I hope you know what I want to describe on this post, which is another homage to Google Plus and it’s wonderful users. I think that after some years of using social sites, starting with myspace, for sample, I made an idea of how to mingle, contribute or even become popular on them, without artificiality. Myspace was the first social media site I took seriously, otherwise, I was on Yahoo 360, or ICQ before that, like everybody else :). My favorite was Twitter, succeeded by Pinterest, very close to it (By the way, @RodolfoGrimaldi celebrated four years). I have tried not to interconnect the posts, because I still consider it dumb to tweet that you posted a certain pic on Pinterest. I understand the thrill, but it’s amateurish on the highest degree. I have sometimes a big mouth, it’s good for you, because it’s not a full mouth. Some “chatterbox” on G+, rhetorically asked me in a comments exchange: “who gave you authority to consider yourself such an expert?”, adding immediately: “Exactly, no one!”. Maybe I haven’t put here the exact quote, but that was the general idea. Doesn’t matter what was my answer to that (actually I have been the one starting it, because the guy was talking with copy and paste from “social media scientists” without having any idea of what he was talking about, and that annoyed me, that was what I considered a provocation to my common good sense). Don’t advise on what you don’t apply yourself, because you personally don’t know if you don’t apply it yourself! You’re not smart by repeating like a parrot what you read somewhere else!
My answer to you, if you need it, is that some experience and a careful observation of the people put me in a position to give advice sometimes. It is foolish to consider yourself an “expert” of such a nice activity. I have also noticed that I can surpass the newbie stage remarkably quick, whenever I put my mind into it, but that is still not making me an “expert”. I’m also bored quickly after too much routine, or after something looses a certain momentum.
I liked Twitter because of it’s freshness and wonderful friends I met there. I used to find good clients who became future friends as well. I have never used automated bots to gain followers. I have used my mind for that, and a lot of appreciated good content, I suppose. I liked a lot #ff (followfridays) and #ww (writers or womenwednesdays), I did them a lot and when the thing “lost momentum” and I saw a lack of response for my content, I lost my interest too. I stopped to acknowledge mentions of that sort (the chain sort), especially when they came from exactly the same people or bots, who never did something else. My Twitter friends are still active in a way or another, they’re actually active on Facebook twitting from there (another useless practice, because if you’re twitting without being present, you can’t answer in time, and so on), so I lost all enthusiasm. I don’t like Facebook. It’s embarrassing, and not a lot of people are getting that. But I don’t judge anybody, so don’t take me wrong.
Google Plus celebrated its second anniversary a few days ago. I joined in it’s third or fourth month, but I already said that in another post, maybe in Romanian, it’s not important. I was thrilled. I liked it instantly. You know what I like on it and I have a feeling that this can’t change very soon? It has personality, the accounts are of real people, not bots, and the percent of annoyance is considerably reduced. It’s better and better, it gets better and better. Too many scripts working together and intertwining and clutching your screen, especially if you have more than one google related tabs open, otherwise perfect or very close to perfection. Now, depending on your friends there, you may have a wonderful stream or a total bore. This can be avoided. The solution is offered by the shared public circles. This circles are communities themselves, it is impossible to not find at least 80% of valuable persons in such a circle. Coming from Twitter, I made the mistake to treat circle sharing like an unstoppable chain of #ff and ignored it for a whole year and a half. Fortunately I wasn’t ignoring the community itself, that gaining me my first thousand followers. Not ignoring anymore. Observing the impact to my blog traffic, I decided to give it a try. I met wonderful people, so interesting and so kind, that I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude. I have noticed the “sharks” and the false “celebrities”. I noticed the “lurkers” as well.
So, dear newbie, my advice is to be patient and first of all, to surpass this stage. Add some people first, if you’re not quite dumb, you won’t start with Spears or Gaga, you’ll remain a newbie all of your existence there if you do that. Do a research, visit CircleCount and start studying it. You’ll easily find valuable persons. Don’t add the maximum limit of 5,000 in the first day, sincerely I don’t think it’s possible, but anyway, if you do it, you’re stuck. Take it easy! Like on Twitter, they don’t add you back here, mostly because of the limit. On Twitter there isn’t such a limit, but doesn’t matter, because an influencer doesn’t have time for you at first. Expect nothing! First you’ll see some nice people following you. Check them and if they are actually circling you back, value them. Communicate, be kind yourself, plus, comment, share! Don’t hurry, and remember that if you are not a certified personality yourself, you can’t be famous overnight. Google Plus is a full day job. There are people with many thousands of followers, actually tens of thousands of them, who have not a site. Some of them are genuine G+ lovers, some of them are superficial (they actually all have the followers they deserve), some of them are just sharks. You’ll figure it out very easily, mostly if you use your brain.
A day will come when some good soul will put you, the former newbie, in a public shared circle. Be nice! Comment, plus, share, even add that circle if you like the company and promote it without being annoying, publicly and to circle sharing communities. There are five important ones. You’ll figure that on your own.
A circle can contain maximum 500 members + yourself. It’s hard to be added by others. It’s too big for the great majority of people with over ten thousand followers. Ten thousand followers is not easy to achieve. You have to offer a lot of value for that. Of course, there are the lurkers (as another good friend named them) the “add me please to this circle” guys, who already have over ten thousand followers, go figure how they made it to that, but now depends. If they’re circle creators (“circle owners” as another precious friend named them), a rare possibility, they are maybe good, because they provide value themselves after all. As I observed, unfortunately most of them take a profit of your naivety and uncircle you in no time. You are another number for them, of course. I have met also the shameful “You are in my circles too, add me :)” just to be thrown out after the check. Not once I have been in and out of “important” people’s circles. I can make the difference between a shark, a stupid or a gentle soul who made a genuine mistake. On another way, I can be as uninteresting for them as they are for me, so nobody loses in that case. I can give some examples, but it doesn’t matter now. What went for me, may not be the same for you. You have to offer interesting content to make people to follow you, I mean, to keep you in their circles.
The ideal circle to put on the market has between 250 and 400 members. Such a circle can be added and can easily and invitingly grow from the initial number. Of course the small circles do no harm, but they’re sometimes taken less seriously. It’s illogical. Maybe because of the small potential number of people presumably adding you back? I don’t know. Expect to be followed by others than the ones you follow! They may be too busy to have the physical time to acknowledge you. The small, growing accounts are your future. They will help you to grow on your own. Don’t annoy influencers! I know that “specialists” advised to mingle with them, maybe you’ll catch a lead. If that’s happen, expect trolls to crowd. They’ll take out any value of that, in no time. They’ll make the influencer running from you as he’s running from them, himself.
Avoid sharks! I have never uncircled someone active I have added, unless he/she annoyed me. I sometimes clean the people who never posted in the last 30 days, unless I know them better than that. Maybe they’re without internet connection, maybe they have some problems, or knowing them from Twitter is a good point in their favor. Nobody in the right mind will leave G+ for Facebook, I know, and I’m sure. Who did it, doesn’t get Facebook either. The reverse can be true as well (not always, but mostly), because a Facebook addict doesn’t get the G+ meaning at all. He prefers to chat on Facebook with his neighbor because it’s cheaper than the phone and he’s too lousy to go to the fence. It’s madness. There are a lot of trolls on G+ as everywhere. Don’t provoke them, don’t answer to stupidities. Don’t be vulgar. Don’t offend! If some people felt offended and you care for them, explain your conduct politely, if you’re right and anyway doesn’t matter, ignore them. It means they’re not for you.
When you add someone’s circle, give him the deserved credit. It is normal and it is polite. That person made a considerable effort to check the people he/she added. He/she made that for you, to have an easier way to survive on G+, knowing that a hand washes the other and it’ll come a time when you’ll do the same. And the “number” coming from you, will multiply according to your growing influence.
Know your purpose! If you really and genuinely want to grow in influence, promote your followers first, and only after that, create circles with new people in them (influencers or other sort, engagers or thematic, etc…).
If you’re uncircled, it’s not nice to pretend reasons. If it’s a genuine mistake, it’ll be repaired before you’ll know, if not, that means you’re on the hands of a shark. It is of very bad taste to ask to be added! It’s not gentleness to say “You’re absoluteleeee right, I totaleee agreeee with you” when you just want to be acknowledged (most of the time being obvious you don’t even know what’s the point), it’s lurking. If the person being “right” is a Leo or a Capricorn, maybe he’ll even add you, but it’s not my way, anyway. No offense for Leos and Capricorns, of course, I have to admit that they’re more generous than me most of the time, maybe not just when it counts. That was my take on the subject, so you may have a different approach, depending on your purpose. If begging to be added serves it and works, it’s just up to you, and I don’t agree, but who am I, an “expert” (as that guy said)? It diminish the value somehow. Sometimes, if you don’t offer anything in exchange, people will figure you out, dear lurker. What will happen, then? Nothing! We’re too busy to lose time checking you out, and when a situation will demand a “cleaning” due to G+ restrictions, instead of throwing you out, you can even be mistaken for an influencer since you already gained over 30,000 followers by begging around. It’s almost like in real life, dear friends and future friends, which even brings Google Plus closer to us.
That’s all for the moment, I’m interested in your feedback. My G+ links are allover the place, I haven’t charged the post with them too :).
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