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February 11, 2013

It aint rocket science. Your Shakers are in Google+ Ripples!

Unknown - 2:00 AM
Re-publish from Dec 29, 2012

If you haven't been on G+ too long, or if you haven't engaged with a lot of users yet, then you may not have seen what Google+ Ripples can now show us and what a useful tool it is to get a good understanding of how your content is spreading and who is spreading it.

As I've been saying all along, the best way to get the most out of G+ is to engage the Shakers & Engagers. There's not much point wasting your time in G+ commenting to and social networking with people that don't comment back, don't share others' content and generally don't engage with other users much. I have seen many users here doing exactly that and wondering why their sphere of influence has stalled, or is not rapidly growing like many others are.

Right at the top of my Shakers & Engagers are the people that share content and I find those in my Google+ Ripples, as you can too. When any post (picture, or content) gets shared you'll see a small arrow with a number at the right corner of that post, showing it's immediate shares. But did you know, that if you then click on the drown down menu of any post in the Right top corner, you'll see an option View Ripples. This will show you a detailed diagram of all the users publicly sharing that content and the detailed ripples of who is sharing it from them & so on.

Just about everyone you see in these Ripples are the people you want to add to your Shakers & Engagers list, they are in mine. Some of what G+ calls the "influencers" (of that particular post) will have bigger circles, with a lot of shares emanating from within those circles. A lot more sharers will be in small circles & at times there circles will be bigger as well, just depending on who happened to re-share their content that particular day. Either way, you know all of these users are content sharers and helping you to spread your networking efforts farther than your immediate range.

I've attached a picture of the Ripples from a popular video yesterday of Matt Cutts playing dinosaur, so you can see how just a modestly busy ripple can get.

Of course you can also watch yourself in the Ripples of this post, by clicking on the Share This Post arrow at the bottom left & sharing it with Public.

Now you might be wondering why so many of the circles are not connected to each other, but appear here together. Well G+ has become quite good at recognizing the timing of the content whether it is re-posted, or "shared" and when it is passed on. So that now if you've just viewed a post & then end up copy and pasting that same content, or video, but not using the Share This Post button, G+ will still understand that it is a related ripple to the original post you viewed and will display you along side it.

So welcome to Share This Post and watch your name appear either in, or alongside all of the other Ripples in this post, by coming back to it and clicking on View Ripples at a later time & as it progresses. And another very cool thing indeed, hit the Play button under the circles and watch an animation of the circles spreading in the exact order and time as they really happened.

Is that neat, or what?

#GooglePlusTips #GRipples #GooglePlusAdvice  

February 8, 2013

Don't pull out your gun if you're not prepared to shoot!

Unknown - 11:00 AM

A successful community post results in exchange (discussion), this is not safe sex. In fact, if someone does not comment on this original post, then I promise to sell my computer tomorrow & go work on a farm. LOL... seriously.

Your highest priority when posting to a G+ Community should be encouraging other community members into a discussion. That's why we call it a "community" and NOT a bulletin board, or a newspaper.

 As a community moderator I am too often asked,
- "Well is it ok to post this?"
- "Is it acceptable if I post links to my...?
- "Do you think this might be useful to your readers?"
- "I hope this is not spam, but I..."
- "Can I post links to my blog here, or post the whole article?"
- "Will it be spam if I post news links with my promotion?*
WAIT... STOP!!! These are all the wrong questions.

If your posts fail not just once, but repeatedly to engage the communities you're posting in, then - I hate to break it to you but - you are not social networking. It's now time to start asking yourself the tough questions, "if thousands of people are viewing this post, then why aren't any of them commenting on it?" Next I would suggest you make a point of reading all the ones that people are, that's where you'll learn successful social networking.

Then ask yourself, are you just posting & not commenting, or engaging other users on their posts? Chances are that's the next biggest problem, users engage back with users who engage with them.

