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3 Google+ Power Users Reveal their Secrets

I recently wrote an article about Google+ vs Facebook and a tribe turned up from Google+ and became rather engaged!3 Google+ Power Users Reveal their Secrets

The question that  had been posed was whether Google+ was a ghost town.

I received an answer.

What was revealed was a vibrant city bustling with passion and people that were happy to point out the real value of Google+

The post to date has received 440 comments with some in depth contributions on how Google+ should be used. The Disqus comment system I have installed on this blog almost had a meltdown with over 300 comments arriving in just 1 hour.

You just have to love the leverage that social networks provide to create and spread stories!

Here are just three people among the hundreds who spent the time to make a positive contribution to the conversation, left lengthy comments and have provided real insights as to the power of Google+.

There are many more that provided real valuable comments and feel free to read them at the post “Google+ vs Facebook

Here are their stories unedited.

#1. The Dutch Guy 

From my experience, G+ gives back what you put into it. When I ditched facebook, and instead signed up for G+, I was afraid that it was going to be a marketing driven semi-interactive experience. As a result, my stream was mostly dead, and my circle of contacts hovered around 30 people, half of which it seems had the same experience.

It wasn’t until I started interacting with people, that my circles started growing rapidly… and at the same time I noticed I was being added to more people’s circles.

If I see someone who circles me, and there’s no original content or nothing but marketing speak, I ignore, and many of the people in my circles have the same attitude. We’re not interested in pure marketing, ads or PR. What we expect is *engagement*. Bring something interesting to the table. Start actual conversations. Respond to people’s questions and inquiries.

G+ is an *active* community – some of the people in my circles have, themselves, thousands of people in theirs, and vice versa.

The way I see it is pretty simple: if you have a product you want to sell, facebook lets you plaster people’s walls with ads (and many people *block* these very ads with a plethora of plug-ins and add-ons, because they’re jarring, in the way). On G+, you can’t just toss an ad in, because it will ignored – you need some people to actually spend time and communicate to advertise your product. And I’m not talking about bots that circle people and puch ad-talk… they *will* be living in a ghost town, because nobody wants those in their circles. I’m talking about a dedicated team that becomes part of the stream.

To throw in a phrase I’ve seen a lot: the paradigms are shifting. People are fleeing from TV, blocking old-fashioned advertisements. If you’re in it for the money, you’ll need to adjust to the increasing demand for interaction and acknowledgement of your customers.

Simply sitting there, tossing out a block of text and waiting for no reaction to come, and then stating there is no active community worth targeting is a thing of the past, and it shows you’re missing the point of what *communities* are about.

facebook isn’t a community: it’s a loose sampling of people who keep in touch with their rfamily and friends, that play games all day. G+ is a community of people—strangers to each other—who like to talk about all kinds of subjects, have civil discussions and share experiences

#2. Kathy Morlock

Hi, Jeff,

I’ve been on Google+ for about a year now. I have over 25,000 people who have circled me. I use Google+ for engagement and information. I post mainly public. I spend about 9 active hours a day on the site. Many people don’t post public, you won’t see that, it’s not information that you have access to.

Today the stream was so busy, even on my large monitor the info was moving at a very fast pace. I make sure I vary my hours, because I have so many people all over the world, that I make contact with and I don’t want to miss interacting with them. The United States, Russia, India, Thailand, Pakistan, South Africa, Germany, Australia, Belgium all over South America and Canada to name a few. I have been voted an expert on Google+ for interaction and social media, as well as coaching new members.

You may hear from some people it’s a ghost town. Well of course it looks like a ghost town if you come in, make an account, sit there and look at the screen and say where are all the people? It is all about interaction. Please stop comparing Google+ with Facebook. We are a lot of people with a wealth of different viewpoints, from all over the world interacting together; online, in hangouts, and sometimes in real life. Google+ is full of information, news, science, politics, tech, parenting, music, photography, friendship and lots of love. Hanging in Real Life (HIRL) with people you met on Google+, photo walks, concerts, artists and so much more. We raise money for charities and we try to help people in need. We have Book Clubs, Poetry Circles, Food & Cooking Circles and all kinds of different themed hangouts for business and for learning and/or pleasure.

