Tag Archives: Google+

Here’s what Google is doing wrong regarding employee satisfaction!

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Out of curiousity, I visited Facebook and Google headquarters. They are both in San Mateo County, and both on the Eastern side of the county next to the bay. They both have beautiful walking paths that go to or around swampy sections of the bay. These innovative companies are of the opinion that employee satisfaction matters a lot. To deliver satisfaction they have fun offices and ways for employees to relieve themselves at the office. You can ride a funny looking bicycle, you can take a walk to the bay in the hills, play golf, and more. They place a high emphasis on recycling, clean air, and happiness. And that is good. But…..

Google’s headquarters
Google had endless amounts of cafes in the buildings near their headquarters. But, they wouldn’t let me in since I don’t work for them. I think they should let me in so I could exchange ideas with their staff. The cafes all looked the same and didn’t seem at all exciting. Then, there were the patios which looked nice. People were working with the laptops. The idea is that you might come up with more innovative ideas if you are sitting in a patio, and perhaps bumping into friends from time to time. Personally, I can’t think in a cafe or patio, but others function quite well in this environment. The goofy looking multi-colored bikes with the google colors were fun to watch. But, are they all they’re cracked up to be. I found Google headquarters to be very square, formulated, unfriendly, and lacking imagination. I’m a huge fan of Google and had hoped for more.

My suggestions for Google
I love Google. You made my career happen! Hurray! But, your headquarters remind me of seeing a dozen Korean kids sitting in a Koreatown cafe all with the same wannabe hip outfits and purple or orange hair. Meanwhile in Santa Monica, aging hipsters and stoned teenagers convened at local cafes. They didn’t have to “try” to be cool — they just were. The Koreans were following some type of prescribed formula for coolness. Wear this outfit, get this hair color — and don’t forget to get a piercing, can’t be cool without the piercing. The Korean kids just looked like a bunch of uptight stiffs who were imitating white kids from the 80’s while Santa Monica’s kids and aging hippies were just being themselves with their far out political theories, marijuana, music, and more…

Google seems to be following a prescribed formula for employee satisfaction.
There are cafes and patios everywhere. Funny looking bicycles, volleyball, hiking, and more. But, why not have more laid back cafes? Do the cafes have to all be the same with a place to slide your employee identity card, and then get in a line to get your stuff? Do the patios have to all be the same? Do the people have to all be so unfriendly? Couldn’t they have cooler bikes with microchips to track them in case they get stolen? In China, tech companies hire hot girls to interact with the programmers. Couldn’t Google hire some friendly people to interact with their employees? They do the opposite. As a visitor, I was kept out of buildings, kept out of cafes, and basically kept out of everything other than the parking lot and the walkway. I’m friendly and interesting not to mention quirky. I think that I’m the perfect guy to bounce ideas off of. Why can’t they see that?

Diversity in hang out environments
In short, Google does a great job on search algorithms, technical stuff, and maintaining a very level graph for delta income (growth.) As far as maintaining a cool atmosphere, they need to have a diversity of ambiance. There needs to be different types of places to hang out with different feelings where you can take your laptop. Perhaps a place overlooking the bay and another laid back cafe with chalkboards announcing their Moroccan mint latte or something. I think better when I can be in diverse environments. Google just makes twenty different choices of environments which are essentially the same. I would create a place where people are virtually forced to interact with people they would not normally interact with. This stimulates different parts of the brain which is essential for innovation which is what Google specializes in. I would also create an underwater tank, where employees could sort of their technical issues in scuba gear. Talk about jazzing it up a bit — or Jacqueing it up! In short, Google is on the right track, but they are too “prescribed” and square in their ideas for having diversions in the work environment. They need to hire some cool people to show them how to really be cool and have a good atmosphere. Having some friendly people wouldn’t hurt either.

The bottom line is that Google’s cool office environment scheme reminded me of those Korean kids in Koreatown cafes who were trying to be cool with their hoodies and piercings when they really seemed like a bunch of unimaginative and uptight kids with no style. But, I do give credit to the quality of the dancing on K-pop even though it is a bit overemphasizing unattainable physical beauty. You can do better Google! I’m on your side!

Is Amazon too tough on their workers?

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Rumors are that Amazon management tolerates nothing less than peak performance out of their workers. The workplace is intense and often cutthroat. Workers who have health problems, other personal issues, or who just can’t measure up often get penalized or fired.

