Have you ever shared a Circle on Google Plus or seen others sharing one? Learn about their hidden powers and how to leverage what most businesses have yet to figure out!
[01:43] The Advantage of Google Plus
[02:49] Looking at the Early Days of Twitter
[02:58] The Challenge with Google Plus
[04:18] My Suggestions For You with Google Plus
[04:47] The Initial Step of Engagement You Should Be Doing
[05:11] One of the Interesting Things You Can Do to Engage in Google Plus
[05:24] The Power of Circle Sharing
[06:55] Why Circle Sharing?
[07:55] Circle Sharing As A Form of Engagement
[10:11] The Most Underutilized Aspect of Social Media Marketing
- I do believe it is starting to reach that tipping point where people are no longer asking, Well, I thought Google Plus was a ghost town, or why should my company be on it? And realizing that it is a natural extension of a communication channel that your social media program should make sure it encompasses, right.
- And it hurts me that also, no one is talking about LinkedIn, it's just a place where you go to look for a job, people realize that it is a professional networking environment with, you know, obviously chances to exhibit your thought leadership to learn, and also to develop new business relationships.
- I'll talk about my experiment a bit is obviously you want to find those people that are actually engaging on Google Plus.
- I saw a lot of people sharing that I thought, you know, what, I want to help other people find those that are actually engaging with my content. In other words, these are people that are plus money that are commenting that are sharing, they're real people. And they have an interest in social media content, which a lot of my other followers do as well, people are on Google Plus not just looking for information, but to find other people to follow into to make new relationships, right.
- So by looking at the circles that are shared by the people that you respect, and that you follow, it gives you a good introduction to people that have been vetted, that you may want to follow as well.
- It's about really the people and bringing people together because of a common interest. And I believe, and this is one of the most underutilized aspects of social media marketing.
- I believe that brands business pages, sharing circles of their fans, ideally, fans that have engaged with them, right, but sharing circles with their fans and highlighting their fans.
- I think that can be a very, very special way to engage with your fans to thank your fans, to build a deeper relationship with your fans. And most of all, to create that community so that fans can discover each other. And thank you for that and really build a stronger and deeper community, as a byproduct of that data is something okay, that you can't do on any other platform.
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Welcome to maximize your social, practical and actionable advice on how your business can truly maximize your social media presence. Now, the host of maximize your social author of the recently published book of the same name, and founder of maximize social business, Neal Schaffer. Hi, everybody, this is Neal Schaffer. And welcome to another episode of maximize your social I hope, wherever you are in the world, you are enjoying the holiday season, with your family doing lots of fun things, I have actually been settled down here in beautiful Orange County, California, we've had whether it's in the 20s, which is, you know, 70s 80s it's been beautiful, just spending time with the family, really a time to recharge and visa vie social media, which obviously this podcast is about, really, you know, it's a great time to just unplug, and, you know, reconsider everything that you've been doing. Obviously, you know, the beginning of the year, we audit our social media strategy, we tweak it, we optimize, we may start new experiments, what have you. Today, I want to talk about one of the new experiments that I'm doing. And it relates to Google Plus, which I've talked about before. And if you look at sort of the trends for 2014. And if I was going to talk about my trends, which will be the subject of my next podcast, I would definitely bring up Google Plus as one of those, I do believe it is starting to reach that tipping point where people are no longer asking, Well, I thought Google Plus was a ghost town, or why should my company be on it? And realizing that it is a natural extension of a communication channel that your social media program should make sure it encompasses, right. So with Google Plus, there's just a lot of analogies with other social networks. And I think that's the advantage of Google Plus, is that it's, you know, relative late comer, compared to the Facebook's Twitter's LinkedIn ads. So I, I believe that you can see a lot of Google Plus today, as you saw in Twitter a few years ago. Now, I think I mentioned this in a previous podcast, I talked about how a lot of companies are still stuck in 2011, social media, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and they really haven't done much LinkedIn or you know, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, even though these are all major communities in their own right. But when it came to Twitter, it's really funny, because a few years ago, if you would ask, you know, Hey, are you on Twitter? Well, I don't care about what someone had for breakfast today. But you know, no one's saying that anymore. And it hurts me that also, no one is talking about LinkedIn, it's just a place where you go to look for a job, people realize that it is a professional networking environment with, you know, obviously chances to exhibit your thought leadership to learn, and also to develop new business relationships. So if we look at the early days of Twitter, and how did you get started, you probably got started by doing