Many people on Google Plus are unsure of how to share a circle or just don’t understand what it is all about. Circle Sharing provides a way to explode the rate of your Google Plus following. I enjoy the shared circles on G+ and I’ve found many people are confused about them. Hopefully, I can clear up some of those issues for you here.
Most people are pleasantly surprised when they first add a shared circle or get included in a shared circle for the first time. They are surprised because of the rapid growth in the number of people of following them.
The first time I added a shared circle on Google Plus, I doubled the number of people that were following me. I had very small numbers at the time though. I had worked hard for about a week to gain a grand total of 350 followers. Then I added a shared circle, maybe two and it jumped to over 700 in less than 24 hours. From that point on, I was hooked on shared circles.
What Is the Purpose of Shared Circles on Google Plus?
The primary purpose of a shared circle on Google Plus is to increase the number of people who circle or follow you on G+. Another purpose of a G+ shared circle is to aid members to find other G+ members with a specific interest.
There are a few basic types of circles that will help explain the purposes of a shared circle on Google Plus.
- Engagement Circles
- Themed Circles
- Honor Circles
- Random Circles
Engagement Shared Circles
Probably the most common type of shared circle is the engagement circle. This is usually a circle that was created to reward those that have plussed, commented on or re-shared one of the post of the person that created the circle. I like these circles for three reasons. It is fairly easy to build this type of circle. It is a good circle to add as these people will engage if you give them good content to engage with. The third reason is that when I create these kinds of circles I am taking the time to thank those users for their engagement.
When you add an engagement circle, you not only gain more followers you gain followers that are more likely to engage with you.
You will run into a lot of people on Google Plus that complain about these circles. They say what use it is to have so many followers when you can’t talk to them all.
That’s just not true. If they would take moment to open their minds and try one, I think they would quickly learn that they are completely wrong. Try it for yourself, you’ll see.
Themed Circles on G+
Another reason to add a circle is to add people with a specific interest to your circles so you can follow them. This is often called a themed circle. A themed circle might be a circle of photographers or a circle of geeks or plumbers. It can be anything that the circle creator is interested in. I want to create more of these but often the things I’m interested in have a limited interest to others. I am an expat living in the Philippines for example. There are probably more of us than you think but there are not enough to easily make a sizable circle. Not a lot of interest out there for such a circle. I have built published and photographer themed circles. The first one I did, I did on my own. In later circles many of the photographers I found come from Gaelan Maps who has an excellent series of photographer themed circles. Another excellent source to find photographers is through Karl Louis who I later found on Google Plus.
You’ve Been Included in a Shared Circle
So you find that you have been included in a shared circle, now what? How you respond is completely up to you. You might want to rejoice and a few people don’t like to be included in shared circles.
If you don’t want to be included in shared circles, I suggest you send a private message (PM) to the circle creator. Tell them nicely that you don’t want to be included. There is no reason to be nasty about it. I strongly advise that you don’t make a scene in the comments unless you like to be blocked by a lot of people. When I see that, I’m going to block you. It doesn’t matter if it is a circle I created or someone else. Honestly though, that’s pretty much the only alternative when you ask not to be included in a shared circle. I’ve had to block people I enjoy on G+ because they don’t want to be included.
Most people love to be included in shared circles. When you are included there are three things you need to do if you want to stay in this circle creator’s future circles. Nothing is guaranteed. But if you don’t do these things, chances are very high, that you will soon be dropped from the circle. Share the circle. This is by far the most important thing for you to do. If you can’t share the circle, tell the creator why you can’t share. They may continue to include you.
- Plus the original post.
- Comment on the post even if it’s just a thank you. Let the creator know you shared it.
- Add the post to your circles, if at all possible. At least add the circle creator to your circles. Do this last as adding it may take you away from the original post.
How to Reshare Shared Circles
In order to reshare a circle you need to press the share icon as shown below.
A new box will pop up. Type in some text and press send. What you say is important and I will go into that later.
What to Consider When You Reshare a Shared Circle
Unless the circle creator says it is okay to share it to a community, do not do that. Most of us already share the circle to all of the communities. It is unlikely to get reshared from there.
If you reshare with your page, you need to let the circle creator know that. However, if you’re resharing to a dead page, that is of little value.
The success of a circle depends on its reshares. Put some effort into resharing your circle. You need to write something that will make others want to engage with that circle. Many people simple say Thanks +Rusty Ferguson. I appreciate the share. I really do but that’s not good enough.
There are a lot of new people on G+ and they will not have a clue what to do with that shared circle if that’s all you say.
What Text to Include When Resharing a Shared Circle
When you reshare a shared circle, you don’t need to and probably shouldn’t tell anyone why this is such a wonderful circle. Don’t do that unless you know it’s true.
Instead, explain the benefits of shared circles. Tell the person viewing your post what shared circles will do for them. Tell them that by adding the circle, they will increase their following as many people will follow them back.
You also need to include a “Call to action” Tell the person looking at your post, what to do. Tell them to add the circle and tell them to reshare it. Simply by telling a reader what you want those to do, more people will do what you want. This is a very basic marketing concept.
It is to your benefit that a circle gets reshared as many times as possible. Each time it is reshared, more people may find it and add it to their circles. If you are in that circle, then each time someone adds it they add you.
I wrote a detailed article on Google Plus related to circle resharing. I think it is a very good post and I hope you’ll take a few moments to go read Circle Resharing Tips.
Also, when your reshare of a circle is reshared by someone else, any good circle creator will notice that and may reward you for it if you can do that consistently. The reward is that you’ll likely be included in more shared circles.
