built into Google+ to do that.
OK, we’re coming to the end of this video. What have we covered today? Well, we built on what we covered earlier in the previous video on using Google+. And hopefully now you’ve gained a better handle and understanding of it, of using Google+, to gain that maximum leverage.
And we just clarified a few other things and talked about ripples. But mainly the content and engagement is of course the reason we’re using Google+. We’re wanting to engage people. The more people engage, the better results you’re going to get.
OK, what’s coming up?
In the next video we’re going to talk about some important Google+ tips and tricks to ensure you get the most out of Google+. I’m going to build upon what we’ve learned in previous videos to take you to the next level.
OK, we’ve made it! We’re at the last slide. So thank you very much for watching. That’s the end of today’s video. We’ll be back with the next video shortly!
Cheers for now.
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