a search and searching for people that are talking about things. Now, the challenge with Google Plus and it's a challenge with other platforms as well, is there are a lot of profiles that are you know, quote, unquote, dead profiles if people on Twitter that joined, and they didn't see its value, and they never ended up using it. So you could follow 100 people, but you're only getting updates from a few of them, because most of them really haven't participated, which is why I always say, never just upload a database of your friends, or your email address database and just follow all those people, whether it be Twitter, any other social network, because they may not be the right role models, they may use it differently, or they may not be active, in which case, it's sort of a waste of a follow, right. So Google Plus is very similar. Because Google Plus there are many entryways into Google Plus, you know, people that just, you know, wanted to comment on a YouTube channel, or maybe, you know, one to read a review on a Google local listing or what have you. Or even if you have an Android smartphone, you know, chances are, you may have created a Google Plus account without realizing that you have now created a full on social network account. And you may not be participating in it at all, yet, your email address is associated with a profile, which then shows up as being a Google Plus user. This is one of the reasons why there are a lot of Google Plus users. But obviously, all of them are not active. So really, you know, my suggestion for you with Google Plus, and I'll talk about my experiment a bit is obviously you want to find those people that are actually engaging on Google Plus now, hopefully, because you've been listening to my podcast and you've hopefully read maximize your social, you already have a personal and or business page for your Google Plus profile. Now, it's very common. Obviously, if you come from the Facebook world, you can't friend your fans well, with Twitter and with Google Plus, you can follow or circle your fans. And this is obviously the first initial step of engagement that you should be taking. If people are engaging with you and following you and if they are relevant to your business. You absolutely should be following them back. Google Plus does have a restrict Shouldn't you can only follow 5000 people, which is very similar to the Facebook restriction, have you only been allowed to follow 5000 friends. So keep that in mind when you start to follow people. But one of the interesting things you can do to engage on Google Plus, and the reason why it's very relevant and appropriate, and I see a lot of people doing it, and it has value is sharing circles. Now, truth be told Mark Traphagen, on maximize social business, talked about the power of circle sharing a long time ago. And I just don't think it's been utilized by a lot of people, because it's like, okay, I can share a circle, what value does that add, and I was of the same opinion, in all honesty, but I saw a lot of people sharing that I thought, you know, what, I want to help other people find those that are actually engaging with my content. In other words, these are people that are plus money that are commenting that are sharing, they're real people. And they have an interest in social media content, which a lot of my other followers do as well, people are on Google Plus not just looking for information, but to find other people to follow into to make new relationships, right. And therefore, I decided, instead of just, you know, putting a random 500 of the people I follow, or my followers in a circle, I spent some time and actually went through post by post, basically created a list of all those people that had engaged with me, in one way or another. And after compiling the data, for 10 days of my posts, I came to a list of about, I don't know, 125 people, but I whittled them down because there's some people out there that don't have profile photos, which I've never been a fan of. There's some brands and I was specifically looking for people. So I came up with a circle of 99 people and I added myself and I shared it. And this is my top 100 social media content, engage your circle that I shared on my Google Plus profile on December 26. And if you go there, you'll you'll see that's gotten quite a bit of engagement. And why do circle sharing? Why does it get a lot of engagement? Well, number one, I think there are a lot of people that are in the same shoes as you might be. And they are looking for good people to follow that people that are going to engage, no one wants to be part of a ghost town, which Google Plus never was. But nevertheless, if you still think that way, they want to follow people that are going to make a difference to their business to themselves and what have you. So that's one value that I think the other platforms, you know, with Twitter, I think because the sheer volume and the number of people that are engaging, it may not be as hard to find people at Google Plus, I think it may be a little bit harder to find those relevant people. So by looking at the circles that are shared by the people that you respect, and that you follow, it gives you a good introduction to people that have been vetted, that you may want to follow as well. You don't need to follow all these people. But you can check out the circle and look for names that you recognize or people that might be interesting, and maybe follow a few of them. Right. So I think that's one value. The other value is you as the share of a circle, it is a new form of engagement. Now the people that are in your circle, do not get notified when the circle is shared. But if you tag them in your description of the circle, when you post it to your profile, obviously they'll get notified, I do not recommend that you tag all of them. And that's why, you know, I