Here's what I consider some key posting questions you should ask yourself before posting, that are sure to result in success:
① Will this encourage discussion & be of interest to the community?
② Is this post just news that everyone has probably already read?
③ Have I written this post/intro in a way that encourages discussion?
④ Is this just a link to an uninteresting article no one will discuss?
⑤ Have I explained why this is interesting to me & may also be to you?
⑥ Have I read & understood the Communities Guidelines?
⑦ Have I chosen the appropriate community & category for this post?

Welcome to follow more #communitytips #googleplustips & #realestatemarketing at +HousesFast

February 1, 2013

Ignore the blonde & share this, "what's good for all of us, is better for each of us."

Unknown - 6:34 AM
Re-publish from Dec 4, 2012

1. Find out why you should "ignore the blonde" to get the most out of G+.
2. Watch her rather revealing video that has financial lessons to be learned.
3. I've also written detailed instructions on cool tools I talked about earlier.
4. Find out what you get out of blank profiles & zero engagement in G+.
5. How to find the types of users you can actively engage with.
6. My point by point instructions on using to find your Shakers.
7. The problem with using G+'s Find People tool to find the wrong people.
8. Using specific and related circles to find your networks.
9. More on #Circloscope plugin for Chrome.

My last article told you how to "Shake up your G+..." with this one we're going to Turbo Charge it! These Google Plus tips and more comprehensive advice will surely help you get more out of G+ and spend less time doing it.

And if it is really helpful to you, be sure to comeback and comment below.

Will ignoring "individual ambition" get you more in Google+?

A common reaction I receive from real estate professionals when I've offered marketing advice, or mentoring services is a suspicious, "Well, why would you help me? I'm the competition." I get a similar feeling from newer people to the social networking scene, when I suggest we share posts, friend lists, or networking methods.

To answer this I'd like to go to a classic scene that's stuck with me from A Beautiful Mind. Thanks to the convenience of You Tube, I've located it for you right here.

After several friends challenge each other to compete for a voluptuous blonde. A suave looking gentleman with a twinkle in his eye (and obviously feeling rather clever) states, "Have you remembered nothing?... Individual ambition serves the common good."

That is when John Nash has his epiphany that will go onto form the basis for worldwide marketing strategies and economic theories. "The best result would come from everyone in the group doing what's best for himself, and the group."

Wiki explains it like this, "The simple insight underlying John Nash's (Nash Equilibrium) idea is that ...we must ask what each player would do, taking into account the decision-making of the others."

Ignoring your own perfection to get what you came for.

What I like best about this line, "Ignore the blonde", is that she can be rather difficult to ignore--for me anyway. I'm not sure exactly what it is (says with a wink).

I think we can also have such feelings about ourselves, or our own interests, maybe even more so for our "virtual self" if you will. Isn't that what we've created online with our profiles, pictures, "clever" quotes and idioms?

My point is that there's somewhat of a natural tendency to not want to share other people's content on your own pages, especially as I was saying, for people who are newer to the concept of social networking. Add to that the concerns of whether you're giving away more promotions than you're getting, are they your competition, or could they become it. Is Google subtracting from your authorship score based on other user's content you've shared on your page, against the amount of your content that's been shared on other pages, etc.

I think such assumptions came from Google's former back linking for Page Rank policies, where links you share on your own site would subtract link juice from your own backlinks shared on others. As to whether G+ is already, or is going to institute such algorithms on users Author Rank is anyone's guess (as AR is not yet public), but it seems that would be illogical as it'd be counterproductive to the concept of social networking and discourage it.

Spread the word, social networking is about sharing and engaging.

People who have been successfully social networking for a while understand that it's about sharing and engaging. That's why I suggest getting out this message more to all the users in your own networks, whether it's from sharing this message on your own page, or just from writing something in your own words explaining this concept.

Blank pages + zero engaging = zero benefits.