Two Times reporters wrote a 7000 word piece on Amazon after they had interviewed many current and former Amazon employees. They wrote about the grueling and competitive conditions the workers had to endure. After Jeff Bezos read this featured article, even he wrote a letter stating he would not tolerate the “shockingly callous management practices” described in the article. He urged employees to contact her directly if they heard of abuses.

However, reviews on Glassdoor indicated that 82% of employees approve of CEO Bezos and most would recommend Amazon to a friend. A program manager in Seattle wrote that Amazon had small teams, interesting and innovative projects, and very smart people. There were quiet work areas, a beautiful campus, and a startup feel. To me, it sounds a lot like Google. There were many mixed reviews on Amazon with the pros commenting on the vibrant fast paced culture while the cons were more about the office politics.

My feeling is that the companies that are getting ahead today like Apple, Google, Amazon, etc. tend to embrace a high energy culture of overachievers who work in an innovative setting creating new and better ways for society to function, buy, sell, and enjoy life. If workers want to work in a slower paced company, an innovative front-line company doesn’t seem like a good place. Becoming a librarian in a small Tennessee town seems like a better idea for someone who wants a quiet, yet fulfilling life. But, on the other hand, companies that make their workers put in too many hours can burn people out. In the long run, we need quality of life, not just some success that leads to ultimate burnout. And when we get pregnant or have personal problems, it is nice if our company understands what we are going through. After all, we’re all human (my cat is nodding her head at this point.) Well, she is not human, but the rest of us are!

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Visit our Google+ profile

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We have a new and very interesting Google+ profile. It has links to great outsourcing, business, and other interesting articles from our social media networks as well as breathtaking travel photos, and more… Join us!


Hope you like it!

If Google ran a BPO Call Center, what would they do differently?

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There are tons of BPO companies out there. Some better than others. Some try to please, while others enjoy the most backwards of standards. But, how many BPO or Call Center Outsourcing companies bother to ask themselves how Google would run their company?

The typical BPO boss is concerned with metrics and numbers. So is Google as they are in charge of creating highly effective search algorithms. But, Google’s approach to human beings goes beyond metrics. They incorporate human engagement and fun into the equation. Can you create an algorithm for how much is the right amount of fun? Google kind of understands this concept as much as anyone can.

What would Google do?
I cannot speak for Google, and they would probably evolve into doing something different by the time you read this article in any case even if I did know what they would do. But, here is my guess.

(1) First of all, Google would probably give your BPO a cooler name. Instead of H&K outsourcing Pvt. Ltd. You would be Kahooka Labor Sourcing.
(2) Next, you would probably have a badminton court in the middle of your office, next to the exit that leads to the manmade lake where you have inflatable boat races. But, we can talk about that on your way to the lounge where you can make small talk with people in different departments and your higher ups. In India, you have to kiss the shoes of your higher ups, but in Google, you can be buddy buddy with them.

(3) Don’t forget that you would have group nature activies from time to time and perhaps a few competitions to see who can do something the best in the office.

(4) I very much doubt that Google would have employees working at tiny cramped work stations the way they do in India. Sure rent is expensive, but cramped doesn’t bring out the genious in people. Google might be tempted to move the entire office to the countryside, give everyone free lodging (I’m guessing) and have a really cool office with recreation rooms, large windows, and a place to feed the elephants. Yes, you heard me correctly. Google might want to blend into the local culture, and nothing says India more than elephants.

(5) After you got done designing a flying carpet rick-shaw, would you resume your regular work with a new sense of inspiration. Your co-worker would probably invent a device that would detect a rigged rick-shaw meter and auto-report it to the proper authorities who would ignore the message — but, at least they would get the message.

(6) Last, there would be lots of training, mentoring, self-analysis, and courses to know how to think like your customers think so that you can please them more. I strongly suggest point six before you even think about the other ones.

BTW: Here is a dialogue between the Rick Shaw Walla and a client after your BPO creates it as a project.

WALLA: The flying carpet rick shaw comes with surround sound, anti-gravity technology, wi-fi, news alerts, internet radio with 200 channels, four power outlets, and a hair-dryer in case you had to leave home in a hurry.

CUSTOMER: So, how much is a ride to Deccan?

WALLA: rps 200.

CUSTOMER: Can we use the meter?

WALLA: Sorry — meter broken!