Click the mouse a few times and you can make your own page, mine is a reading page, where I post book reviews, so people have a place to browse and see what other Google+ members are reading. It’s an interactive page, where anyone can share and write reviews. These are just the personal pages. Click the mouse a couple more times and you are blogging. The business pages on our site our amazing, they are varied and there is an enormous amount of them.

I look at the stats posted above and laugh. The minute you walk through that virtual Google+ door everything is there just waiting for you, the possibilities are really endless, but it’s all what you make of it. Isn’t that the way life is?

When you walk through that door someone is there waiting to help you and guide you, all you have to do is wave and let them know you are there.

Come on over and make an account, sign in and I’ll show you around. You will find a thriving, integrated community. You won’t find a ghost town.

To date, I’ve not yet, seen one single ghost.

#3. J.C. Kendall

Not only is Google + a source for bloggers and brands, I believe it is by far the best source. The critical factor is Engagement. You cannot sit on the sidelines and expect Google + to start throwing customers in your direction.

I have been using Google + since Day 1 of the closed beta, and I must tell you, that for those of us who have been actively engaging with others, using important tools like the +1 button, and Rel=Author in our content, we have built great awareness for what we do. I have the honor of hosting Canadian politicians in virtual town-hall meetings from Councillors to Mayors to members of the Canadian Parliament in Google + Hangouts, including one just last evening discussing the Montreal Protests. Tomorrow at 10am, my company is hosting the first in a Seminar Series on using Hangouts in your business.

Since Nov of last year, 95% of my clients have come from the Google + streams, both public and private. It is critical to be active, and develop a following which serves to enhance both your corporate and personal brand. Bloggers who are not using Rel=Author in their writings run the risk of someone else showing up with a re-share of someone else’s work on Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) Because of the visibility of Google + used properly, my hangouts have been the subject of newspaper articles:
http://www.princegeorgecitizen… stemming from articles of my own about the subject:

The important thing, is to not look at Google + as a competitor to Facebook. Google + is an “Identity Engine” for Google search. What it does, is tie Identity to Activity, resulting in a more relevant return of search results, including local optimization and actual sales conversion. Facebook has no mechanisms in place (though Facebook Exchange is coming) to provide highly relevant real time ads to its users, which is why they are challenged in coming up with a credible long-term revenue model.

I would encourage you to look at Mashable, Forbes and others through a critical lens, because none of their authors has engaged on Google+ to the point of knowledge or understanding of the forum. They usually join up, and base their output on their 20-50 circles, and conclude the forum is dead. I have well over 20,000, and was voted by peers one of the top Google + users for 2011. My stream rocks night and day, and I invite you to take an in depth look at what Google + offers for yourself, and pay no attention to a bunch of clowns in the media crying over Facebook’s stock price.

We’ve done business off LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as well, but our engagement off those forums come from our Google + postings, fed to those forums via extensions and RSS feeds. It works, dude. Check it out.

 What About You

How are you finding Google+?

Do you have time and resources to spend on Google+ and Facebook or do you need  to focus on just one?

Which one will you be choosing?

Look forward to your comments.

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  • Liz ℚuilty

    I have 30k people following me on google+ and i follow a good many back., I love the interaction but i understand how people falter when joining. Its a whole new mindset which i have now taken over to facebook.
    Post publicly, follow people who interest you and read a bunch of howtos. Its more about being open and friendly, somewhat like twitter but more conversation.

    • Thanks Liz for your tips. It does appear that a Facebook mindset doesn’t cut it on Google+

  • I only have the time to spend in one Social Platform… Because I understand 1) Search (aka SEO), 2) Search Marketing (aka SEM), 3) Video, & 4) Marketing… my choice is clear…

    Who Owns Search? Who Owns Video (i.e. Online Video)? Ummmm… Google?!
    So, If I expect to utilize the platform that will give me the best bang for my buck (and my customers’ bucks) then I guess I belong on Google Plus.

