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January 9, 2014 | Kathi Browne

Google+ Circles Offer Targeted Messaging

Google+ handles connections differently than other platforms.

On Google+, you place your connections into circles according to how you want to share with them. Then, when you post content, you select only those circles you want to see that post. This is how Google+ circles offer targeted messaging. (Of course, you can also share a post publicly so anyone can see it).

What's really special about this ability is that if you add or remove someone from a circle, post visibility is retroactive - that is, a person who is granted new circle status instantly has access to the older posts that circle was allowed to see.

How to Use Circles for Targeted Messaging

Circles may seem complicated at first, but once you know how useful they are, you'll appreciate the control you have. Here are a few examples of how you might use circles to target your message.

If you are a software company offering several support tiers, you may separate your connections into those tiers so you can share different information with each. That way, your highest tiered customers don't get inundated with requests to upgrade when they already have and lower tiered customers don't get the premium information without paying for it.

If you sell to both businesses and individuals, you may create a B2B circle and a B2C circle. Then you can share different information about your industry, depending on whether it is the end user or the business reseller.

If you have a lot of virtual employees working for you, you may want to have them in circles so you can communicate pertinent information according to their roles. For example, you may have a circle of developers/programmers who need to know a work around, not something you would want to post to your end users.

Here's an example:

VIPcircle

How to Use Circles for Selective Monitoring

You can also view circles individually, allowing you to get to know your audiences better. Here are a few examples of how you might use circles to monitor specific groups.

Create a circle of your competition so you can periodically see what they are up to and how they are engaging.

Separate your most influential connections from the rest of the pack so you can quickly find and engage with them.

Create a circle of profiles sharing local activity and news so you can take advantage of local events in your area.

Create a circle of profiles providing professional advice or industry/technology trends so you can stay on top of your game.

Identify people who are your target market and add them to a special circle you watch to learn about their lifestyles and interests.

A Few Facts About Google Circles

  • Business Pages can't circle someone until they have circled/followed the Business page.
  • Google Local pages can only circle 50 new profiles per day.
  • Business Pages can only circle about 200 new profiles per day.
  • Personal Pages can only circle 500 new profiles per day.
  • Personal Pages have a limit of 5000 profiles that can be circled.
  • Circle sharing is limited to the first 500 profiles in the circle.
  • When you add someone to a circle, they can see any previous posts made visible to that circle.
  • You can place profiles in more than one circle.

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Kathi Browne

Kathi Browne

Kathi Browne specializes in human and social media in healthcare and works in partnership with VIEO Design. As a VIEO guest blogger, Kathi shares her knowledge of rising social platforms and innovative approaches to social engagement.

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