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Tips for Google+ Newbies

By now, you've probably heard a lot about Google+.  It's Google's newest social platform that seems to have hit the ground running.  I know that my friend Carra Riley has taken to it like a duck to water and is showing how easy and fun it is to interact.  I'm still testing the waters and finding my bearings.  Here are a few great tips for Google+ newbies that I thought I'd share with you to help you get started.

Add Info to Your Avatar - The first time people come across you on Google+, you will appear as a thumbnail image.  Typically, the only info that will show up when someone hovers over your image will be where you currently work.  But, you can add a bit more information by going into the employment section of your profile, typing whatever you want in the first box (where the Employer Name usually goes) and making it your current employment.  Anything you put in that box will then show up whenever someone hovers over your photo.  Make this a mini-advertisement for your real estate prowess.

Tips for Google+ Newbies

Circles Are Your Friends - Circles are a way to organize content and connections.  Google+ sets up a few simple circles to place your contacts in: friends, family, acquaintances and following.  It's easy to set up too many circles by getting really specific.  So, stick with a few targeted circles to keep up with specific segments of your Google+ life.  Keep business prospects in one circle, past clients in another, buyers in yet another and sellers in a fourth.  You can also create a circle to use as a bookmark for things you want to look at further or come back to later.

You Don't Always Have to Share - Unlike Facebook, not everything you post on your profile has to be seen by everyone.  You can choose to share with one, two, five, ten or a million people.  It's up to you.  If you decide to post something that you want to keep private, simply click the drop down menu to the right of the post and click on "disable reshare".  This doesn't stop the people you do share this with from using a screenshot of the post, but it will let them know that you wished for the post to be private.

Permalink Sharing - Getting a direct link to a publicly shared post is really easy.  Click the drop down menu in the upper right and click "link to this post".  A new tab will open up and you can grab the URL there.

Choosing Who Gets Viewed in Your Circles - The default for circles on your Google+ profile is set to show everyone randomly.  However, if there are some people you don't want to show up in your Google+ circle list, you can choose to show some circles while hiding others.  First you will need to edit your profile.  Then, click on the circle boxes to the left of your profile.  Delete the checkmark next to the circles you don't want to be visible publicly and click save.

Posting to Specific Circles - If you have a post you want to share with only one or two of your circles, simply click on the "Add Circles or People to Share With" hyperlink at the bottom of your post window.  Choose which circles you want to share your post with.  When that circle is added, hover over the button to choose to notify those people in that circle that you have created a new post.

These are only a few tips for Google+ newbies I have come across in my exploration into the world of Google+.  It's a great new place to network, share photos, links, videos and other information and to connect with old friends, family, clients and maybe even make a few new friends.  If you have any tips you'd like to share, please feel free to leave them in the comments section of this post.  I'm always up for learning something new.

Pamela Cendejas, Real Estate Virtual Assistant – Second Self Virtual Assistance: When There Isn’t Enough of You to Go Around!

Comment balloon 59 commentsPamela Cendejas • August 11 2011 04:38PM

Comments

Google + sounds great been trying to get an invite to start using.

Posted by James Loftis, RealEstate911.com (RealEstate911.com) almost 8 years ago

Hi Pamela,

Very timely... thanks for posting this, and giving me a nudge.  I found your blog post at the TOP of the ActiveRain Social Blog today.  I suggested you for a featured post as well... to help get your info out there.

I do have a Google+ invite, yet I am hesitating ... do I really want Google to know EVERYTHING about me?  I use Gmail, Google Apps, and Google Voice aleady...  It's kind of creepy to think how pervasive Google has become in our daily online life. Let's hope Google "Does No Evil." 

This is good info, and I am sure as soon as I have a few more friends on Google+ I will have to get off the dime and set mine up.

BTW, if you have real estate clients who want info on the CoreFact Lead Capture System, please let me know.  

