Creating Circles with Google+

For the past two weeks (Part 1 and Part 2), we’ve been discussing why you should be on Google+ (it’s easy to use, it’s useful and it’s the second-biggest social networking site after Facebook — seriously, put down the Twitter app and pick up Google+ instead).

But now that you realize how essential this tool might be for your marketing strategy, it’s time to take a step back and learn how to actually get started.

As we mentioned, you can easily create your Google+ account through your preexisting Gmail account. That being said, many people have personal work email accounts that are not synced with Google. If you’re marketing your business, you probably don’t want to use your address. So the best solution is to create an alternate Gmail account for work as well.

Initial registration and setup is simple, with some customization for you . One of the first things you’ll want to do is upload a picture in order to claim visual authorship of anything you post online. This can be an approachable, clear photo of you or it can be an image that associates with who you are and what you’re selling (make sure not to steal; copyright lawsuits are not fun). It can, of course, also be your company logo for best branding practices.

Then you create circles, which we also mentioned in an earlier post. This has nothing to do with alien spaceships landing in your crops. It has everything to do with creating groups for, and filtering material to, various types of people in your life. You may want to post content that’s just for colleagues, that’s for friends and family, etc. This can also be incredibly useful for targeting specific content to your various demographics.

Google, being all-powerful, of course helps you locate and connect with the people you already talk to using things like your email address book. Once you add them to your circle, they’ll be notified. They may also wish to add you to one of their circles. If this happens, the content you post for them will show up in their searches and feeds, and vice versa. Again, this is a way to break through the noise online and really specify who you’re talking to and what messages you’re putting into the world.

You can also manage the security and visibility of your circles. So if you want to post content that’s just for new clients or customers, you can name your circle Hot Pursuits and they won’t see it. Other circles, like Valuable Investors, also won’t see Hot Pursuits. Just make sure your settings are the way you wish them to be. Many people find Google+ settings easier to navigate than those difficult and often-changing Facebook privacy settings — and that’s just one more perk.

Now you’ve got the basics to start exploring Google+ marketing techniques.

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