How to develop the Google culture within you

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If you don’t work at Google, chances are that your company doesn’t practice a Google-type culture and probably doesn’t want to. But, what if you are in management and a few of your coworkers are hip to the idea while a few others aren’t? If everyone is against you then forget about it, but if you have a few yea-sayers, there are things you could do.

You could start doing group activities. You never know — the enthusiasm could spread. You could have competitions among those who choose to participate. You could convince Starbucks to open a branch right inside your office with sofas if management would also approve (not likely.) You could all decide to have some bizarre activities and weird interests to keep life interesting.

I work from home, and work with people who are not innovative except for my writing buddy. I choose to live a lifestyle that is a little like the Google employees. I have a ton of strange interests that keep my life interesting. I study the effect of feng-shui on where I spend time, or stay at hotels. I found that the feng-shui of particular buildings affects my health, social interaction, and business activity. A food feng-shui place can triple my business for the next day while a bad place can kill my sales for a day as well. I also try new foods all the time. I find a way to find new foods in a city with mostly the same old variety of things. I go on little trips to new places and go hiking. At Google, they do a lot of things as groups. I don’t have the luxury of a group, but you could say that I am my own little one person group. Oh, and one more thing — I write for three blogs and run 17 social media accounts. OMG!

How to create a company culture like Google’s & have fun while doing it

Categories: Management, Semi-Popular | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is it possible to run a successful business and still have fun?
In this modern business culture, having fun might be the only way. Too many companies out there have uninspired employees. There is no enthusiasm about work, innovating, or connecting with the others at work. Try being a customer of a company like that! No thanks! I’ll pass.

Google invests heavily in its culture, having the right offices formatted the right way, and paying people to work on their own little projects. What is the result? A job that means something. Most people find no satisfaction at work, but Google employees work in a stimulating atmosphere where it is hard not to find meaning in their work.

1. Start by hiring the right people
If you hire people who have no enthusiasm, you will not be able to create a culture around them. Even one toxic or boring person will ruin your culture. Culture is a hard thing to build and a lot can go wrong. You might be advised to find people whose last job was in a cool culture. But, if they were in such a cool environment, why would they quit unless they were forced to move?

2. Some companies out there are learning that the most dynamic conversations happen when people bump into each other in the hall way, or by accident somewhere. Some companies are designing their offices specifically to engineer more of these spontaneous combustion type conversations that lead to innovations. It might be hard to rebuild your building, but I’m sure there are things you could do to keep people bumping into each other by accident.

3. Many call centers who do BPO outsourcing do Google type things like having contests, prizes, and winners to keep the excitement going. Call center work is not quite as innovative as being part of the Google culture, but by keeping the momentum going, they do create a positive culture at some of the more successful call cneters. Remember, that they have the highest burnout rate of any profession, so they have to keep the environment positive.

4. Fitness counts, but try getting your employees to the mountains or beach. Google offers on-site fitness like swimming pools, gyms, and more. Nothing builds that winning feeling like working out. Fat, unhealthy workers might not contribute much to a vibrant culture, but if you get them moving, you might be surprised. I have an innovative job, and I need to keep my life exciting just to function. I go hiking, walking, and try new restaurants in my area. That is how I personally maintain a positive one-person culture if there is such a thing!

5. Do more for your employees to make them feel special.
I drive to my employees homes to give them a check on a regular basis. Perhaps they take this for granted, but no other boss would do that. It personalizes the work. Giving people unique birthday celebrations, or celebrating special occasions in an unusual way is another way to foster a positive and innovative culture.

6. Google has a billiards room, a slide, a rowboat, table soccer, and other unusual objects. At Google, work is designed to be mixed with play. After all, you won’t be at your smartest or happiest if you never have any fun.

7. Google hires people who are from all walks of life, speak dozens of languages and who pursue a wide range of interests including beekeeping, frisbee and fox-trotting. It might be a good idea to find out what types of hobbies your applicants have before hiring them if you want a lively job atmosphere. And if someone doesn’t have a hobby, you might try having a program to help incubate new hobbies.

8. The Google culture is associated with a startup culture, but Google has thousands of employees. The secret to maintaining the startup culture is to maintain an environment where employees can communicate freely with higher ups, and people in other departments in a casual way in the cafeteria, gym, or other parts of the company.

9. Do things outside of the office as a team. Google employees often go hiking, skiing or have picnics together. Building the bonds of a recreational culture in the workplace create strong bonds and good feelings. Personally, I think that rock climbing builds the healthiest relationships between people. Rock climbers are the coolest, not to mention the fact that you are putting your life in someone’s hands if they belay you which builds trust in the work place (assuming nobody dies.)

