Cheat Sheet for New Google Plus Features
BY Aaron Aders
Here are all of the new and classic features of Google Plus all in one cheat sheet.
Google Plus announced some big changes at the Google I/O event a couple of weeks ago, and marketers want to know how to take advantage of the platform's new features. In fact, even seasoned social media marketers I interact with are still in the dark about many of the posting tools exclusive to the social network.
Google Plus groups your friends in Circles, allows in-app photo editing and even provides e-mail notifications. These features and more make Google Plus a useful and unique social network.
Google Plus updates are called Posts. If you're new to Google Plus, the basics of posting are a great starting point for learning where the message, images, rich snippets and notifications fit into its format.
Just like in real life, Google Plus organizes your friends into Circles. When someone adds you to a Circle, they become part of your follower base. Like Twitter--and unlike Facebook--this begins as a one-way connection.
Unlike other social networks that just "spray and pray" your updates across your friend network, Google Plus allows you to target specific Circles or even specific users. This can help you create and target groups or individuals with highly relevant content.
There are four main types of Circles:
Public--This is everyone on Google Plus. As a marketer, you always want to make the majority of your posts public. An exception could be an exclusive offer to specific groups or your follower base as a whole.
Your Circles--This Circle will notify your entire follower base. Use this function sparingly, as one message isn't usually relevant to all the people in your diverse set of Circles.
Specific Circle--This is the go-to notification feature on Google Plus. If you organize your Circles efficiently, you can share a post with a specific Circle to target a large group of people with one very relevant message.
Specific Person--It's possible to notify an individual publicly for a more 1:1 communication.
E-mail Your Circles--This function allows you to notify up to 100 people in the selected Circles by e-mail. Overusing the e-mail functionality can quickly deteriorate your follower base, so be careful when using it.
Google Plus' keyboard shortcuts allow faster navigation and use of the social network. This includes shortcuts for faster scrolling, paging up and down or starting/ending a comment.
Google Plus allows you the option to bold, italicize or strike-through all of the text to your heart's content. Use bolding for emphasis or highlighting can't-miss information. Use italics when adding quotes. Corrections, ironic or real, can be emphasized with a strike-through.
Rich snippets are extra photos and text attached with a link. Google Plus allows you to choose from a variety of photos, and works similarly to the rich snippets on Facebook.
Google Plus has maximums on photo sizes. To fit inside the window with no margins (full-bleed), an image must be no taller than a 4:3 width-to-height ratio.
Google Plus also allows for photo editing capabilities like tagging people within your Circles, image rotation and adding text over the image.
Whether social network users like it or not, the hashtag has been adopted everywhere. The latest Google Plus updates not only allow for hashtags, they also add relevant hashtags automatically. If you don't like the automated hashtag assigned to your post, just click to delete it.
Google Plus and its features allow for efficient and targeted Internet marketing. Download or print the Google Plus Cheat Sheet for quick reference to get the most out of your Google Plus posts.
Aaron Aders: Aaron is co-founder of DigitalRelevance™, a national leader in earned media and inbound marketing services. Building on more than a decade of Internet marketing experience, Aaron steers the strategic vision behind DigitalRelevance market research and collateral. @drelevance