kept my list to 100. I didn't want a 500 person list because I think it's pretty overwhelming. When people are navigating through the circles, I kept my new 100. And I basically, you know, talked about how I knew all these 100 people that had engaged with me, some I met in Japan, some are fellow social media authors, some are maximize social business contributors, what have you, for 37 of those 100 people, I gave some context, you're not just randomly sharing something you're giving context into why you're sharing and what value these people have to, et cetera. So by doing that, I was able to highlight these 37 people by tagging them. And obviously, when they find out that they're tagged in the circle that's getting shared, they are very happy that they are being recognized not just by me, but I know that some of them have already emailed me back saying, Wow, I just gained, you know, 10s of new followers, just by my sharing that circles that's obviously another power once you have a scale of a lot of followers on Google Plus. But I think the other thing, and I have yet to write the blog post about it, but I really wanted to share this concept with you. And many of you know that I will one of my clients and business partners is the Grammy Award winning musician Pepe I get on. And I learned a incredible number of things working together with him. But one thing that Pepe taught me as a musician, and I don't think it's a lot different for a lot of brands out there and for your business because everybody has fans. And he said, you know, Neil, the social media is great, but his fans often thank him for his social media communities, because they've been able to meet other fans through them people that have a common interest in pet bass music, and by looking at each other's comments, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, and finding each other and then making friends with each other and seeing each other his concerts, it's brought new meaning to their life above and beyond his music. I think that's the real, you know, one of the real defining concepts behind a community, right? It's it's greater than your brand. It's about really the people and bringing people together because of a common interest. And I believe, and this is one of the most underutilized aspects of social media marketing. There's many aspects of uncovered on this maximize your social podcast, I believe that brands business pages, sharing circles of their fans, ideally, fans that have engaged with them, right, but sharing circles with their fans and highlighting their fans. Now I did it as a person and people are happy, think of the brands you like, shared a circle of their fans, and you are part of it. And you know, brands, maybe your brand, having a few 100 Or a few 1000 followers, I think that can be a very, very special way to engage with your fans to thank your fans, to build a deeper relationship with your fans. And most of all, to create that community so that fans can discover each other. And thank you for that and really build a stronger and deeper community, as a byproduct of that data is something okay, that you can't do on any other platform. And perhaps when Google Plus gets bigger, the sharing of circles will become what Follow Friday is right now on Twitter, it's sort of passe. But at the beginning and follow Friday was a great way to find other people, right? Well, I think that Google circles because it's Google because it has the circle functionality, because we're still on sort of an early adopter mode where people are looking for people to follow. And because brands have a way to do it. And I don't think other brands have really done it. In fact, I don't know of many brands that do follow Fridays, but that's maybe a subject for another podcast, hopefully, you'll see the potential value. So here's your homework, if you're already on Google Plus, you get what I'm talking about, do it right. But add value and you do it. If you are just beginning on Google Plus, and you really haven't leveraged that much, you know, go through your posts from your business page, and create a circle, I don't care if it's 10, or 20, or 50 of your fans that have engaged with your content, even if it's just a plus one, create a circle and thank them. And what's gonna happen is, you're gonna have other people say, Wow, I wish I would have gotten out into that circle. And even without promising to create future circles to share in the future, you get people engaging with you and realizing that while you're adding value to the community by making all these great people that follow you discoverable to each other, and to the Google Plus community. I hope that makes sense. I try not to get esoteric or philosophical on these podcasts. There are concepts behind what I talk about. But I always try to bring them down into practical, actionable reality, which I hope I accomplished. So that is my value added hopefully value added podcasts for today. I really appreciate all your comments, all your ratings on iTunes, I encourage you to keep those up so that you can help me Help others discover my podcast. I look forward to hearing back from you. And once again, if there's something you'd like covered on this podcast, please let me know. Neal Schaffer, maximize your social.com maximize social business.com Wherever you are in the world, I hope like I said, you're still enjoying your holidays. And if I don't talk to you before then or if you don't listen to my next podcast before then. I do wish you all a very, very happy new year and all the best in 2014. That's all for today, everybody. Bye bye. And make it a great day wherever you are in the world. Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on this show or recommend content, please contact Neal Schaffer at Neal at maximize your social.com Thanks for listening and have a great day.