So, you can be more like Google. It’s easy. Just think of things you can do. But, if you think it is too hard, then you’re probably a boring defeatist and aren’t up to Google’s cool standards anyway — so give up! You’ll never make it! But, for the rest of us — we can — and success starts with a short brainstorming session and a few quick actions.

If Google ran a hotel, what would it be like?

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If Google ran a hotel, I can picture people parking in a faraway parking lot and being shuttled in some futuristic type of a shuttle through a long expanse of grass, unusual trees, and bizarre animals. There would be indescribable technical appraratus beside the road that nobody would be able to make sense of. It would be like being on an alien planet without leaving planet earth — perhaps.

Advanced Check In
When you got to the hotel instead of regular check in, I can imagine that guests might swipe their credit card and scan their ID. Then, a choice of rooms would be visable from a computer screen, and you could choose rooms and get your smart-key. Upon arrival at your futuristic room, you would then choose your breakfast from yet another virtual computer screen that uses touch technology. Do you want bacon, eggs, granola, or yoplait? There might be many choices, and you could also choose the delivery time.

Virtual Systems in the Rooms
It would not surprise me if the beds were also computerized for softness preference. Rooms would probably have high speed wi-fi, but there might be an amazing business center on the main floor too with huge screen computers that run really fast. As a convenience, yet another virtual system would be there to help you choose activities, restaurants, and map them. Perhaps the instructions could be downloaded onto your i-phone in three seconds or less as well.

Room Service
Many hotels have you put your glasses and plates outside your door when you are done. This is dangerous and unsightly as people might trip on them. I get Google would have a small indentation in the wall for two feet where you could put your trays and then close a cabinet door. The staff would be electonically notified that there are contents in your cabinet. And at check out time, the staff wouldn’t knock on the door until a computer system had been notified that you have left. Perhaps the door would input a record that it had been closed with aheat sensor to verify that you were actually outside the door when you closed it. Or perhaps the front desk would have a place where you could swipe your card one last time to get a printout of your receipt upon leaving. Many hotels put a receipt under the door the night before guests leave, so at express check out, perhaps the only printout would be an acknowledgment of departure. In either case, the entire procedure would be very streamlined and smart!

Other Features
Since noise and smoking are such a problem at many hotels, I’m sure a Google hotel would have sensors to immediately detect if someone had been bad by lighting up a cigarette. Additionally, if people were slamming doors or talking too loudly in the hall, noise sensors would be programmed to alert the front desk. Day time noise limits would be a little more flexible than at night, but there would be strict guidelines for peace and quiet so that guests could enjoy themselves.

Breakfast Downstairs?
Not everyone wants breakfast in their room. Some people prefer to go downstairs. It is nice to have the option. I can imagine futuristic carts carrying coffee dispensing machines, pastries, and other goodies. I can picture more touch screens asking you if you want latte, cappuccino, or mocha. There might be humans manning these cards, or perhaps they would be multilingual robotic carts.

More Robotic Carts
It would be a huge convenience if a robotic cart helped you lug your luggage from your car or from the shuttle to your room. But, if it could move on its own and know where it was supposed to go, that would provide a nice hands-off experience for the guests. But, what if the cart would also make small talk too? Disney has this technology now, and Google might too!

The Hotel Restaurant
I can’t imagine the algorithm Google would use for it’s wine list, but it sounds intoxicating. I wonder what types of foods they would serve. Probably stuff nobody has ever heard of from medieval England and perhaps a few Tibettan delicacies as well as sandwiches. No doubt Google would probably have experimental dishes on the menu every week just to get analytics on how popular each dish was including commentary. That way the menu could be constantly optimized and might even change at different times of the day or week depending on what was popular at that time. I can’t imagine what people would eat there, but a Google restaurant is definitely something I would like to try!

The plusses and minuses of Google+

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I have just started doing a lot on Google+. Yes, it has its pros and cons as well as its pluses and minuses. Should you use Google+? Here is what I think.

(+) If you use Google+ a lot, it will do miracles for your analytics and site traffic. Something magical happens when you hit the 1000 mark on Google+. Your site traffic will spike according to what word on the street is.

