Google+Chances are you’re in one of three categories regarding Google’s latest social network, Google+. You’re either:

  1. Banging at the gates of Google+ to get a prized invite,
  2. Already in Google+ but struggling to understand it, or
  3. Still clueless about the whole G+ ordeal. Aren’t Facebook and Twitter enough? Now Google throws this into the social media mix?

Right now, getting into the walls of Google+ is kind of like getting through an airport: it’s all hurry-up-and-wait time. You raced to get an invite, but now you’re sitting and twiddling your thumbs, waiting for users to arrive.

Most people still aren’t on Google+, and those that managed to get an invite still have no idea what to do with the thing. Circles? Sparks? Hangouts? The most common stream on G+ is “I have no idea what I’m doing on this thing.”

The good news for savvy businesses? You get to gain a jump on the competition by being an early adopter of G+. As fledgling Plus users slowly figure out their latest social media acquisition, you’ll one of the first up-and-running Plus users in the field.

Step One: Choose Your Profile Picture Wisely

Even more than Facebook or Twitter, finding a killer profile pic is essential on Google+. Your picture acts as your virtual calling card; it’s the first and the only thing G+ users see when they come across your name.

Google+ requires square-shaped avatars, so choose accordingly. Select a high-resolution image that will immediately grab G+ users’ attentions– but make sure it’s relevant to your business.

Step Two: Sort Out Your Circles

You know how you have one lump of people who “follow” or “like” you on Twitter and Facebook? That one lump is comprised of various interested parties: potential clients, colleagues in your field, or the three immediate family members you convinced to join your page when it was still in its infancy. Whatever you share goes out to the entire lump of people.

On G+, everything’s sorted out in separate circles, and you choose what you share amongst those circles. It’s kind of like having various virtual mailing lists for all of the people in your life. You can send an article you’ve written solely out to your colleagues or share a business special amongst your past clients. Create a VIP Club for your frequent customers or post pictures of your newborn that only your family can see.  

Step Three: Invite People to Follow You

Google+ allows you a relatively lengthy introduction space, so use it wisely. Write an engaging introduction that invites people to follow you. G+ introductions also allow links, so  be sure to link to your website and your various social media profiles. Also, make sure your page’s searchability is set as “Visible in Search” so people can find you on Google.

Step Four: Utilize Sparks

Sparks are essentially a live Google feed for something you’re interested in. For example, a “Movies” spark would keep you easily updated on movie reviews, upcoming films, or casting rumors. Utilize this for your business by easily following industry trends. For example, if you’re a content writing business like Copypress, you’d follow things like “SEO Copywriting,” “Social Media Marketing,” “Blogging,” etc. Then with the click of a “Share” button, you can easily share applicable links with one or more of your circles.

Since G+ is still brand new, you’re not competing with mega-businesses like you would on Twitter or Facebook. Jump in now and build your audience before the G+ waters get too crowded for you to stand out!

Image Source: Topgold via Flickr