Google+ Pro Tips Round Up: Week 5

Week 5

Last week's round up was all about third party services that sprang up to fill any Google+ voids. This week, I'll let you know how to keep up with the latest Google+ updates, and give you some great tips for interacting with your followers.

Although Google+ updated its naming policy—with some clarification from VP of Google+ Bradley Horowitz—people's profiles are still getting suspended. The latest victim was +Blake Ross, current Director of Product at Facebook and cofounder of the Firefox web browser. Luckily, his profile was quickly reinstated, but such stories are not uncommon. To protect yourself, make sure you are using what Google deems acceptable as a "common name"—a name like "Bob Smith" is fine, but a pseudonym or handle like "iamthegreatestever" is not acceptable, and you'll quickly find your profile suspended.

Stay on Top of Google+ News

Want to try out new Google+ features before they launch to the public? You can sign up for the Google+ Platform Preview mailing list here. If you prefer YouTube, subscribe to Google's videos or keep updated by checking the What's New in Google+ page.

The best news? Google+ for Android has been updated. Check out this video from +Punit Soni for details. The release notes detail a bunch of improvements, such as improved notifications, clickable links in huddles, the ability to hide one-on-one huddles, and more.

Still waiting for a feature to get implemented? Add your Google+ feature requests here.

Track Yourself

If you want to know what's going on in your own Google+ world, the easiest thing to do is to add yourself to SocialStatistics, or any similar site that provides ranking and tracking data for Google+ profiles. PlusYa is another site that does the same thing. All you need to do is provide the site with your Google+ ID number, and you're set.

If you're so popular that you can't keep track of all the + mentions of you, create a circle dedicated to those mentions. +Alida Brandenburg suggested this creative circles use as a way to keep track of how people are talking about you, for trend analysis, or reflection for your next posts. 

Interact

Want to make your Google+ posts a bit more fun? Start a poll with the +1 button in your comments. All you have to do is ask a poll question in your post, and then provide the voting options in the comments. Ask your followers to +1 the option they agree with. This tip, from +Ahmed Zeeshan, works best if you disable comments. But if you're looking for more nuanced opinions/open comments, provide an option such as: "None of the above, and I'll tell you why in comments".

Side note: +Ahmed has helpfully written a bunch of useful, in-depth guides to Google+. They're all worth reading if you're a power user.

+Michael West suggests using the +1 button for lists, as a method for other people to provide their opinions. You could create a list of your favorite books and ask people to select their favorites. People can pick multiple options using the +1 button.

You know that you can tag people with the + or @ keys. But sometimes it's a bit slow to show up, and sometimes for whatever reason, the wrong person with a similar name gets tagged. Getting around this issue isn't exactly a shortcut. From +Manuel Viet, find the person's Google+ profile, copy the URL or paste the + sign and the numeric Google+ ID, and paste it into your post. You'll have to share your post before you'll know if it worked or not, but if it didn't, you can go back and edit your post.

Google+ Shortcuts

Photo by KEXINO

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