By now, you've probably heard a lot about Google+. It's Google's newest social platform that seems to have hit the ground running. I know that my friend Carra Riley has taken to it like a duck to water and is showing how easy and fun it is to interact. I'm still testing the waters and finding my bearings. Here are a few great tips for Google+ newbies that I thought I'd share with you to help you get started.
Add Info to Your Avatar - The first time people come across you on Google+, you will appear as a thumbnail image. Typically, the only info that will show up when someone hovers over your image will be where you currently work. But, you can add a bit more information by going into the employment section of your profile, typing whatever you want in the first box (where the Employer Name usually goes) and making it your current employment. Anything you put in that box will then show up whenever someone hovers over your photo. Make this a mini-advertisement for your real estate prowess.
Circles Are Your Friends - Circles are a way to organize content and connections. Google+ sets up a few simple circles to place your contacts in: friends, family, acquaintances and following. It's easy to set up too many circles by getting really specific. So, stick with a few targeted circles to keep up with specific segments of your Google+ life. Keep business prospects in one circle, past clients in another, buyers in yet another and sellers in a fourth. You can also create a circle to use as a bookmark for things you want to look at further or come back to later.
You Don't Always Have to Share - Unlike Facebook, not everything you post on your profile has to be seen by everyone. You can choose to share with one, two, five, ten or a million people. It's up to you. If you decide to post something that you want to keep private, simply click the drop down menu to the right of the post and click on "disable reshare". This doesn't stop the people you do share this with from using a screenshot of the post, but it will let them know that you wished for the post to be private.
Permalink Sharing - Getting a direct link to a publicly shared post is really easy. Click the drop down menu in the upper right and click "link to this post". A new tab will open up and you can grab the URL there.
Choosing Who Gets Viewed in Your Circles - The default for circles on your Google+ profile is set to show everyone randomly. However, if there are some people you don't want to show up in your Google+ circle list, you can choose to show some circles while hiding others. First you will need to edit your profile. Then, click on the circle boxes to the left of your profile. Delete the checkmark next to the circles you don't want to be visible publicly and click save.
Posting to Specific Circles - If you have a post you want to share with only one or two of your circles, simply click on the "Add Circles or People to Share With" hyperlink at the bottom of your post window. Choose which circles you want to share your post with. When that circle is added, hover over the button to choose to notify those people in that circle that you have created a new post.
These are only a few tips for Google+ newbies I have come across in my exploration into the world of Google+. It's a great new place to network, share photos, links, videos and other information and to connect with old friends, family, clients and maybe even make a few new friends. If you have any tips you'd like to share, please feel free to leave them in the comments section of this post. I'm always up for learning something new.