Monday, 27 January 2014

How to be happy on Google+?

Is your Google+ account dead? Chances are it’s because you have let it die.

I hear often complained that G+ is dead and not worth bothering with. No one has put you in their circles, or when you share something there, no one notices. Baffled, you try to understand why anyone would want to spend any time with it, let alone find it enjoyable.

I’m one of those who like Google+. I find it an easy place to share interesting content with and from likeminded people, test ideas for feedback, learn useful things, and enjoy the fruits of other people’s imagination world over. New people add me to their circles daily, and while they are not always people I circle back, it is an indication that my account pops up regularly in G+ recommendations.

My Google+ account isn’t dead. Yours need not be either. But here’s the catch: it requires an effort from your part.

It’s easy enough to open a G+ account. There is plenty of information available on how to make it catchy too. But to grow your following – to have people including you in their circles – you have to actively circle new people, and you have to post content that will make those people want to circle you back. Only famous people can sit back and watch people flock to them simply because they are there.

G+ is a place where strangers connect.

Don’t expect your third cousin or a long lost childhood friend to try to find you there, because they won’t. Find new people instead. Any people. Choose people with similar interests or hobbies, people from your town, or from across the world where you’ve always wanted to visit. Choose people who share interesting content you want to, or need to learn. Or pick people in random.

If you don’t know where to start looking for them, join one or two of the Google+ communities. There are many to choose from; you will definitely find those you like. Check the members of those communities and circle those you find interesting. Participate actively in the community, and people will take interest in you in return.

The choices for finding people to circle are endless, because – believe it or not – there are millions of people to choose from. But the important thing is that you get to choose. So choose wisely.

The more people you circle, the more actively G+ recommends you for others too. After a while, you can sit back and watch your circles grow. But until then, you have to be active.

You have to actively post content there too. People are more likely to circle you when they know what kind of content you post. Also, Google is more likely to recommend you when your account is regularly used. Unlike on Facebook, people seldom share private or personal matters there. Instead, they post something that would interest a wider audience.

If you don’t have anything original to post, simply share other people’s posts. If you have circled interesting people, there should be enough content for you to pass forward. Pictures are always popular, be they beautiful landscapes or cute animals. Funny does well too. If you find it interesting, others are likely to find it interesting too.

It is perfectly possible to get people to pay attention to your original content just as well. You simply have to make them want to. Engage them in a conversation about your content as you post it: summarise the post – there is space for longer texts too – and ask a question or an opinion about it. Don’t just drop a link and leave. People won’t return to your G+ post once they have followed the link out from there.

The more you share other people’s content, the more likely they are to share yours. And that is important for an active account. When you share and give +1s to other people’s posts and they do the same to your posts, it creates connections between the accounts. Google monitors the sharing activity and promotes the accounts that are popular. So make it easy to share your posts. Post everything you can publicly.

In order for your G+ account not to be dead, you have to actively keep it alive. It may seem like a lot of work, but all you need to do is pay a little attention to what others do and share a post or two a day you think others would enjoy.

Don’t let your account die. You’ll miss out a lot if you do. And if you want to join me there, come add me to your circles.


  1. I'm not a huge fan, but I am coming round to the way of thinking here. I'm beginning to use it a bit more because several of the blogs I follow and sometimes contribute to are on here. Persistence pays off.

    1. Yes, it's a bit different and takes getting used to. But it's great for connecting with likeminded people you might not otherwise find once you figure the place out. :)

  2. Great points, Susanna.

    I had pretty much written it off.

    A fellow writer tweep convinced me to give G+ another try after giving it up for a few years.

    I came back to find thriving communities of all sorts of people.

    Writers are doing great things on there like virtual critique groups.

    I'm even thinking of starting a writers' workshop on there.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    1. Thank you. Yes, G+ seems to suit writers especially well. I've found the communities very useful, for connecting with other writers and for getting help when I need it.