I have had joined Google Plus actively almost a year ago and believe me, I had a hard time from the beginning to understand and master it. But then I happen to come across an amazing book, that Guy Kawasaki wrote about Google Plus for the 'Rest of Us' in his book "What The Plus" and I was hooked on. It's more fun than any social media I have been involved with (3 Years on FB and Twitter (@VerseEveryDay) with more than 7K followers, blogging with 225K hits).
Learned amazing stuff from the book and honed my skills on the Google + and this is an attempt to share with you all some great tools to move over to Google Plus. Over to Guy Kawasaki and his thoughts from the book…
About the Author
Guy Kawasaki is the author of eleven books, including Enchantment, Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way. He is also the co-founder of Alltop and a founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA, as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.
Currently, he is also an advisor to Motorola.
THOUGHTS FROM THE BOOK: WHAT THE PLUS BY GUY KAWASAKI
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The year 1987 was the last time I wrote a book about a product (The Macintosh Way). After using Google+ for a few months, I felt the need to write another product-oriented book. This book explains “what the plus” makes Google+ as special as Macintosh. My goals are to help you to derive as much joy and value from Google+ as I do and that we can make Google+ tip.
My prediction is that Google+ will not only tip, but it will exceed Facebook and Twitter.
Why I Love Google+
More than 1,000,000 people follow me on Twitter, and 250,000 people subscribe to my Facebook account, so I’m not a newbie to social media. Like many people, I need another social-media service like I need more e-mail or my dog to throw up on my carpet.
I spend two hours a day on Google+ because it’s enjoyable and good for my brand as a writer, speaker, and start up -company adviser. Or, more truthfully, Google+ is so enjoyable that I rationalize that it’s good for my brand.
Do you want to enhance and expand the number of people who share your passions and interact with them via posts and comments? If you do, focus on Google+. If you don’t, stick with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn until Google+ reaches critical mass. If you just want to have fun posting pictures of cool stuff, use Pinterest.
How to Get Started
There are a plethora of ways to find cool people who share your sensibilities and passions on Google+. You may not know these people or have even heard of them before, but they (and you) will make Google+ interesting. Spend a few minutes finding people, and you’ll reap hours of enjoyment in return.
How to Master Circles and Streams
Circles are one of the most important Google+ concepts because they enable you to segment your relationships on the service. This means you can fine-tune the stream of content that you consume as well as determine what content people receive from you. Tweaking your circles is a good investment to optimize your Google+ experience.
How to Make an Enchanting Profile
Your profile photo is usually the first thing people see about you, and people being people, they’ll make an instant judgment. You may think these tips about profile photo are “duh-isms,” but I see crappy profile photos every day.
Show your face.
Your Google+ profile is your résumé, a sales pitch, and a window into your soul. Many people don’t even add a profile photo or fill out the information. It’s one of the primary ways that people will judge you on Google+, so spend an hour or two to make it enchanting.
How to Comment
Now that you've found interesting people to follow, created an enchanting profile, and honed your trustworthiness, the next step is to make a dent in the Google+ universe by posting comments. This will enable you to:
Provide positive feedback to the author of a post.
Help the author and readers of posts.
Express a difference of opinion with the author and other commenters.
Interact with influencers, authorities, and leaders who probably wouldn’t answer your e-mail if you wrote them one.
Increase the value of the post with additional information and insights.
Position yourself as an interesting and credible person worth circling.
Find new people to circle.
One-word comments are OK, but you’ve got a lot of space so why not let it rip and show more emotion?
As a guest, you should show a high level of civility and class and behave in the following ways:
Stay on topic.
Show some class. Refrain from profanity and the big three “isms”: racism, sexism, and ageism.
Limit arguments to three rounds. The best (and worst) interactions often occur between commenters. It’s enchanting to watch strangers develop relationships and take posts in deeper and serendipitous (albeit related) directions. That’s the good news. The bad news is that commenters sometimes get into knock-down fights and post mean-spirited comments that they would never utter in person.
How to Share Posts
Edit. Hallelujah! On Google+ you can edit a post after you’ve shared it—unlike Facebook and Twitter.