(+) Google+’s feature of having circles is so much better than Twitter. You can arrange your followers by category, interest or industry. You can also segment your favorite accounts by creating a favorite or VIP circle. It is amazing the quality of the material in my VIP circle while my industry specific circles are filled with cyber trash. Oh well… At least I can separate them. On Twitter, you would have to create a separate account where you could follow your favorite accounts. On Twitter you can favorite a post, but not an account. At least not as of today — things could change!

(+) Google+ has great communities where you can post content. This feature is very similar to Linked In’s feature where you can have discussion groups or communities. Linked In often has much larger and better groups for business topics, but they tend to be a little too oriented towards self-promoting content and job search while Google+ gets better quality interactions in many cases.

(+) Google+ is a fast way to get clicks to your blog if you use communities and post interesting and relevant content. Twitter and Facebook do not make it easy to get clicks until you have a huge following. You don’t need to have a single follower on Google+ to get a ton of clicks, and those clicks will boost your SEO rankings for your site a lot if they are “quality” clicks.

(-) Google+ doesn’t have that many accounts compared to Twitter or Facebook. I’m not sure what the growth rate is, but Google is going to be promoting Google+ less from now on as well. Maybe they should find a new way to promote it instead of slowing down? Additionally, communities on Google+ tend to be very small except for a few photography and travel groups. In general, Google+ seems to be very much more geared towards visuals than Twitter or Facebook. Google+ allows taller photographs, while Twitter has a one size fits all on your profile page until someone clicks on it.

(-) Google+ makes has a multi-step process to see what your followers posted. If it is that difficult to see what they are publishing, it will be difficult for others to see what you are publishing too!

All in all, Google+ seems like one of the better social media sites out there. There are a few areas that they need improvement and over the next few years, they might make a few renovations and become #1 in the social media industry. We’ll have to wait and see.

Google has its employees devote time to innovation, what about you?

Categories: Innovation, Management | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A book about Google
Many years ago I read a book about Google. They ask their employees to spend 20% of their time doing innovative projects that are not for profit. Sometimes the projects deliver amazing results, other times not. But, the benefit is that their employees’ minds are always expanding and become more adapted to doing effective creative work.

Most don’t try to mold their employees
Most other companies out there don’t try to mold their employees. What about your company? Do you just hire people who you think are good and fire them when you find out they are bad? Not very creative! Don’t you think that whomever works for you might do better if you molded them a bit? You could give them some type of coaching, or have them do interesting things in addition to whatever their main tasks are. That way, after a few months or years, they might turn into very much more evolved employees capable of handling much more difficult tasks!

Innovative tasks to give your staff
There are many innovative tasks you could give to your staff. You could have them devise creative new ways to schedule company business. They could change the seating arrangement. They could think of new marketing techniques, or technical ways to solve problems. The sky is the limit. Your company might be a little odd if the seating arrangement went haywire, but it would definitely liven things up a tad, don’t you think?

The point is that people will start thinking more if you ask them to think. If their thoughts will have consequences, they will think even harder, so they create positive new realities. Taking time out to innovate takes time and attention though. Your staff might need to take time away from daily tasks to innovate. So, if you really want a more interesting and intelligent company culture, you have to invest in it. But, the results could be something you can’t even dream of in your current state of mind!

I would write more on this topic, but I have to go — I have an innovation session now!


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How to develop the Google culture within you


Google+ is delivering already!

Categories: SEO, Social Media | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

We talked to many people in the web business. Word on the street was that Google+ is good. What I have learned is that there is no such thing as a good or bad social media venue. What counts is if it is working for your particular campaign. I run several websites and Facebook works miracles for one, and was a dud for another. Hmmm.

On my Google analytics it shows up as plus.url.google.com / referral. I was excited because we finally started getting detectable clicks from our network of less than a dozen people. We just started Google+ only a month or so ago and put very little effort into it so far.

One of the clicks was from the city of Gwangmyeong-si. I’ll put it on my bucket list to go there one day. I have no idea where that is. Sounds like Nepal, Laos, or China. I bet they have good dumplings there regardless. Ooops… Just looked it up. It is in Korea — wrong again! Korean dumplings just don’t measure up to Chinese. It is the one thing that Koreans aren’t good at! We got another one of our clicks from Khulna which is in Bangladesh. Not only do I get optimization from Google+, but I also get a geography lesson!

