Hi, everyone! I’m kicking off a new series on the Femmes called “Tech Tips for Writers (and the Readers Who Love Them).” In my non-writing life, I’m a bit of a tech nerd. I have worked in Web development/social media/communications for over two decades (since I was ten, obviously) and have a love for all things technical. Every now and again, I stumble upon useful tips and tricks and I thought I might share some of them here.
Tech Tip #1: Google+
While I’m active on social media, one platform I haven’t spent much time with is Google+. I have a profile, of course, but I haven’t really devoted any energy to it. First, I only have so many hours in the day (which never seems enough as it is). Second, I have been watching Google+ with a cynical, shifty-eyed squint: Would it really stick around enough to become a force to be reckoned with? I was crushed when Google discontinued Google Reader; if one of the most popular RSS aggregators couldn’t make it, what chance did Google+ have?
Well, my cynical, squinty eyes were opened recently when I started looking at social media facts from 2nd Q 2013.
Did you know…
- Google+ is the second largest social network (behind Facebook)?
- Google+ has more than 359 million active monthly users?
- The active user base of Google+ grew 33% from June 2012 through March 2013.
Yes, everyone with a GMail account has a Google+ profile, which makes those numbers higher. Even still, a LOT of people are using Google+.
So who are these people?
- 68% are male; 32% are female.
- 6.6 million live in the United States, making it the country where Google+ is most popular.
- 28% are between the ages of 18 and 34.
What’s the Difference?
Devoted followers of Google+ swear there’s a big difference in this social platform.
- Unlike Facebook, Google+ seems to be more about meeting and connecting with new people who like the same things you like (romance novels??). From Business Insider:
One such convert is New Zealand photographer Trey Ratcliff, whose picture-centric Google Plus page has nearly five million followers.
“It’s nice to pop into Google Plus to discover new things. Facebook is pretty good, but it’s harder to discover new people or have more in-depth discussions around passions,” he said in an email exchange.
Indeed, this may be how Google Plus will find its niche in the crowded social media world: Whereas Facebook is the go-to service for connecting friends, Google Plus is more often used to meet strangers who share common interests.
- Google is the undeniable king of search engines. Google+ posts are indexed faster than other social media networks. If SEO matters to you (and it should), Google+ is the obvious forerunner.
- While Google makes it hard to cross-post from other social media into Google+, you can use Google+ as your starting point and share across your other networks.
Google has integrated Google+ with GMail, but one of the downfalls of this is that anyone in your circles can email you via GMail—even if they do not have your email address. I would highly suggest turning off this feature.
To turn it off, you need to be in your GMail.
1) Click on the gear drop-down menu on the upper right-hand corner under your photo and choose “Settings.”
2) About one-third down the page is “Email via Google+: Who can email you via your Google+ profile?” Select “No One” from the drop-down menu.”
3) At the bottom of the Settings page, click on “Save Changes.”
This will help protect your privacy while using Google+ and GMail.
Looking to Learn More?
Google+ is easy to learn, especially if you’re familiar with social media already. To like something, you +1 it. Sharing is easy. To “follow” people, all you need to do is add them to your circles.
If you’re ready to best utilize your Google+ account, this page of tips is a great place to start.
And if you do jump into Google+, be sure to find my profile.