Take two or three minutes and write something that will encourage the person to add and reshare the circle. It really is worth the one to five minutes it will take. I recommend you make a file with 20 or more canned messages in it so you don’t have to retype what you are going to say every time. Used the canned messages, take a moment or two to personalize it a bit and you’ll have much more success with your reshares.
To Reshare or Not to Reshare
There are some drawbacks to resharing a circle. The primary negative is that shared circles generally get low engagement. So sharing every shared circle that you come across to your stream is probably not a good idea.
I did do that at first. What I did when I had 1000 followers and what I do now that I have over 10,000 are vastly different. When my numbers were very small, my primary focus was to increase my numbers. Now my followers are higher and I’m far more interested in increasing engagement on my post. I try to reshare no more than one shared circle to my stream each day. The others, I share with my Google Plus Pages for Business. I have active pages though and unless you have that, you need to share it to your stream.
Many people don’t like to see a lot of shared circles in their stream, so keep that in mind. You may decide to do what I did in the beginning. Not worry about it and increase those numbers as fast as you can then slow down later. It’s a call only you can make.
If someone complains about my post, I block them as they may also report that post as spam. Blocking them only helps a little because they can still see your public post. When I see a post I don’t like, I don’t leave a comment telling them I don’t like it. That’s completely inappropriate. I either ignore it or I block them. Someone that does that is probably a narcissistic troll and its best if you just get rid of them. I actually suggest to people, if you don’t like my post, block me. How Do You Know if You Are Included in a Shared Circle?
In the center of a shared circle you will find a button that displays “Add People”. You can click on that and it will not add the people immediately. Instead another window will open to display the people within it.
When that window opens you will probably see yourself if you are included. If you don’t use the search box as shown in the following image.
Even if you are not in the circle, adding it will benefit you. I love to add circles that I’m not in if there are a lot of people in it I don’t know. Often that turns out to be the case.
If everyone in the circle is already following you, adding it is of little value to you. I’m not going to go into the details of how to use it but there is a tool you can use to find out how many people in a circle are following you, even before you add it. It is called Circloscope.
How to Add a Shared Circle
Though I recommend that adding the circle is your last step, for the flow of this article, I’ll explain how to do that here.
In the text box at the top name your circle. I usually name it the name of the circle creator and add a date. For example if the circle came from The Rusty Ball, you could name it like this: “The Rusty Ball 09-02-13”. That way I know who I got it from and I know how long it has been in my circle inventory.
After you name the circle, press the blue “Create or Add to Circles”. I recommend that you create a new circle for each shared circle. That way you can better track how well this circle performed for you. How to track that is best saved for a future article.
Error Messages When Adding a Circle
When I add a shared circle, most of the time I get an error message. Something like failed to create circle. Usually, that is a false error. I ignore that one. If you get any other message, then the circle probably did not get saved. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of messages advising me that I have reached my daily limit but this is inaccurate most of the time. I just save it again and it works just fine.
After you add a circle, go to your circles and refresh the page. Most of the time, you will find your new circle at the bottom of your circles.
If you are on a mobile device, you probably will not be able to reshare or add a circle. This is a Google Plus limitation. Some have fond ways around it but say it is not easy. I don’t bother looking for a way. I just use my desktop for G+. You might be able to find a way to add and reshare a shared circle on YouTube. Most of us hope that G+ will remove this limitation in the future but at the time this article is published, it is not something you can generally do. Google Plus Limits on Adding People
G+ only allows you to add so many people a day. They don’t tell us this number. They only use the word “surge” to describe this limitation. Moving people around in your circles counts in this limitation. It appears from my experience, deleting a large number of people will trigger this faster than adding people.
If you find your account has reached its limitation, don’t try to add anyone for a while. The limitation may go away shortly or it may take 24 hours. Sometimes I get this error message when I’m not limited. I try again and I can add the person. Usually though, it’s a signal that I’m on the verge of being limited.
Shared Circles Management and Engagement
You are also limited to circling a maximum of 5000 people. I totally ignored this in the beginning. If someone added me, I added them. Do not do this. However, I usually visited their profile and looked at their about page first. I can’t possibly do that any more. When someone adds me, I look to see if they have a face picture. If they don’t, I’ll just hit the X and keep going. If they do, I look at their hover card and see if they are a good fit for me. If there is nothing there, again, I’ll hit the X. Also though, if what they have there is not something that fits the network I’m trying to build, then I don’t add them. Do not take it as an insult if someone does not add you. It may just be you’re not a good fit for them. Because of that 5000 limit you should only add people that you are interested in.
After you have saved the circle, view that circles stream. I suggest you do it over a few days to get the most out of it.
How To View a Shared Circle’s Stream
In order to view that shared circle’s stream go to your “Home” page within G+. You get to your home screen using the menu on the left (not pictured below). Across the top of your stream, you’ll see a listing of your circles. You can see where I’ve been building shared circles. Click on the more down arrow and then scroll down the saved shared circle. Now you are looking at only what has been shared by people in that circle. Do you see things that interest you? Then move them into a circle within the proper category that you have created.
If you see things that don’t interest you, well you might want to remove them from that circle without waiting any longer. After a few days, delete what is left in the circle. If you have time, go to their profile before you delete the circle. I use to be able to do that but I can’t do that any more.
Also when you are viewing that stream engage with the people that interest you. Meaningful comments will serve you well in this case. You will pick up additional followers by doing this. Plussing and resharing is also good. People may not notice only plusses unless there are a lot of them.
I have covered a lot of information in this article so I will bring it to a close. I’ve tried to at least touch on all the important aspects of shared circles on Google Plus. If you have any questions, I’d love to hear them. Please leave them in the comments below. Did I get anything wrong? Please straighten me out. Do you have additional insights? I would really like to hear them.
Filed under: Google Plus
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