The reality of the situation is that it takes a long time to grow a social media network. Some grow like weeds with very little maintenance. Others take endless maintenance only to grow at the speed of a snail. It will take a few years to grow our Google+ really large, but it is nice to know that it just began to sprout in fertile Asian soils! Experts say that Google+ is great for your optimization, and it makes sense. A click from within one of Google’s networks will get preferential treatment, and for good reason.

So, what do I think about having Google+? It’s a definite plus!

(1) So, what do I think about having Google+? It’s a definite plus!
(2) It takes a long time to grow a social media network. With Google+, it is growing with you!

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Social Media Optimization: Checking the effectiveness of each of your campaigns

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Social Media Optimization: Checking the effectiveness of each of your campaigns

It is a bit baffling these days with so many social media campaigns. Which ones should you use, and which ones do you understand? New ones come out every month too which adds to the complexity. Some are better for targeting younger folks, while Facebook is great for the 40-60 year old age segment. There are several analytics you need to understand when comparing social media venues.

(1) What is the cost of growing a particular campaign?
Do you spend three times the effort growing your Twitter campaign as your Facebook profile? Is your Stumbleupon or your Google+ a little faster to grow? Pay attention to how much effort goes into growing each type of campaign. On the other hand, if you really like a particular campaign, you will enjoy growing it which is another factor to consider.

(2) What types of results do you get after spending “x” amount of hours?
If you spend 100 hours on Twitter (did you count the hours?), how much gain did you get in your SEO? Can you measure that?

(3) What types of results did you get with $100 of pay-per-click on various mediums?
You can see how many clicks you got, and if there were any conversions that lead to traffic to your sales area in your site or actual purchases.

(4) How do you judge the quality of a click?
Not all clicks are created equal. Some lead to new followers, while others lead to sales. There are endless metrics you can use to compare click quality. If you are just starting out with a new network you can looks at: (a) How long each visitor spent on your site in seconds, (b) How many pages the average new visitor spent on your site. I learned that Facebook was better for one of my blogs while Twitter was better for another. So, there is no right answer. There are only answers that are right for specific situations. Also, consider which particular blog article you are promoting. Each different article will get different analytics, so get at least 40 clicks before you compare. Most new visitors will only skim your articles. Only a few will really read. The point here is to find out what percentage of your new followers will do some serious reading and clicking around.

(5) Sometimes the posts that did well on one network will do well on others
I noticed that some of the posts I had which did well on Google did well on Stumbleupon. We’ll see how that pans out in the long run. It is a little early to tell.

Good luck!

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The fastest way to grow on Google+ is…

Categories: Social Media | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I just started using Google plus a few weeks ago. Honestly, I am nowhere near being able to call myself an expert. But, I have been doing social media for four years. I write my own blogs, tweets, posts, discussion questions, and I notice what works, with who, and why. I read a lot of materials for Google+ on the internet. The advice was similar wherever I went. You need to follow relevant people, plus other people’s content, join communities, comment on other people’s posts, blah, blah, blah. This advice is not bad advice, but here’s some really good advice.

Advice on commenting
Or should I say, my comments on commenting. As a general rule, commenting on other people’s material is a way to get noticed on social media. Most people write really witless comments that just take up space. When you see a beautiful photo posted on one of those travel sites, the comments are very predictable as well: “Oh, it’s so beautiful, I wish I could be there right now.” Commenting on Google+ will get you noticed, and will get you new followers, but slowly. If I spend an hour commenting, perhaps I’ll get around three followers as a result. I do recommend commenting on content that is very relevant and meaningful to you. Commentary should be done if you can’t stop yourself from doing it. I wouldn’t just comment on content for the sake of commenting as that is not an efficient use of your time.

I spent a lot of time plussing one day. I went through feeds for all types of topics that interested me. Most of the feeds were based on business oriented keywords. I plussed the posts that I thought were worth having Google put in the spotlight. Plussing looks easy, but you have to read a lot to figure out what to plus if you want to give honest plusses. And there is no greater minus than a plus that lacks integrity! The day that I spent about an hour plussing only yielded me about three followers.

Posting is a great way to get seen in keyword feeds. I don’t know how many people bother to read keyword feeds. But, Google+ seems to be set up to be more focused on keyword specific searches rather than just seeing the posts from random followers that you have accumulated over time. Google makes it convoluted to see the posts of your followers. You have to lookup a keyword with a # sign to even get the option. So, it makes sense to post a few articles per day and use different keywords. The point is to show up in all of the keyword feeds that are relevant to your business. So, make a list, and make sure you are always showing up. If that means posting 20 times a day, then maybe you should! Choose your content wisely. I do not have a metric for how many followers I can get in an hour of posting, because I only spend a few minutes per day posting content. The result you get from posting depends on your “reach.” If many people will see the post, then you might get some results. See my section on communities as that is a way to get instant reach (which is a marketing term.)

