“Circles are one of the ways to connect with people on Google+ and they are one of the hardest things to get used to on this platform. But once you understand how it works, it’s actually a fantastic system.”
Google+ is Google’s social media platform and is the second largest social media network. Attendees of the Google+ for Small Business webinar learned all they needed to know and more about the social networking site and its potential as a marketing platform. Circles and Communities are two features of Google+ that many users fail to properly understand. Webinar speaker Melinda Samson, owner of Click-Winning Content, explained how these features work in detail and suggested ways for small business owners to maximise the potential of both Circles and Communities. Circles Circles are how you connect to people and posts. Melinda says the trick to Circles is keeping them organised. If Circles are organised in a way that makes sense to you, it will help you to identify people as your Circles grow. You can add anyone to any Circle, and the same person to multiple Circles. This allows you to keep personal and business associates separate so that you can manage whose updates and posts you see. Google+ makes it easy for you to add people you know to your Circles. Google+ suggests people you have emailed and other similar people though the ‘discover’ tab. HashTags are also a great way to find blogs and publications that you read or other relevant organisations. Communities Communities are a great way to find information that is relevant to you. You can search any topic and Google+ will deliver communities that are relevant to your search. One you have added Communities, updates sometimes appear in your stream from these Communities. “To make the most of these Communities, you need to interact,” says Melinda, “…and when you are comfortable, you can add new Community contacts to your Circles.” Once you have joined a Community, there are guidelines that permit what you can and cannot share. These Communities often have a unique culture and differ in the way that users interact. Taking some time to familiarise yourself with circles and communities will open up a world of opportunities for connecting with your peers and potential customers.