I'm still seeing a large amount of users who've signed up to Google+ putting little if any content up, sharing little if any from other users, or engaging any other users. Some users created G+ profiles, or pages, with the idea that it was going to benefit their own website SEO in someway. Well this is definitely a false myth, if your pages are just blank and not actively sharing content for other users, engaging users, adding followers and the like, it's not doing anything for your SEO at all.

Back to my tips on turbo charging your G Plus.

I actually started this post to expound on the Google+ tips I've suggested previously, namely getting more out of G+ by finding your Shakers & Engagers, but my admittedly distracted mind sort of wandered off into the story above. So now I'm going to literally "ignore the blonde" and talk about some useful tools.

I previously wrote the following about how you can get a lot more out of G+ by finding following and engaging with more of the active users.

*The following small portion of this article is a repeat of an earlier post, I'm including to help make this article more comprehensive. Below is an explanation about how to use the NO D3x which I did not previously discuss.

There seems to be several kinds of users we commonly see on G+:

  • Users who post pictures all day & don't seem to care if anyone sees them.
  • Users who write a lot of content, but don't seem to have anyone reading it.
  • Users with a fascination for just getting in on & collecting circles.
  • Some very good writers who don't care for comments & even turn them off.
  • Then there's the useful content writers and engagers, who not only respond to comments, but actively engage other users, commenting on their posts and giving back to others.

Finding, following and engaging with these users, is likely to be time well spent as you will actually feel like you are "social networking" as well as helping each other to accomplish what you came to G+ for.

Setting up your Google+ feed to follow the Shakers & Engagers.

Now I'm gonna talk about setting up your G+ feed to engage more with the engagers and yes, for many of you clever Googlers this is a little basic, so you can skip down a few lines.

One of the problems you may be experiencing when reading the Google feeds, is that there are many people putting up content one way. They're probably hoping to get lucky with that special picture, or post that goes viral and or, just get as many +1's or, shares that they can. If you're here in G+ like many of us, for the purpose of actively networking, improving your brand, reputation, or author rank then the people who's content you need to be following is the people who will also engage you back.

What I have done to accomplish this is setup a circle called Shakers & Engagers and then regularly add all of the following people into it...

  1. Popular content writers, who engage other users.
  2. Users who have a good reputation here and actively engage other users.
  3. Up and coming users, who may not have all the greatest content, or many followers, but they know what social networking is, they read your content, they share it, they + it and or, they regularly comment on it.

These and a few others I may have missed are the kind of people you will want to add to your Shakers & Engagers circle. Then you want to put this circle first in line on your circles page. Going back to the Home page of G+ at the top right above "Share what's new...", you'll want to click on your Shakers & Engagers button. That way it'll be right there for you to follow their feeds, read, comment on, share and engage with them whenever you start your G+.

With these people you'll quickly find that it's a two way street, as you engage with them through a lot of their posts, they will engage back and I guarantee that you will quickly find that G+ is not as lonely as you may have once thought it was.

Another tool I want to suggest you can use to find the more active users within your vicinity is #NO D3x. You can put your profile number in there and you will see a clever graph of nodes bouncing around. As you move your mouse over the different points connected to yours, you can see who are the most active users in your immediate vicinity (as in a matrix, not a place). You'll want to put a lot of the busiest people you find there into your engagers circle, because these are likely people who will actively engage.
End of repeated portion from earlier G+ post.

Using NO D3x to find your Shakers and Engagers.

This tool provides a visual analysis of your social networks in a graph format. You'll also want to follow NOD3x on Google+ to keep tabs, on their updates, as I am not personally associated with their product. The NO D3x is an online application that does analysis of data from social networks. It provides formatted and easily understandable data analysis in graphical form.

GPlus tips analyzing your social network with NOD3x.
NOD3x is a cool tool you can use to analyze your social networks.

Specific instructions for finding some of your current Shakers and Engagers.

Although this tool has quite a number of analytical uses, the idea I am suggesting here is that we can use it quite narrowly to locate specific types of users within your network.