Keyword searches are pretty self explanatory on Google+. But, if you do a search, you might be able to query posts from your followers, specific circles or discovery (fun.) Unfortunately, most of the people I follow post dismal material. I only follow them because they are industry specific. The people I actually like, I put in the VIP circle, and they are in different industries ranging from general business, to photography, to social media, and call centers. The problem with the way Google+ is set up is that you will not see what your followers are posting unless you go out of your way to see it.

There is a daily limit on following people which is about 30-45 people per day. I don’t have an exact count and it might change depending on how much the Google gods like you. Unfortunately, my experience has been that only 10% of relevant people I have followed will follow me back. Twitter’s follow back rate is more like 15-30% on relevant follows, so 10% is very slow by my standards. On the other hand, it is very quick to follow forty people per day, and if four will follow you back, then you have something. You might spend fifteen minutes to get your four members through following. That is a more efficient use of your time than plussing or commenting.

Share Circles
I have read on the internet that there are share circles. You have to repost content that is in these circles, and then others will repost your content as well. You can look up the term “share circle Google+” on the internet to learn more. I don’t like the idea of this system because it will not get you relevant followers. But, this is a way to get followers in a hurry.

The problem with starting out on Google+ is that nobody knows you and most people don’t want to know you. It’s a bit like being an unpopular kid in Junior High School. I’ve been there. Communities are a fast way to solve this problem in many ways. In my opinion, communities on Google+ are the fastest way to grow your account. I spent 20 minutes posting quality content on a dozen or more communities today, and got six followers as a result. That is a lot faster than commenting, plussing or general posting. The reason is that when you post on a community’s board, your post actually gets seen, and by relevant people!

Strategies for community posting.
(1) Find relevant communities and post content in them once per day in the larger communities and once every several days in the smaller communities. You might need a list of which communities to contact and when. Targeting relevant communities might not be as easy as you think. There are different niches that might be compatible with your general business model. Each different community might need a slightly different type of post. So, you might be advised against posting the same post in all communities.

(2) Finding large communities can be good.
When you post a regular post on Google+, you have the right to make your post public, sent to a particular circle, to all your circles or to your extended community which could include one, several, or all of the communities that you have joined. The beauty of this is that someone with zero followers can post some quality content, and it can be seen by millions of people — if you have joined a few dozen large communities. Unfortunately, Google+ is the new kid on the block as far as successful social media platforms go. Their communities are generally fairly small. There are only about two dozen large communities, and those tend to focus widely on photography, travel, and a few geeky topics. Even if you are in the empanada folding industry, you could post a few beautiful travel photos that you are sharing or retweeting — and you could share those with five million others by being a member of large groups. Just don’t abuse your privilege because you could get banned from these groups if you do.

(3) You won’t really be seen by millions, here’s how it works
I am not an expert at the Google+ search result algorithm. But, if you do a search in your account, you might have the option to search your circles, discover, or on the left there is an “all” link. I’m not sure how many people actually click on that link. But, if five million people are “getting” your post (whatever that means,) they might be able to see it if they click all. The all link, based on my very quick research, displays content from those you follow on top. But, if you dig down ten or more posts, you start seeing content from strangers mixed in. I’m not sure how they determine which stranger’s posts get put down there, or why, but your post might get a chance to be in the all section if you contact your extended community.

To sum up this article, to grow fast on Google+ is to:

FOLLOW — the maximum amount of people per day
COMMUNITIES — Post a lot of content on communities.
POST — I also recommend posting around seven posts on your main page per day. Posts with beautiful photos will do better, and you can also share other people’s posts with breathtaking photography to break the monotony of your industry specific content on empanada folding, the best music to listen to while doing empanada folding, and top empanada folders in California.

You can do a little plussing and commenting on the side to get your name out there and be social. Google also learns about you and what you like when you plus things, so you are sort of compelled to do a few minutes of plussing per day whether you like it or not. But, the top three activities are listed above. One last tip. Just make your hands are clean after folding all of those empanadas, particularly the lamb ones.