Last Updated on: July 15th, 2017
What are Google+ circles?
What is the best way to manage them?
This article shares my strategy (which you can adopt) and some vital information about Google+.
If you have questions about Google+, please take a moment at the end of this article to read Google+ Circles: The Unanswered Questions, Answered!
And if you want to learn how to use Google+ for business, read the post called A Mini-Guide To Use Google Plus For Business.
Google+ is a rapidly growing social network. It is not quite like any of the hundreds of other social networks in existence, although it is most similar to Facebook.
One of the main differences between Facebook and Google+ is that Google+ helps you to meet new people and grow your existing network of people and share content with them, while Facebook allows you to share content with your existing friends.
Google+ lets you categorize the people you meet and know by letting you put them into circles. Circles are like lists, or categories. Circles also enable you to share content with specific people and help you find and follow content that people you find interesting have shared.
To put things into perspective, let me tell you about my circles.
When I first began using Google+ (also called G+), I created a circle called “Bunch of Awesome People”, and put the many people that Google suggested for me into this circle. Once I spent some time on G+, I created more circles and named them appropriately. This allowed me to categorize my new connections.
Currently, I have 26 different circles. Some of my circles are labelled as follows:
You can put people into more than one circle, too, since people, such as myself, often fall into more than one category. If I were adding someone such as myself to my circles, I would end up in the circles labelled Bloggers, Writers, Editors, Teachers, Freelancers, and Poetry. Oh, and let’s not forget “Awesome People”!
My Strategy for Using Circles:
As aforementioned, I began with one called “Bunch of Awesome People”, which encompasses everyone, including those whom I don’t yet know. When I am “added back”, which is how Google+ tells me that someone added me to his/her circle, I put those who have added me back into a circle called “People who added me”, and then I take a look at their profiles to learn more about them. Usually, I read their About page and then put them into the appropriate circle or circles. Sometimes, I come across profiles that are somewhat incomplete, and in these instances, I take a look at their Posts page, and try to determine how to classify them by what they have posted. Since most people share their own content, it is easy to see that they are bloggers, and so they are put into my Bloggers circle. What I learn about them depends on how I classify them.
Growing Your Network
Depending on your notifications settings, you will be notified by email whenever someone “adds you back”, which means whenever someone adds you to their circles.
In these email notifications, Google+ will recommend three people (more if you click “see all”) and tell you how many people you have in common with one another.
When I am notified that someone has added me, I then, in turn, add these suggested people to my circle “Bunch of Awesome People”, and when/if they add me back, then they go in my circle called “People who added me”, and I view their profiles to see how to further classify them.
When I share content with others (which I know I need to do more of!), G+ gives me options of whom I can share my content with. For example, if I am sharing a poetry post, I will share it with those in my Poetry circle and not with those in my Finance circle!
Managing circles is pretty easy, too, once you get the hang of it.
How To Add People To Circles:
On each person’s profile, there is a red “Add Me” rectangular button. When you hover over it, a drop-down list of your circles appears, with boxes next to them. All you have to do is go down the list and check the appropriate box, or boxes. You can also easily add a new circle by choosing the “create new” option. That way, you custom-add your own labels for additional circles you create. Once someone has been added to your circle(s), the red button becomes green, and indicates which, or how many, circles that person is in. This is helpful since it reminds you of who that person is when you encounter them in the future!
What prompted me to write about circles is the fact that Google+ will soon be as big as Facebook (yes, really, in the next 2-3 years) and many of us still need to educate ourselves and learn to use the features of Google+ properly. Managing circles is just one thing we need to know!
Since multiple articles have been written about how to use and understand Google+, you can learn more by doing a simple search or by reading the articles I have linked to in this post. I hope that you now have a better understanding of Google+ circles and how to manage them!
FYI, if you want to learn how to make Google+ circles work for you, read this post. It may answer a few more questions you may have. 😉
For some definitions of Google+ terms, read 20 Google+ Terms and Definitions You Need to Know.
Patricia Weber’s You Put Me Into Your Google Circles, I’ll Add You to Mine – Not So Quick gave me the idea for this post. In it, she links to Google Plus Circle Management 101, which, in turn has many great links that Google itself provides as part of its “help” feature.
I love Google for these articles; I generally find them super-helpful because they are easy to understand; they are written in simple terms for non-techies (like me!) and usually include step-by-step instructions or directions.
So, are you on Google+? If so, let me know in the comment section, and I will add you to my circles!
I’m entering this article in a linky party, and so have included the following code below to do so. Also, don’t forget to learn some answers by reading Google+ Circles: The Unanswered Questions, Answered!