By Jon Baker
You’ve done it. You’ve set up a Google Plus account, but now you’re confused. You’re probably now asking what these circles are for and how to use Google+ circles.
What can you use Google plus circles for?
Every time you create a new update you have a choice of who will be able to see it.
You can share it with individuals, circles, communities or the public. This means you might choose to share an update with only those you know will be interested (great tool for helping engagement).
I find circles are great for:
- listening to specific groups of people: I have some groups of people I’m more interested in than others (shock, horror). Clicking on the circle that contains them, I can see all of their updates. Just their updates, without the clutter of everybody else’s, so I don’t miss important updates. Great for research, engaging with prospects or clients, or chatting with friends.
- focusing on what you do: Being able to focus on specific subjects allows you to spend time more efficiently.
- More likelihood of getting your messages read: Sending your message only to interested parties is more likely to get you heard. Otherwise you’re effectively spamming some people.
How do Google+ Circles work?
Google plus circles are similar to Twitter’s lists. One person even tried to tell me they’re like LinkedIn groups. In reality they are very flexible and their mastery is key to using Google+ and not pulling your hair out (says me, with very little).
Google+ circles are a way of organising your connections, and are flexible so you can use them in many ways. To set up your circles, think about what you might do with them, then start creating. It’s really simple.
A circle can have one, or more, people in it. You can put the same person into many different circles, and that doesn’t mean they’ll get your updates many times.
Who can see what?
There are three options (OK, there’s a fourth where neither of you have circled, but lets ignore that):
What do you think of Google+ circles?