You can ask a hundred people how best to utilize a social network and you will probably get 100 different answers. I wanted to share with you how I use Google+ as a social networking venue and hopefully help you to find your own method that will work best for your online writing promotions.
It would seem that our social networking is and will become even more important in our efforts to help drive traffic to our content. This isn’t a new concept, at all, but from all appearances is going to carry more weight than it did before.
So, how do I use Google+ that is different than say Facebook or Twitter? First, let me say that over a year ago when Google+ was in beta testing and the only way you could participate was to be invited…I jumped on the bandwagon and encouraged my friends to do the same. I wish that I could remember which A List Blogger I read at the time that suggested that this was going to be more than the next shiny thing tempting us to waste our time. But, alas, I can not remember who that blogger was! I’m really glad that I listened to him or her, though.
Obviously, as with any new social networking site, I looked for people that I knew to either invite in or add to one of my circles. That is human nature to find people we know. It occurred to me early on in the process that I wanted Google+ to be more than just “one more place” to share the same stuff with the same people that I share with on Twitter and Facebook. So, I began to look for other ways to network. After all, isn’t that what we need to do? Look for new people to network with? Possibly find new folks that would enjoy reading our content? Hmmm, yes that is exactly how social networking is supposed to work.
Even, though I have a circle that includes people that write on some of the same platforms that I do; I also have circles that are totally different. For instance, I have a circle that I have that allows me to share information and read their contributions that involve part of my heritage Native Americans. When I add a new blog post or find something that I think will interest that circle of people, I share it with just that circle. I have made some new friends and gotten some new followers that way.
I also have a circle that I call my Antique circle. I have added people in that one that share my love and interest in antique and collectible items. If I write something that has to do with that topic, I share it with that circle. See how this is working? I’m forming relationships with people who like or who are interested in a specific topic.
Over the course of the last year, I have used this system to now have just short of 1100 people who have included me in their circles. How did I find these people, many of which were new to me? Google+ makes it very easy. First I do a search within Google+ on a specific topic that I have an interest in and begin to look over what has been posted. I read through the entries and find people who have posted intriguing links and put them in a circle that pertains to that topic. I make sure that I like their post and usually leave a comment. Many have followed me back and a relationship begins to form.
Do I follow each person who puts me in their circles? No, I do not. I always check their profile and look over the things that they have shared. Sometimes there will be postings that I find upsetting or in bad taste and do not want to be connected with those posts.
I’m not saying that how I use Google+ is the only way to use it, but this system has worked for me nicely in the last year. I have made new contacts, gotten some new traffic, and found some fascinating people to network with. How about you? How are you using Google+? If you aren’t using it, I would recommend trying it. It is really much easier to find people who like the same topics that you do, than other social networking sites that I use.