C = Circles
Today’s topic falls under the general heading - ‘Community Management’
As you start to share and engage, your community or ‘online connections’ will start to grow. People will start to form a picture of who you are and what you’re about, you’ll start to connect…
Connecting on Google+ is done using ‘Circles’.
When you identify someone who’s posts you want to follow, you have to assign them to 1 of your circles. By default you start with a choice of standard circles (Friends, Acquaintances etc) but you can create multiple custom circles of your own. (Note: The person who you circle will only be notified that they have been circled ‘not’ the name of the circle, so get creative, use a naming system that works for you!)
This process of correctly assigning people to circles is essential if you want your community to be effective. Trying to do this when you already have several hundred connections is a nightmare (trust me…) so try and get into the habit as early as possible. Your circles will evolve as you evolve.
Ultimately you will have a number of circles to accommodate different kinds of people. Then when you post things, you can include only the people you think will be interested.
Post your kitten pictures to ‘Cat lovers’ and your SEO studies to ‘SEO techies’ and NOT the other way around.
If you imagine that everybody that you’re connected to resides somewhere within a football stadium. On the stands, on the pitch and even in the posh rooms upstairs, everywhere. If your post is ‘public’ the entire stadium will see it, and be able to engage with it – which is fine if it concerns everybody.
If your post is a question about how muddy the playing surface is, then I would suggest posting it to your ‘The pitch’ circle. If it’s a comment about the pies then post to ‘The kitchens’, or if it’s about player selection maybe post to ‘The Boardroom’ and ‘Season ticket holders’ …is this begging to make sense?
Circling and uncircling is like following and unfollowing on Twitter, but with a lot more control. ‘Targeted marketing’, ‘niche networking’, ‘limited publishing’ or ‘common sense’.., call it what you want – it will help grow your network and make you more effective.
Also, just like you can indicate on your website how many Facebook ‘likes’ your company has, you can display how many people have circled you – another example of’ social proof’.
If you like, you can start by creating a ‘bald cyclists’ circle to put me in ;)
Please enter comments or questions below.
…if you want to learn a ‘lot’ more - Google+ Sessions