Monday, March 18, 2013

Google+ Tools: Websites to Help in the G+ Experience

So you are on Google+, several people have you circled, but try as you may you cannot get people to interact. This nothing new, most people have suffered from this at one time or another. Most often it comes down to you are posting at the wrong time (when no one else is on) or you are not posting content folks want to engage with. Most learn what to post and when to post through trail and error. However it need not be that way. There are websites that can help you. I make use of these, and since I started using them I have had a much better Google+ experience. I use three websites: Google+ Timing,  All My +, and Circle Count  Of these, I probably use Google+ Timing the most, so I will cover it first.

Google+ Timing http://timing.minimali.se/ is a website that reports what time your posts have gotten the most responses. It lists your top five posts, and the days and times those posts were made. There is a handy chart showing your best days for posting and then an hour ranking giving the time that your posts were made that got the most interaction. For a long time I could not figure out why I would post something of interest to a lot of people, and yet, I would not get any response. Other times, I could post something very similar and get tons of responses. Timing took all the guesswork out of it. I now know my best days and times to post, and have been using it to increase my social interaction on Google+. Timing updates all the time, so it is helpful to check it at least once a week. Your best posting times change week to week, and can change drastically during the holiday season. For example my best days and hours for posting during Christmas were totally different from what they were prior to the holiday season and what they were after.

Another helpful site is All my + http://www.allmyplus.com. It is a site that gives a variety of statistics such as an overview of the number of posts you have made and whether those posts were public or part of a community. These stats are broken down into the type of posts you have made: posts, photos, gifs, videos, and links. It also gives how many comments you have gotten and how many +1s you have gotten. These stats are helpful in various ways. You can see what kind of posts you make the most of, and you can tell whether you get more interaction on communities or public posts. Myself for example I get more +1s on my posts to communities, but I get more comments on my public posts. In addition to this overview it gives a map of where most of your interactions are coming from. For me most of the folks that interact are in the United States and the United Kingdom. You also get a handy set of charts on this site showing your posting behavior by day and hour. This can be combined with what you learn from Google Timing can be used to figure out how many of your posts are reaching people. You can then change when you post to a time you will get more interaction, and stop posting at times you don't. For example, I know from Timing that one of my top posting days is Wednesday, yet I can see from All my + that the only day I post less on than Wednesday on is Tuesday. My highest days for the number of posts I make are on the weekend. And while Sunday according to Timing is my top day for interaction (I think the fact my recent birthday was on a Sunday is skewing those stats what with all the birthday wishes I got), Saturday ranks fifth, and Friday ranks sixth. Yet according to All my + this is when I post the most. What I learned from this is I need to post more on Wednesday, and less on Friday and Saturday if I want more folks to interact with me. Another thing All my + does is show you your most popular posts by which one got the most +1s, the most comments, and the most reshares. This gives you an idea of what sort of content those that have you circled enjoy seeing. Finally, you can export all this data as a  CSV file. If you are a business and running a page this could be very helpful in mashing your numbers on reports of how well your social media efforts are doing.

The final website I am going to tell you about is Circle Count http://www.circlecount.com/. Of the websites to be used with Google+ is probably the one most people use. Circle Count gives you a record of how many people had you circled on a specific date. It can show whether you are having more people circle you or if you are losing people. For example, I can see in the past month I have steadily been having more people circle me than uncircle me with the exception of one day when I uncircled several inactives. You can also learn what circles people have you in. This is helpful in that it can tell you what you may have in common with the people that have circled you. For example I know that +steph wanamaker has me in a circle called "awesome men who comment" circle.This indicates to me, steph likes the fact I interact.  Finally, it gives your latest postings and the average interaction on them as well as how many characters your average post contains. In addition to this information it gives your Profiles Rank both overall and by your gender, and Circle Rank both worldwide and for your country. 

While these websites give information that is useful to the individual, I think for a businesses they are vital. If you are a brand you need to know when the best time to reach your customers is, what posts work best at getting their interest, and how people view your brand.  It is these kind of stats that can help a business make marketing decisions that can make or break a marketing campaign. For the individual it can tell you when you get the most interaction on your posts, and what kind of posts folks want to interact with you on the most. I have been using these websites for some time now, and have found them useful. I am hoping you will as well.