    Add to all of the above, Google+ Hangouts (10 person live video chat) – or the Live Broadcast version ‘Hangouts on Air’. Which gives you the ability to have your own World-Wide Broadcast TV Network/Station – FOR FREE!! with the ‘episode’ getting recorded and auto-uploaded to YouTube (oh yeah, owned by Google, again)… it is hard to imagine anyone that ‘gets’ marketing ignoring the place.

    Do I care that there are ‘less eyeballs’ there right now? Nope (200+ million is enough for me). Do I like the fact that I can play around, make mistakes and recover better/easier right now since we are ‘under the radar’?…Yup! Do I think that G+ is the future for broadcast, social media & SEO all rolled together… Yup. So stay away at your own peril, or join up and learn from us why and how it is *Different* over at the Plus…

    Use it like Facebook or Twitter and you will be wasting your time. Learn how it is different, and ‘Better’ and you will gain an edge. Your Choice — I’ve made mine 😉

    • Thanks Ronnie for adding a few more insights.

    • Joan Ellen

      wow i’m loving this thread… is that correct term?

  • Sal Coombes

    I’ve never compared G+ to be anything like Facebook, but I’ve been using
    the ‘+1’ feature kind of as a bookmarking tool…I know that’s not its
    purpose, but it illustrates that we’re all just a little bit lost with
    how to use it. Really good points though, particularly the ‘identity
    engine’ for Google search and of course it’s a ghost town if we’re not
    contributing. Thanks guys…I look forward to my G+ world rocking day
    and night too… (but fear this means even more lack of sleep)

    • Thanks Sal fro contributing with your experiences and how you are using it.

  • G+ has fantastic features, but it’s the only social network I use regularly that I leave agitated every time I use it. A blog comment campaign incited by high-profile g+ evangelist does not convince me that the platform isn’t badly struggling for traction.

    • That is interesting feedback regarding agitation!

    • +1

    • Why do you leave it agitated?

    • Steven Wright

      A blog comment campaign incited by high-profile g+ evangelist does not convince me that the platform isn’t badly struggling for traction.” AMen!

  • Once Again, it is Proved by the G+ Power Users ThemSelves that there is Nothing New with G+ compared to facebook … just some users power using it … u can power use anything. The fact that u can find a bit of different kind of target audience also comes from the users themselves and not the platform. Topics and interests as well. I think These Users found a window for traffic after power using it cuz being circled 30k times is something not that much of easily achieved in FB (max 5k in friends and subscriptions are still not commonly known or used and fanpages need extra work and money).

    • I would not consider myself a ‘power user’ by any stretch of the imagination. However, I do see the platform (which you say is “nothing new”) delivering ‘something special’. As stated in my prior (lengthy) comment, the company that owns the place, makes sure that activity on it is rewarded in other places they own… like Google Search & YouTube Search. Two powerhouses worth courting IMO.

  • Juan Ochoa

    Amazing communities, interesting content, less noise and pablum, it is a completely different beast. The need to engage is what makes the difference, I think.

  • Juan Ochoa

    test test

    • Yes. it is working. I don’t know why that bug message is appearing

  • Meg Tufano

    I thought you’d enjoy knowing how amazing Google Plus can be. We really have arrived as a community as your first responder above points out. I’ve participated in events to buy a computer for someone who had his stolen. And enjoyed many more “random acts of kindness” like that. I’ve had no “plan” whatsoever except to enjoy what seemed a very interesting place for discussions. I found myself often in discussions with David Amerland (author of “The Social Media Mind”) and, over a long time (almost a year now), we came to respect each other’s ideas even though we do not always agree! Then Leland LeCuyer (a philosopher) and I would also find ourselves attracted to the same threads, Robert E. del Sol generously shared his time helping me understand Google, well, everything. And Shaker Cherukuri also kept being where’er I showed up bringing in the corporate point of view and, suddenly? We started to talk to one another and, over time, and months of hangout “meetings” (we actually use agendas), we started our own social media thinktank and invite you to register for our first event on August 10th! This will ALSO be the first time we are meeting one another in person! How amazing is Google Plus!!!!!! The particulars for registration can be found at:

    I hope you will come!

    Meg Tufano, M.A.

