*5 Steps to Circle Management - Why the "Following Circle" is not the way to go*

Google+ is interested based. You form relationships with people around the world who like the same stuff you do. Start off with investing 15 minutes a day if this sounds like too much. This is the best thing you can do to improve your experience here. Promise. Just start at step 1.

Step 1 - What do you Care about? I have close to 200 circles. I do NOT have a following circle. An average user should aim for about 5 - 10 interest based circles to start! Every single person I circle is categorized by something in their profile's about section, location, something we talked about etc. Every single one. I circle over 4k of people. That is why its important to have a good and detailed about section full of things you want to read about! I decided early on what I wanted to post about here on G+. Inspirational thoughts to keep me and others motivated, Video games, tv shows I like, food, tech stuff, web development and other topics as i see fit. Because these are my main interests I need to find other people interested in that stuff. This takes a bit of work, but start by putting all these interest in a nice easy to read format in your profile.

Step 2 - Find People To Circle on Those Interests. Search. I recently got into the show ABC show - Once upon a time. There was no shared circle on the subject that I could see. So i made one. I did a regular search for "once upon a time". I found people posting about it. I circled them. I didn't ask i just did it. Then i made a post about it with a nice graphic from the show asking people if they like the show to comment.(https://plus.google.com/107982618909749811163/posts/Gx19frXEdS6) I notified the people i had circled. Most commented and said they wanted to be included. Other people who circle you will comment on it, BUT more importantly someone in the future will search "once upon a time" too.. and go BACK to that thread and comment. I also used relevant hashtags to help with future searchs #OUAT #onceuponatime ... I go back to that post often and add the new people who comment on it. There is a fair amount of work required in this process, but your circle size will likely never reach more than 100 people. Even on a pretty popular topic.

Step 3 - Make Posts, Keep Searching and Get Rid of Inactives - I wait awhile.. a month or two to build it up. I notify these circles occasionally when i post in these topics. Use it every once in awhile and most people don't mind being notified of a topic they are interested in. I continue doing searches on the keyword. "once upon a time" Then i get ready to share the circle. I use this extension from +Ehsan Ahmadi Gharacheh - Uncircle Inactives - https://plus.google.com/104602860284118862026/posts/CEvNbnYM6Qr I set it to a month before. I always check the results. Some people I don't want to loose sometimes, even if they haven't posted in a month.

Step 4 - Share the Love - Now that you've spent all this time developing a micro community, you need to share it.. and this is key... the people IN the circle need to add it and share it. This to me is the most important part of Google Plus. Yet so few are doing this. Why is this important? Well if you are in my circle about once upon a time(https://plus.google.com/107982618909749811163/posts/RUk1wj88F8G), chances are a chunk of the people who follow you ALSO like once upon a time. When you share a specific topic shared circle to your followers, The micro community grows. The majority of people who add and share that circle can start commenting on once upon a time posts and BAM everyone's stream and posts on once upon a time will get more relevant comments. That is what we all want here isn't it? That Engagement word thrown around so much?

*NOTE* Although the "+mention 3 people who are cool and i'll make a circle" and "THESE ARE THE BEST PEOPLE ON G+" circles are fun and nice, They are really pointless IMO. Adding one of these circles to your steam does NOT translate to your stream being awesome or cool to you. Being one of the "best people here" is a really subjective expereince. One that doesn't translate well through shared circles.

Step 5 - On going Management - The steps im describing here are the best way i've found of creating a stream of information that is interested to you and getting followers who are going to be interested in the things you post about. Adding a circle of less than 100 people will not destroy your stream. You can turn down the 'noise' on these streams with the slider at the top of any circle page if you aren't sure of the relevance of the shared circle. Few people here are posting about 1 topic only though, and just because they don't post about it, doesn't mean they don't want to comment on your stuff. Circling people first and commenting on relevant post is one of the best ways to get them to circle you back. Uncircle people as you see fit but realize You will see some post about things you don't care about by people in these circles (just like your friends lunch posts on facebook that you just scroll past)

It is unfortunate that, google has not allowed the option to provide public circles, so there is no way to subscribe to updates to a certain circle. Could be accomplished with hashtags. That feature would make this whole process easier. Until then, time investment is required(and so worth it). I spent probably as much time on this as i did on my various twitter lists though. This is social media. You will get back what you put in here.

What are your circle management tips? I see many saying they don't add or share circles they are in... which i think is a shame. I hope this post clarifies some of my points on why i share circles every other day or so and how much work and effort i put into sharing the G+ magic around here. :)

#circlemanagement #circleshare #googleplustips #engagement
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