Posted by George Fanucci, Internet - Technology - Business - Solutions (CoreFact.com) almost 8 years ago

Pamela, do you have any system, methodology, or tools that you find effective for sync and management of contacts for real estate agents?  Maintaining a strong Circle-of-Influence is a powerful marketing engine for any agent, yet a perpetual challenge.  

Do you recommend anything for realty CRM? (Customer Resource Management)  I have some experience, and a set of techniques, but am always looking for other experts with anything to offer in this area.  I have formed a network of help, with freelance experts and virtual assistants in specific niches...  Please see reteam.info which needs a makeover... 

With Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Business Email, Personal Email, Contact Managers, Smart Phone apps, Desktop apps, etc... there is a lot of database sync and coordination to be done!

Posted by George Fanucci, Internet - Technology - Business - Solutions (CoreFact.com) almost 8 years ago
This post is a nice breakdown of how to get started with Google+. I find it very slow going....
Posted by Janet Murray, Realtor Weymouth MA & South Shore Home Sales (Engel & Völkers South Shore) almost 8 years ago

Hey James - If you don't know anyone with invitations left over, go to https://services.google.com/fb/forms/googleplus and leave your name and email address.  Google will email you when Google+ is available to everyone.

 

Posted by Pamela Cendejas, Second Self Virtual Assistance (928) 692-3235 (Second Self Virtual Assistance) almost 8 years ago

Hi George - I get a little concerned with how much I'm "giving away" and how much I can trust having my information floating around in the stratosphere.  So, I completely understand.  I remember when people would NEVER make purchases online for fear of someone stealing their information.  Now, they are so willing to put just about anything and everything out there for the world to see.  Sign of the times, I guess.

AR Social Blog, huh?  Wow!  What an honor.  Thanks for letting me know and for the feature suggestion.

I'll take a look at your links.  I'm always eager to learn new ways to help my agents.

Posted by Pamela Cendejas, Second Self Virtual Assistance (928) 692-3235 (Second Self Virtual Assistance) almost 8 years ago

Hi Janet - Join the club.  There's always something new and everything changing.  We do the best we can. ;)

Posted by Pamela Cendejas, Second Self Virtual Assistance (928) 692-3235 (Second Self Virtual Assistance) almost 8 years ago

Pamela, thank you for your post. I did subscribe to your blog. Look forward to more. Thanks a lot.

Posted by Carol Barron Cross, Sunflower Homes & Equestrian LLC (SUNFLOWER HOMES & EQUESTRIAN LLC) almost 8 years ago

Pamela, You may find this interesting:

How to Migrate Your Facebook Account and Data to Google+
http://lifehac.kr/oZeEhy
lifehacker.com
You may not be ready to ditch Facebook for good, but now that you've had a chance to kick the tires on Google+, you might be ready to make it your go-to social network.
Posted by George Fanucci, Internet - Technology - Business - Solutions (CoreFact.com) almost 8 years ago

Thanks, Carol.  Glad you subscribed.  By the way, since you sell equestrian property, I thought you might be interested in this website http://www.horseranchsearch.com.  It's another opportunity for you to promote your equestrian listings.  Enjoy your weekend!

Posted by Pamela Cendejas, Second Self Virtual Assistance (928) 692-3235 (Second Self Virtual Assistance) almost 8 years ago

Hey George - At the risk of sounding like so many others, I've bookmarked your article and look forward to reading it later.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Pamela Cendejas, Second Self Virtual Assistance (928) 692-3235 (Second Self Virtual Assistance) almost 8 years ago

Thank you! I signed up but haven't known what to do with it, really, and had no time to find out. I was interested because of the way Facebook sort of assumes you want to share everything with everyone, and because I use a Droid and like Google products.

Posted by Leslie Prest, Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson, (Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ) almost 8 years ago

Hi Leslie - Yes, we need to be careful about what we "put out there".  Google seems to be going about this a little cautiously, which I like.  Not letting everyone jump on the bandwagon - instead, beta-testing before opening Google+ up to the world.

