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Getting Found on the Internet

Try These Google+ Tactics

By Gwynne Monahan

I confess that I am annoyed when people call Google+ a ghost town. I have to bite my tongue and crack my knuckles to avoid furious screaming and typing “You’re doing it wrong!” But wait. Wait. Let me back up a step and explain what Google+ is: It’s the future of online search. Remember that Google changed Internet search. And with Google+, it is doing so again, and a whole lot more. 

Fast Company has a nice piece that provides a deeper understanding, and Stem Legal’s Steve Matthews gives a good primer on Google+ to get you started.

Then, if you’re still on the fence about Google+, or still think it’s a ghost town, try these four things—and watch what happens:

  1. Completely fill out your profile. Seriously. Fill. It. Out. The quickest way for other users to determine whether you’re worth “circling” is what’s in your profile. Where you work. Where you live. A sentence or two on who you are, your dreams, aspirations, current projects, whatever it is that interests you and thus makes you interesting.
  2. Share stuff. All kinds of stuff. Yes. All kinds of stuff. News articles. Photographs. Animated gifs. Observations. Jokes. What’s bothering you. What made your day. You just never know what will spark a conversation, so don’t limit yourself.
  3. Share stuff publicly. This is deserving of its own mention because a lot of people don’t pay attention to the larger Google+ audience. When that happens, a share is limited and perpetuates the ghost town perception. So unless you are having a private conversation, as it were, check “Public” before sharing.
  4. Interact. Whether it’s re-sharing, commenting or +1ing other posts, interacting is key. Remember, the Internet is not a vacuum.

But wait, there is one more thing you can do: Participate in Google+ Communities.

Find Your Audience in Google+ Communities

I have practically ditched Twitter in favor of Google+ Communities. Twitter seems rather boring after Google+ Communities, which, I know, sounds blasphemous coming from me. Here’s the thing: Google+ Communities gives me all the benefits of Twitter, like finding interesting things and interacting with people I probably wouldn’t otherwise, but it also gives me feedback and a level of interaction I wouldn’t expect from any kind of social networking platform. And that level of interaction can be targeted to specific audiences, some of which have yielded surprising results. 

Case in point: Psychology Community. Or, more specifically, the Strenghths Finder 2.0 book review I shared. The surprising thing is, I’ve shared that review practically everywhere, with limited success on engagement. Sure, it got retweeted a few times, and I received some comments in my normal Google+ and the StrenghtsFinder Google+ Community. It really struck a nerve with the Psychology Community, though, and that’s the big benefit of Google+ Communities: tight target audiences.

You can create a Google+ Community for your target audience, like the Cloud Computing for Lawyers community or the Small Firm Innovation community. Or you can join existing communities to reach your target audience, further develop your network and, wait for it … have fun! There are Google+ Communities for all types of hobbies, specialties, gadgets, you name it. With Google+ Communities, there’s no reason you can’t interact with your audience, learn something and have fun, too.

Gwynne Monahan is best known by her Twitter handle @econwriter5. #Writer. Problem Solver. Equal Opportunity Retweeter (EORT). #privacy advocate. @WOMMA #CMCouncil. Clio #cmgr. #Editor Small Firm Innovation, #blawg100 LPM #winner.

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Gwynne Monahan

Gwynne Monahan is a freelance writer and editor who follows the mantra: Write Well. Edit Better. Best known by her Twitter handle @econwriter5Gwynne follows consumer trends in technology, and how they may impact the practice of law. She helps connect the dots so lawyers can more effectively, and efficiently run their practices. Quick with a book suggestion, witty comment or a laugh, Gwynne also enjoys baseball, jazz, foods she couldn’t get in Canada (you’ll have to ask her) and the sound of the “L.” She earned her M.Sc., with honors, in IT and Privacy Law from The John Marshall Law School.

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