    • Thanks Meg for sharing your experiences with Google+. Those who have been using mainly Facebook will I am sure glad to hear about your successes.

    • Steven Wright

      Now David AMerland! That’s a power user!

  • daengbo

    Google+ is like Twitter with privacy controls and comments. The first thing you need to do is find people who share your interests. There are lists of shared circles for hobbies, professional groups, sports, TV shows, and more. You add two or three of those, start contributing intelligently to conversations, and people start circling you. You make sure that you post interesting content, too, so that people have a reason to circle you.

    The bar is very high there. The moment people start posting “I had scrambled eggs for breakfast,” half of the followers are gone.

    • Thanks for the cool tips on how to use Google+

    • And beyond shared lists, you can search by topic, and browse posts that contain the search term. It’s how I find new people that play in the Society for Creative Anachronism, a medieval reenactment organization I’ve been active with for 16 years, as well as fiber artists, gamers, and more.

      G+ will be what you make of it. If you want tech news, it’s easy to find. If you’re an artist, whether professional or not, search for others who may inspire you.

      • You comment Kristin has finally turned up!

  • A lot of the criticism lobbed at G+ comes from Twitter and Facebook social media evangelists who know it’s really hard to decamp their minions onto yet another watering hole. So they deride G+ because their mates aren’t around the place. I get that. And I also notice some of the most ardent critics don’t take the time to circle people. By their inaction, they guarantee themselves a tumbleweed community.

    • Thanks for the comments and really liked your analogies.

  • Google+ and Facebook certainly have different uses and social networking habits

    • Hugo Pinto

      I would also like to say that Google Wave was fantastic.
      Unfortunately most people just didn’t “get it”.

      But Google+ got some stuff from Wave, like hangouts.

  • The passion is very obvious.

  • Emma Parker

    I love Google+. It’s a big new world/way to interact with your friends, partners and much more. We the ‘teenagers’ are leaving Facebook!

    (1. Worldwide trending for 1 day: ‘R.I.P Facebook’ on Twitter
    2. 12% story, ‘free to play, PAY to win.’
    3. Facebook-wh*res… Making pics and ask them to like for like.)

    Dutch? Punt 3 lijkt een beetje op Hyves, nou die kant gaat het op. 🙂

  • Stephan Bevan

    Do you think its possible that if G+ does not go the way they planned, that Google will just ditch the whole thing like they have so many of their other projects, and everyone will lose everything they put into it?

    • Google+ is a success any way you like to measure it. Google sees it as “core” to all its products especially in making sure that the social signals it generates keeps its core search and paid advertising services as relevant as possible

  • u again talk about the Way You Use it. It still remains a copycat platform having nothing much more than facebook to offer . You say its all about users using it and i agree. U can use or power use anything. Google has more of failures in social media attempts in its record and with a copycat choice you once again are near there.

    • So is there something wrong with a better ‘copy’ since you insist on not seeing the ‘new things’ that G+ offers? One BIG difference (which apparently is lost on you) is the stuff it does not have… ADS! Ha… game changer there, eh? No need to pepper the site with ads, Google can do that elsewhere… “Why would you want Ads in your Social Site” – Vic Gundotra (big cheese at the Plus).

  • Jack Heath

    Yep, never go back to Facebook. Google Plus is better because ads and spam are filtered as is the casual poster and troll typically, you have to earn the right to be circled. As a result celebrities are more likely to “+1” and comment on posts if you get in their circles. A BIG sci-fi buff, I’ve had responses from Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton, William Shatner, and Jeri Ryan on topics I’ve offered feedback on…Interestingly enough, Mark Zuckerburg even has a G+ account, actively being used.

    • Google+ has certainly invoked the power of the “inner” circle

  • its extremely funny to hear G+ users playing it “the cool guys” and
    feeling special … for a copycat … trying to point out quality over
    quantity, a fact that can change but also a fact that has to do with
    numbers and users and use, not about platforms. Google, after failing attempts, chose the road of a copycat. That pretty much tells everything.

    • totnuckers

      oh like facebook is a copycat of myspace and friendster?

  • One phrase that keeps going my mind is that G+ is like Twitter on Steroids!

  • This really opened up my eyes Jeff, I got a G+ account & just post stuff, but never interact with anyone.
    This make me re think my strategy, I was on a webinar hoseted by Mari Smith and Guy Kawasaki about G+ but never took it seriously. Thanks for sharing the experiece from your contacts that makes it real.


    • I thought it was worth highlighting some “real” experiences in unedited format some people’s personal use within G+
      It does seem that Google+ has been flying below the radar a bit I think because a lot of the conversations and interaction is within the circles.
      Google+ needs to be treated very differently to Facebook.

  • Not my experience and I am still below the 4K mark… so I would not agree that what you say is universally true at all. All you need to do is find may 3 other people that share similar interests on it and you are off and running.

  • Mike Jones

    Very cool update to one of my favorite home screen apps! Hopefully next up is the desktop and iPad versions of the app too 🙂

  • fufnet

    Google + rocks

  • Dutch Guy

    Does one need to have hundreds or thousands of followers to have an opinion?

    I know I’m not a power user in any sense… my circles (both ways) are in the low 3 digits… but my streams are pretty active, and there is a lot of engagament going on. And it’s the *type* of engagement that matters.

    • Thanks for the comment. I think its totally up to you what you want out of anything including social networks. There is no right or wrong on this.

  • Thanks for the post. I am still trying to get the engagement I would expect from G+ and I’m not. I am trying to do as your power users suggest. I am close to 100% reciprocation regarding +1’s and comments, plus many unsolicited.

    My experience is that I get what I put into FaceBook. Google+ is highly variable. I’ve had only one “conversation” on G+ versus hundreds on Twitter and dozens on Facebook within the same time frame.
    Due to the SEO payoff, I have a few friends who have abandoned the other social media in favor of G+. And yet, the vast majority of my social media engagement is elsewhere at this point.

    YMMV. 🙂

    • What are your conversations about? It seems odd that you’d not be getting engagement on G+ if you are doing as you mention here. MMDV (my milage Does Vary) 😉

      • My conversations are about many things: coffee, music, video/film, etc. Still, I get more +1’s on my (low traffic) blog than I do on G+.
        My point is that I’m quite happy with the community and interaction I find on other social media, so G+ is a nice sideline for me.
        Best regards…

  • I have only about 60 people that I follow, but they are very interesting.

  • Google+ trumps facebook the world just does not know it YET

  • Joan Ellen

    i’m confused on G + navigating curve has been a problem i’m still a bit od a cave dweller

  • I’ve only just started with Google+ but so far really impressed with the interaction you get with other users. At first I was a bit confused by the whole circles thing but if you stick with it you soon get the hang of it. As a photographer I share the images publicly and get plenty of pluses and comments from the images. On facebook and twitter I’m ignored.

    • It is very image centric and a lot of the interaction happens privately

  • saeedyasir

    Hi Jeff

    I am having problems with Google Plus. I have an account over a year now and not having more than 50 people in my circles. I understand that it requires engagement but how can I as a blogger on yasirsaeed.com and windows8academy.com help in getting engaged at G+?

  • JD Ebberly

    Online businesses, marketers, bloggers – Google Plus and Google Authorship is taking over. Get your Google Plus page NOW! Check out G+ Communities! Author Rank will become increasingly important with time.

  • Praverb

    I have to increase my Google + engagement. For the longest I have relied solely on utilizing Twitter and Facebook. I saw the potential in Google + yet I was intimidated by it.

    I think I will work on learning how to use Google + effectively by following people that use it well.

    Thank you Jeff.

  • Sara McCord

    I’ve been on Google+ for four days, I have maybe 8 followers, and my stream is active and there is plenty of good conversation to be had. I joined a handful of communities, and there is more worthwhile stuff going on in them in a day than I see on fb in a month.

  • Sprint2theTable

    Thanks for this piece. I am guilty of trying to use Google+ like Facebook… and I didn’t “get” it. I’ll begin viewing it through a different lens. I believe it has the potential to be a valuable took for my personal blog and for my business. Just need to devote the time to interact differently!

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