You likely share your posts on your Google+ page, and you’re probably familiar with highly touted Google+ features like Hangouts. But are you utilizing all that Google+ has to offer? We’ve looked at how to build a successful Google+ brand page. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at sharing Google+ circles and how this feature can help build relationships and engagement for your brand.
Why Use Google+ Circles?
When it comes to using the circles share feature on Google+, the strategy involved depends on your goals. Although this feature might initially seem more appropriate for friends and family, you can use it to your advantage in two major ways for brands.
1. Share circles with your team for better collaboration.
This is a great option for sharing contacts between the brand page and individual team members or from department to department. For example, let’s say the social media manager has spent months creating a circle of industry influencers. Those in certain departments may not have the time or motivation to do the same, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t benefit from having this circle as part of their Google+ feed. Keeping up with news in your industry is crucial for all departments. Even if other employees have similar circles, sharing a new circle with them might help give them ideas for who they’re missing.
Sharing circles among your company is also a great way to collaborate. If a team in your company is working with one client, creating a circle of influencers and connections associated with that client may help. Share that circle with others on the team and you cut down on the workload.
2. Use circles to create connections and credibility with the public.
By sharing your Google+ circles, you give those in your circles extra visibility, which can help you establish more of a relationship as well as connect with those who like your shared circle. On the other hand, it’s also a great way to show your credibility and demonstrate that you’re organized and resourceful when it comes to making connections on Google+.
Gary Matthews, publisher, writer and web designer at Stonehaven Press, punctuated this point in his article on the same topic:
“the primary purpose of circle-sharing is not to rapidly expand one’s ‘follower count.’ It is the increase engagement. By this I mean the extent to which other people interact with your social media posts by comment, sharing, and plussing them.”
Learn more about Google+ engagement here.
Steps to Sharing Google+ Circles
Follow these steps to get started sharing your brand’s circles.
1. Go to the People section in the dropdown menu to be taken to your current circles page.
2. Click one of your circles so that your connections move to the top of the page, the circle turns black and options display.
3. Hover over the circle you’re working with and click the middle arrow, which means Share Circle. This window will then display:
4. You now have the option to share this circle with the public (the default option). If you want to share the circle with team members only, you can share with your team circle and then “X” out the Public option.
5. Once you share your circle, it will show up on your Google+ stream just like a normal post you might publish.
It’s that simple. Keep in mind that the circle you share will not reflect any changes you make after the circle is shared so make sure it’s complete before you share.
Once you have this shared, the users you’ve shared it with (whether it be the public, your employees, another one of your circles, etc.), can click on Add People to see a window pop up of everyone in that circle. The users can then add all of the people or each person one by one to a new circle or an existing circle. Below is a screenshot of what you would see:
This brings us to the next point about finding shared public circles and using them to your advantage. Remember, a circle can be shared with you (or shared publicly) even when you’re working with a brand page.
How to Find Shared Public Circles and Why It Matters
Just like you can create circles and share them with others, your company can also engage with other public circles. This is another good way to make connections and learn new information, and in fact can be more beneficial for most companies. Unless someone shares a circle with you directly, you can go out and find shared public circles on Google+.
You can find these circles in various ways:
- Search for “shared circle” in the Google+ search bar.
- Visit CircleCount to search for shared circles on specific topics.
- Visit Shared Circles on G+ and Best Shared Circle. These are profiles dedicated to finding the best shared circles.
For more ideas on how to discover great shared circles, check out this article from Platform Pundit. Once you find circles you like, then you play the role discussed above—click Add People and either add them one by one or as a whole to a new or pre-existing circle.
In the end, this feature does cater to brands, but only if you use it correctly. Once you identify how your brand can benefit from this feature, set a game plan with your team for what circles you’re going to create and where you’re going to share them to get the most benefit.
Do you have a strategy in place for Google+ circle sharing as a brand? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.