Before we party, let's first learn more about GOOGLE+ from our host, KIM ..
This week we continue our conversation about Google Plus Circles and what they do for us. Last week we started shedding light on using Interest Circles to our advantage. We shared Sinea's testimonial of how she was able to target her preschool blog post to a G+ Circle specific to preschool parents. That's powerful! But some of you might have asked, where are these Interest Circles, and how do I find them?
Interest Circles is another name for your Circle Categories. We interchange the names Interest Circles and Circle Categories. There are a few pre-set categories within G+, but you have the ability to create new Circle Categories too, based on interests. Creating these categories - or "interest circles" - allows you to better target your specific posts to specific groups of people.
Some of the pre-set Circles are: Following, Acquaintances, Friends, Family.
Some categories (or, interests) that I have included: Foodie, Mommy, Fitness, Blogger Resource, and - of course! - #GrowingCirclesHop. There are more, but you get the idea!
You can add people to more than one Interest Circle too! If you're a regular #GrowingCirclesHop partier, then you're a part of my Growing Circles Hop circle. If you're also a food blogger, then you're in my food circle too. Scroll up and down to choose which circles you want to add the person to, and check each box you wish to select.
Important Note: It's really important to follow, no matter what other circles you add. For bloggers, it is often times the "follow" number that counts for blogger opportunities. This goes for profiles as well as pages (we'll talk about the difference between the two later).
Now last week, Sinea was talking about a drop-down menu that allowed her to select an Interest Circle. Some of you asked,
"Where is that drop-down menu?"Answer:
When you start a G+ post, you add your text at the top of the box. Then, you add a photo, link, or other media attachments. Lastly, before sharing with the "share" button, you have the ability to choose WHO you share the post with. G+ defaults to the public share setting, which is great - if you want everyone in your circles to see it.
However, if you want to share a specific post with a more targeted audience, then you can choose the circle(s) to do so. Like last week, Sinea shared a preschool post with preschool parents. This is another great thing about circles, and another reason that circles are important.
Similarly, if you're a small business, you can categorize your circles and create an interest circle for online shoppers. This circle can include people that love online shopping and want to be notified of new products/items and sales/discounts. Say you've been sold out of a particular item for a few weeks. You just restocked your inventory, and now you want to share it with your customers and potential buyers. Click that "online shopping" Interest Circle and share your product!
So your completed post would look something like this (right before you click the "share" button):
As you can see with the sample post above, I targeted this particular post to everyone in my GrowingCirclesHop Interest Circle and added our hosts individually by name.
I hope I've effectively explained how to use the Interest Circles. Have questions? Leave them in a blog comment.
SO LET'S PARTY!!!
Don't forget to use the party hashtag:
To make the most of this link party, please follow the rules below.
1. You MUST add your hosts and co-hosts to one of your circles before linking up.
2. Link up your personal Google+ profile, blog or business G+ pages, OR -- you can link up a specific G+ post of yours - but NOT your blog URL.
3. Publicly share a post - (new or old) on G+ and use the party hashtag #GrowingCirclesHop.
4. Connect with others by clicking on your #growingcircleshop hashtag, or enter "growingcircleshop" in the search box at the top. Engage with at least 2-3 others by a Share, +1 and/or Comment.
5. Add new friends to your circles! Be social.
6. Grab a button for your blog, if you'd like. Help us spread the word so we can keep trending on Google Plus each week! (You can edit size to fit your blog in the code).Throughout the next 12 hours, check back on G+ and +1 posts with the hashtag #growingcircleshop.
LINK UP below!!! You can now link up your G+ profile page -OR- you can link up a specific G+ post that you've already publicly shared using our party hashtag!