Posted by Pamela Cendejas, Second Self Virtual Assistance (928) 692-3235 (Second Self Virtual Assistance) almost 8 years ago

Hi Pamela - thank you for a VERY informative post. I've had a few clients tell me about it lately, but I've had my head buried in a new project called "Team Callback" that we're planning to launch next week. It's a sales lead management system (check it out, but please realize it is NOT launched quite yet).

I realized a while back that what makes Google interesting is that they commoditize commonly used services. Think about what search portals were like before Google - when they came along, they provided a solid bare-bones tool without the frills that put the specialty-guys (like Excite & Lycos) essentially out of business.

So maybe Google+ will do the same thing for social networking? It would be nice to have a "default" social network to fall back on. Thus far that's been Facebook, but they're lacking in some areas. What if Google could do the following:

1. Create Facebook style social-network that's actually integrated with search? Facebook's search features pretty much stink, and it's a challenge to find anything outside of your immediate social network on FB. Google, on the other hand, excels at "search by subject" versus "hey, I know a guy who does that".

2. Create Groups that actually get used (a la LinkedIn) rather than Facebook's rather poor excuse for a groups tool?

3. Integrate Google's mapping & places with the social networking?

4. Maybe thin out the herd a bit with some of the "startup social networking competitors" like Tagged? Too late, guys - you missed it. Now quit sending me invites....

Posted by Tim Ventura, Digital marketing & technology executive. (Tim & Julie Harris® Real Estate Coaching) almost 8 years ago

Pamela, I've really got to get busy on this Google + thing. There's just not enough time in the day!

Posted by Connie Harvey, Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate (Pilkerton Realtors) almost 8 years ago

Thank you Pamela,  I was just exploring Google and so this is very timely!

Posted by Kym Wright (Prudential California Realty) almost 8 years ago

Pamela,

I have just been dipping my toes into Google + so your post is very timely. I still find it confusing & probably have to spend one afternoon concentrating on this subject alone. Thanks for sharing these valuable tips!

Posted by Ann Nguyen, Lake Tahoe Truckee Homes For Sale (eXp Realty) almost 8 years ago

I was just talking about this the other day to a friend and saying that I needed to get some info and get started.  What a coincidence!  Thanks for the great blog!  Have a happy weekend!

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR carsonvalleyland.com (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) almost 8 years ago

I set up my account & all & have my "circles" set up but honestly I am having trouble finding the time to add that in to my routine as well.  I like Facebook so am not willing to give it up so Google+ is one more thing to keep up on.  The funny part is people are adding me to their circles left and right but I have no idea who they are!

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) almost 8 years ago

Well it's an interesting thought but I've not done anything with it yet.   I'm a procrastinator.....

 

Patricia Aulson/ Seacoast NH & ME Realtor

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) almost 8 years ago

I agree with Christine #9 - everyday new people are adding me to their circles and I have absolutely no idea who they are.  I need to learn how to manage this because getting all these email notifications about people I don't know is clogging up my inbox!  Thanks for a great post!

Posted by Melissa Brown, Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale (Helen Adams Realty) almost 8 years ago

Pamela,

Very informative, thaks for sharing.  I guess this is something else I need to get up to speed on.  Also Congrats on being featured.

Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker almost 8 years ago

Thank you for this post - I was just setting up my Google+ account for the past coupe of days. So much to do .....so little time!!! I think It's going to be HUGE....I almost wish it wouldn't be though  - way too much work.

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) almost 8 years ago

Pamela thanks for the trips on google +  I will try and get this working

Posted by Susan Gaieski, Director for Social Media & Technology (Water Pointe Realty Group) almost 8 years ago

Pamela - Thank you for the suggestions.  I am definitely a Google+ newbie and working on it.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) almost 8 years ago

Pamela -- I still am not on G+.  Have been invited but just have not had the time to figure it out. Thanks for this info as it surely helps.  Will look forward to more.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Nice intro tips Pamela !!! Hope you are doing well :o) Cheers !!

Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) almost 8 years ago

I'm hoping Google wll get a little more flexible in terms of being able to switch Youtube accounts a Google voice numbers to whatever Google+/gmail account you want.

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) almost 8 years ago

Pamela, please add this Blog to the Google Plus ActiveRain Group

     Thank you!

Posted by Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Pamela, I am still waiting to get on board with Google Plus. Your post is making me jealous. Thanks for the tips.

Posted by Christian Bastian, Christian Bastian - Douglas Elliman Real Estate (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Pamela - We are on Google+ as well. Still on the learning curve of it though. I am intrigued for sure though. Thanks for the tips. I will be back

Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) almost 8 years ago

I need to learn more about this Google+! At this point I have made an account and friended a few people! I am not even that much better with Twitter! It's just so hard to keep up with everything!

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Pamela, that is helpful.  I think where I need help is finding time to do another social network. 

Posted by Marge Piwowarski, Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC (Phoenix AZ Horse Property) almost 8 years ago

Thank you for this report, I bookmarked for later reading. . 

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) almost 8 years ago
This will be a good reblog this coming week. I am still experimenting with it so the tips are appreciated. So far I mostly just have AR contacts.
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) almost 8 years ago

Hi Pamela - I have been playing around with Google+ as my limited time permits.  This post will certainly help me become more productive quickly.

Posted by FN LN almost 8 years ago

Thanks for the onfomration, i went an dleft my email address and hope to hear from them soon to join. It was wonderful of you to share such great information with us all.

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) almost 8 years ago

I didn't know about the selective reshare feature and some of the other items you mentioned.  I'll have to take another look at Google+

Posted by Bryan Robertson almost 8 years ago

Google + Rocks- if you don't jump on this bandwagon- you are going to be left behind.

You can create highly focused lists to market to- unlike FB. Getting people in your circles is drag and drop.

Plus imagine just jumping on a client for a quick video chat when you first meet them or holding a focus group for first time buyers.

Has a-lot more marketing potential that FB at this time! They have not even released their business plat- form yet, so it is going to get even better.

Posted by Ben Yost - 303-587-4297, FHA, VA, Conventional - Mortgage Loans in De (First Time Home Buyer, Mortgage Rates, Pre-Approval) almost 8 years ago
I have been trying to get started with google+... thanks for all the good tips!
Posted by Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886 (California Lifestyle Realty) almost 8 years ago

I just joined with an invitation finally from a friend -- thanks for sharing

Posted by Scott Hoen, VP, Marketing Systems & Sales Tech, 714-270-9607 (TitleCapture.com) almost 8 years ago

Pamela:

 

I totally need this information.  I am just starting work Google + and any information is valuable from you and the commentators on your blog. 

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) almost 8 years ago

Thanks for the info, I haven't even gotten started as of yet so I've bookmarked it for future reference.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 8 years ago

Good post.  Unfortunately, I cannot use Google+ yet as it is not compaitble with Google Apps right now.  Google is supposed to be correcting that, though.

Posted by Jim McCormack, Nashville Short Sale REALTOR - Stop Foreclosure (Nashville Short Sale Specialist - Jim McCormack - Edge Advantage Realty, LLC - 615-784-EDGE (3343)) almost 8 years ago

Jim, (RE: your #44)

Google+ and Gmail (for your domain) have concurrent login issues,
so, just use two web browsers

True, you cannot log into both your Google Plus (i.e. your Google Profile) and your Google Apps (for your domain) from one web browser at this time  — but you can use two browsers, say Firefox and Chrome — so that's the workaround for now, till the single signon issues get fixed by Google.  I think it may take a few months, maybe more, maybe less, till you can just login in one browser and use both Google+ and your Google Apps (as in  Gmail for your own domain name.)  Any bets?

Google+ is a very interesting experiment, since Facebook really needs some good competiton. IMHO, Facebook seems arrogant, and Google will certainly either make a better alternative, or will push Facebook to catch up and improve. Time will tell if Google+ will be the #2 social network, or eclipse Facebook, or falls by the wayside like Google Buzz and Google Base and Google Wave have done.

