1. Why am I adding 1?
A ‘+1’ is a method of showing appreciation for a post on Google+. It’s all about whether you agree with the post and the message it’s giving out. If you like what they’re saying and agree with them then a +1 shows your support for the post. Other people are able to see that you have given the post a +1. In Facebook terms, it’s the equivalent of a ‘like’.
2. What’s a circle?
Think of it as a circle of friends. This is where the concept comes from- you add people you want to connect with to your circle of friends. You don’t have to just create a circle of friends though. You can create a circle of colleagues, a circle of influencers or a circle of employees. What’s more, you can add people to more than one circle so if someone fits within two categories, then put them in both. Think of Google+ as a huge venn diagram of all your connections.
3. Constant Changes
As with all social networks, Google+ constantly updates its look and changes its algorithm. It’s a fact of life in the online social sphere. Ideally, you’ll be using the site enough to only notice small updates, but often Google will not tell you it’s updated its social network and so it can become difficult when things swap and disappear. As with all advances in technology, the best thing you can do is try and keep on top of it and use it as much as you can to keep yourself up to date.
4. Why do I need to be in a community?
A community on Google+ works in much the same way as a physical community. It’s a group of people who are all interested in the same thing, whether they are connected geographically, by interest or by other common similarities. In a community some people contribute content that everyone will be interested in and others just ‘listen’ to the content that is put out. Some communities have rules such as ‘no sales posting’ to keep the content pure and interesting to all members. To join a community you just search for the subject you’re interested in and look at the results in communities.
5. Ghost Town
Some might say that Google+ is a bit of a ghost town, and from a personal social angle this is a fair statement. Most people are using Twitter and Facebook at the moment so there’s not much need for them to join Google+. However from a marketing and business point of view, Google+ has a lot of features which are incredibly useful. For example, there are many ‘industry experts’ on Google+ sharing their knowledge and expertise, particularly in America so it can be a great place to catch up with your industry across the pond. Equally, there is some great content to share on Google+ so you can harvest content for your other Social Networks. A recent statistic states that the average user spends seven minutes a month on Google +!
6. What’s private, what’s not?
If you click on the drop-down menu in the top left hand corner of Google+, then select ‘settings’, you are able to set who can see what on your profile and who you are posting out to. When writing a post, you are also able to specify which circles you send the content too and identify specific people. If you want to target a particular sector of your audience, you are able to do so.
7. Who am I hanging out with?
Hangouts is Google’s instant messaging and video calling system. It’s a fast growing experience which lets you video call up to 10 people at a time for free and chat to as many as you like via instant message. It also has other features such as screen sharing and some fun frames that you can have around your video. A great thing about hangouts is that you can have it on mobiles devices too so you can interconnect between PCs and other mobile devices.