Activities you can and should be doing on G+
- Reply (basically commenting with a +mention)
- Join/Form Communities
- Post Photos
- Use #hashtags
Google+ is a giant, non-stop, global conversation. Doing a few of these activities every day is your all-access pass to that conversation. What you do is up to you. Do what feels natural. Pose a question. Post your latest news or blog post. Share something valuable or funny or apropos which you found on the web. Re-share something you see in the stream. +1 a bunch of stuff that you enjoy. Make a couple of comments when you have something to say. Join in!
Rules of Sharing (posting) when you are building your platform:
- Share publicly 99% of the time.
- Share as if you are in the public 100% of the time.
- Share when you have something new, useful, relevant, or witty to say.
A formula for the perfect post (the more of these you include, the better):
- Make them laugh – a laugh is worth a thousand plusses
- Give them something to see – a picture or video will draw the eye
- Give them something valuable they did not have before
- Invite their interactions
Achieving a platform on Google+:
- Will take time. Not time as in a lot of time, just a long time. Give it 6-12 months.
- Needs your presence. Log in consistently, reply to comments before they goes stale.
- Be a part of the Google+ community and conversation.
- Be open to the new and different, experiment.
Finding your Audience
Your audience is not just hanging out in some room waiting for you. They are a diverse bunch of people, sometimes their appreciation of your books is the only thing they have in common. How do you find people who are that diverse?
“If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he foundthe object of his search.I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.”–Nikola Tesla
Like maybe a magnet?? Anyway… How do you not “Edison the haystack” when searching for your audience within social media? The easiest and most natural place to start is to connect with people who share your passions. Obviously you like what you write. So obviously if you find other people similar to yourself, you will find other people who like what you write. Then they will share with their friends, and that is how a fan base is built using social media. Find a community which shares your passions, and you will find your fans.
Circle with specificity
Nothing happens on Google+ unless you circle people. Master circles and you will master Google+. Guy Kawasaki in his book What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us (this is an affiliate link, I may get paid if you click and buy, so click and buy to show me some love!) says that once you have about 50 people in your circles things will start happening. And I say once you have that plus 50 people who have circled you back is when the party really starts.
- Find 50 people to circle (people who you think you would like to converse with)
- Get 50 people to circle you (give them a reason to think they want to converse with you)
Once you find people to circle, create as many specific circles as you need to organize people. The last thing you want is to wake up one day and have 500 people in your following circle.
Note: When you share with a specific circle, often you are sharing directly to the people in that circle, complete with popup notifications, and sometimes e-mails. When you have something important to say this is great. But don’t share every little thing directly with a specific circle, or you will start to annoy people.
Market on Google+ without seeming like an obnoxious spammer
Treat your personal links (to your blog or your book sale page etc.) like a loaded gun.
- Don’t ever choose the rapid fire assault rifle for your day to day needs.
- Handle with care and forethought.
- Never be too quick on the draw.
As you use social media you will start to notice behaviors in other people which are disappointing, annoying, or just really obtuse. Be aware of what makes you ignore a person, or write them off as a spammer. It is the same behavior that turns you off of people in real social settings. So it should be very familiar, and not too hard to figure out. Be aware of this each time you make a post. Ask yourself: “If Joe Chucklehead made a post like this what would my reaction be?”
Be a Stealth-Promoter, more than a Self-Promoter
Giving your time, energy, attention, knowledge, and other assets to the Internet Community without expecting anything in return, but knowing that you probably will get some benefit later on down the road.
Stealth-promotion isn’t hard. All it takes is giving something of yourself to others. And just like holding the door open for someone behind you, there are things you can give which take almost nothing from you, but elicit a strong reciprocal response from others. Meaning you did something for them, now they want to do something for you.
People love to (sometimes feel obligated to) reciprocate, it’s hardwired into our brains. It’s why your relatives keep insisting every year that nobody should buy anybody a Christmas present–they can’t help but feel the need to reciprocate.
When you are out and about on Google+, in communities, or sharing directly to a circle, basically anything other than simply sharing to the Public stream, you should be in Stealth mode. Save Self mode for sharing to the Public stream. This will make it less obtuse, and in-your-face. Plus, it will not interrupt anyone’s conversation.
At the same time, you do not want to make self-promotion the only thing you share in your stream. A healthy ratio of Self:Stealth is required. This is a very philosophical thing, with a lot of grey hazy areas. There is some self-promotion that just never works well. And there are some instances where self-promotion is ok to do on a Community. Listen to your social compass and hope it steers you right.
For example, a tight knit Community might welcome one announcement from you that your latest book was just published. As long as you have already participated in the community and gotten to know people. Just about any one-time announcement-type self-promotion is acceptable to a group of people who have gotten to know you well enough that they know you’re not a spammer (usually accomplished by giving valuable interactions to the Community without expecting anything in return…).
Or some Communities have categories just for links to your blog. But I have to question the value of posting there. First, the community is likely so high volume that your items are only visible for a brief period. And second, everyone is there to spam at each other, not read each others stuff.
It will take some fine-tuning, finesse, and class but if you get out there and start doing stuff, then you will get the hang of that stuff. If you fall on your face a few times along the way nobody will even remember in ten minutes anyway…probably.