  • Then enter your own profile number from your G+ url, ctrl-v will paste it in there.
  • You'll then see an attractive graph of colorful nodes connected by lines.
  • The graph looks different for everyone and for newcomers may not yet have enough activity to be useful.
  • One of the Blue nodes is your own (if you can find it), click on it to see your circle rank.
  • The blue nodes around you are likely to be your Shakers, people with interesting stuff.
  • The Purple nodes are some of your commenters & the Yellow nodes are Plussers.
  • The Green nodes are your sharers, you'll certainly want more of these.
  • Meanwhile you should have a G+ window open, to add all these people to your Shakers & Engagers circle.
  • Now let's take it up a level and see if we can use the trick to get even more Shakers.
  • What if we open some more NO D3x windows tabs and look up our surrounding Shakers? Do you think we might see all their Engagers?

NO D3x uses Social Network Analysis (SNA) to graph your network.

Here's a bit more of an explanation about the tool you may want to follow up on. In this Google+ post, Lee Smallwood explains how NOD3x uses a Social Network Analysis (SNA) to provide a visual analysis, or graph of nodes. As Lee Smallwood explains, "Undertaking social network analysis (SNA) is key. It provides a mathematical and visual analysis of complex systems. And my main aim for NO D3x is to provide an application that takes care of the maths and then lets users analyze without the need for a personal Einstein to interpret the results..."

He goes on to explain that, "For those that don't know, SNA is measuring and mapping of relationships and the flow between groups, people, organisations, computers, UR Ls and other entities that process information or knowledge. The perspective of social network covers models, applications and theories, which are usually expressed as relational processes or concepts. A unit of network analysis is always an entity, which consists of a collection of individuals with many links between them e.g. from a G+ perspective those links (relationships) are +1s, comments and re-shares on your posts. In NO D3x, the results of a search looking for G+ users or Pages, are represented as nodes, and the links in the analysis show the relationship between these nodes e.g. who +1d, shared or commented on your content."

If the NOD3x tool doesn't work for you.

This tool may not work well for you if any of the following...

  • If you have not been interacting for a while, or are new to G+, so you don't have enough statistics to analyze.
  • If you've been busy circling all the wrong kinds of people, especially with Google+'s Find People tool.

In this case you may want to start uncircling all of the irrelevant people you've been busy collecting and use the tool to study some of the profiles who are more closely related to your field.

The problem with the Google+ Find People tool.

This is purely from personal observation here, but in my opinion you do not want to use the G+ Find People tool if you're looking for specific kinds of people in fields closely related to your own, or within specific vicinities. The tool makes it very easy for you to select a sizable group of people and add them all to a circle, you can do like a hundred every day. I am of the opinion and it appears to me, as though this tool focuses primarily on connecting the least active people with the most active & that this takes precedence on suggestions over connecting you with more relevant and related users.

If that is the case, I can certainly understand the logic. G+ can be pretty empty and lonely for the millions of people coming in and not knowing who the active people are to connect with. But personally I'd rather connect with 5 active and engaging users, than 500 inactives that do not yet seem to understand the concept of social networking.

Find and add business circles related to your own.

If you want to find people more closely related to your particular field of expertise, I suggest you search and find circles closely related to what you're looking for. Using the "#" hashtag may help you accomplish this, by searching more specifically for circles such as #Realestatecircle 's, or other fields of interest. I have also been working on relevant business circles to share and from time to time you'll see these on my profile. I will also be sharing my Shakers & Engagers circles as well as updating it from time, to time. The only circle I'll be following more than that is my Sharers circle, so you'll want to get in on that. winking smiley winking smiley

Here's another cool tool Circloscope.

Lastly, if you have managed to collect a lot of users who don't seem to ever show up in G+ and haven't even circled you back, there's a nifty plugin for Chrome called Circloscope, that you can use to trim your circles down to the more useful users. But I'll warn you, be careful how you use it and make sure your choosing the right boxes, or you could end up uncircling everyone you ever knew with just a couple clicks. Now that wouldn't be very social, would it?!

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