Google+ may be the our only hope, seems like Google has the brains and the money, to create something better than Facebook.  I think many users are dissatisfied with Facebook, for various reasons.  Competition is good.

Posted by George Fanucci, Internet - Technology - Business - Solutions (CoreFact.com) almost 8 years ago

google-plus-growth-rate-vs-facebook-vs-twitter-graph

Google+ took only 16 days to reach 10 million users, now over 20 million, and the
Google Plus growth continues at high rate (graph.)
Source: http://bit.ly/qGcPTs

Posted by George Fanucci, Internet - Technology - Business - Solutions (CoreFact.com) almost 8 years ago

Your blog is very concise which is making me want to get started on Google+. I know it took a lot of time to write this and I appreciate it.  I will bookmark to read it when I can concentrate.

Posted by Anonymous almost 8 years ago

Great stuff, I just need to use it and set it up.  Real good information.

Posted by Mike Henderson, HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848 (Your complete source for buying HUD homes) almost 8 years ago

This is interesting information. I do know that you can look at the friends in your friends circles, which would make me a little suspicious about the information control! I will look into that further.

Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) almost 8 years ago

Thanks for these tips on Google +, as they are very helpful. I guess I'm waiting until they do their business  side so I can see if it will be valuable.

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) almost 8 years ago

And here I was just getting the hang of FB….Sheesh!

Posted by Ken Anderson, Broker in Burlington, Ontario (Apex Results Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 8 years ago

Thanks for the tips.  I will bookmark this.  I know I need to start using Google +1

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

WOW!  What a response!  I leave my computer for a couple of days and POW!   ;o) 

One thing I am seeing over and over again is the statement that you just don't have time, or that you just can't find the time to get started with Google+.  My suggestion for Google+ is the same as I have for Facebook - take it a few minutes at a time.  Carve out 10 to 15 minutes a day to work on it.  My own Google+ account has a lot of work to be done, too.  But, I know by tackling it just a few minutes a day, I will be able to get it completely set up and communicating with others a little at time. 

Good luck!

Posted by Pamela Cendejas, Second Self Virtual Assistance (928) 692-3235 (Second Self Virtual Assistance) almost 8 years ago

Thanks for the tips.  I have an invitation, but I want to look into a little further

Posted by Susan Jackson (America's Network Realty Group, Inc) almost 8 years ago

Hi Susan - You still have time to look into it more.  Just a few minutes a day is fine.

Posted by Pamela Cendejas, Second Self Virtual Assistance (928) 692-3235 (Second Self Virtual Assistance) almost 8 years ago

Appreciate the workaround, but using a separate login for my Google Apps and Google+ is not really a viable option.  There are too many business related things with my Google Apps profile to abandon that for Google+.  I don't wan't 2 profiles either.

Posted by Jim McCormack, Nashville Short Sale REALTOR - Stop Foreclosure (Nashville Short Sale Specialist - Jim McCormack - Edge Advantage Realty, LLC - 615-784-EDGE (3343)) almost 8 years ago

Jim, RE: your • #56

 Good points you have about 2nd profile. Sounds best to wait for Google to fix the login issues for Google Apps for Your Domain and Google+ concurrent logins.  Hopefully, within a few months.  They acknowledged the problem a few months ago and promised to work on it... there are more than a few hundred comments about this on the Google help boards.

 

Posted by George Fanucci, Internet - Technology - Business - Solutions (CoreFact.com) almost 8 years ago

ok I have bookmarked your blog. thanks for the tips. I hope to get to them before the year is over;)

Posted by Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070, California Homes for Sale in the East Bay (Golden Gate Sotheby's International) over 7 years ago

Hi Elisa - Gotta warn you - it's addictive.  ;)

Posted by Pamela Cendejas, Second Self Virtual Assistance (928) 692-3235 (Second Self Virtual Assistance) over 7 years ago

Participate