Provide a link to the source.
Use the active voice. “Apple announced a new iPhone today” is more powerful than “A new iPhone was announced by Apple today.” Brevity and the active voice are two sides of the same coin.
Include a photo, photo album, or video. Every post should contain some “eye candy.”
Organize with bulleted and numbered lists. If you’re going longer than four paragraphs, use a bulleted or numbered list
Stylize your text. Google+ enables you to do a tiny amount of stylizing if you put certain characters on both sides of your text. They are bold (asterisk on each side: *your text*), italics (underscore on each side: _your text_), and strikethrough (hyphen on each side: -your text-).
Add a hashtag.
Post regularly. Share a post at least once a day.
Share when your audience is awake
Repeat your posts. My tweets are repeated four times, eight hours apart.
The Tao of Responses
Have fun. By responding to comments, you can transcend “pushing” and “broadcasting” and engage in an actual two-way conversation.
Clean the pool. Deleting and reporting are a kind of response too.
Respond fast. You should respond within two hours of posting because few people read and comment on posts that are much older than that
Think Twitter, not War and Peace. Resist the temptation to answer comments on a point-by-point basis. Just synthesize the gist of the comment and respond to either the major point or the point you want to respond to. If someone asks five questions, this doesn’t mean you need to write five answers.
Consider the total audience.
Ignore orifices. You can pretend you never saw a disagreeable comment. There’s so much action on Google+ that people are never sure if you’ve seen their comment. Plus, ignoring a comment may irk the orifice more than if you responded in an argumentative way.
Agree to disagree.
Smoke ’em. On the other hand, you’ll find instances where a comment is so outrageously racist, misogynist, or biased that the right thing to do is bury the person. This rarely happens—again, I get about two hundred comments per day, and I tell people off about once a month.
Remember that your posts are your swimming pool. You can do anything that you want. If you don’t like profanity, delete. If you don’t like bigotry, delete. If you don’t like sexism, delete. The goal is building and maintaining an enchanting presence—not exemplifying free speech.
How to Hang Out and How to Chat
Google+ hangouts blow away what you can do on Facebook and Twitter. It’s one of those “enabling technologies” that people can use to “let a hundred flowers blossom.” If you’re feeling like a Google+ evangelist, you could use hangouts as a kind of Trojan Horse by telling your friends to just use hangouts and to stick with Facebook and Twitter for everything else. Soon you’ll be seeing a lot more of them on Google+.
How to Get More Followers
There are two kinds of people on social networks: those who want more followers and those who are lying. (Social-media “experts” hate when I say this because they don’t have many followers.) Let’s be honest: gaining more followers is the acid test of social media because it shows whether you are interesting, intelligent, and cool.
Ways to Attract More Followers
Perfect your profile.
Share good shiitake. Life is simple: share good stuff, people will spread the word, and you’ll get more followers.
Share in public.
Add the Google+ badge to your website and blog.
Compile a thematic circle.
Make meaningful comments.
Respond to comments in your posts. Respond to 100 percent of the comments that require answers.
+Mention others. Always use a +mention when referring to anyone else on Google+
Invite people to join.
Participate in hangouts. On February 10, 2012, approximately 100 Google+ members met up in person in New York City. Most of them didn’t know one another six months earlier. Hangouts brought them together—the event was even called NYC HIRL (Hangouts In Real Life). Try hanging out to make new friends and add followers.
Help Google+. If I were not on the Google+ list of suggested people to follow, I would not have nearly the number of followers that I do. To get on this list, you have to be a huge celebrity or a big help to Google+—or both. I can’t help you become a celebrity, but I can explain how to help Google+: deliver new members, content, and street cred. If you do this, you might get on the list too. That’s the only reason I’m on this list.
While I don’t advocate an obsession with the number of people who follow you on Google+, it is a useful indicator of the quality of your participation. Generally, the more followers you have, the more rich and rewarding your Google+ experience, so try a few of the methods I’ve explained in this chapter.
Hope you will find this post interesting and will switch over to Google Plus more actively to bring about more social media klout to your online presence.
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya