Following on from Part 1: Getting Started in our Step by Step Guide to Google Plus, this second installment will show you how to start creating ‘circles’ and add thousands of users to them by following members of ‘shared circles’.

By the time you’ve completed each of the steps within our five-part guide, you’ll be well on your way to growing a significant profile with extensive reach and influence.

Your Circles

Your circles are made up of people you’ve chosen to follow and categorise according to who they are (colleagues, fashion bloggers, business prospects, etc.) or the nature of their posts (social media, funny stuff, dogs).

Like Twitter, the way you receive content through G+ is by following people. You can use the Home navigation dropdown to find Communities and People that interest you with Suggestions (see below) being made according to what company you work for, where you went to school, shared interests, etc.

Guide to Google Plus Who to Follow

Quick Tip

One of the quickest ways of growing your circles is to find shared circles, which are groups of up to 501 people that other G+ users have placed together, perhaps because they are ‘active engagers’ (regularly interact with posts) or have a shared interest in anything from dancing to baking.

The authors of these circles will have included themselves in the circle to increase their followers, but also hopefully curated quality G+ users based around various topics (see the circle’s description) or around top engagers.

Finding Shared Circles

To find shared circles on Google Plus, type #sharedcircles in the search box at the top of the page, which will bring up a selection of recently shared circles – as well as a list of similar search terms, along the lines of #circleshare #circleoftheweek and #sharedpubliccircles.

To add everyone in a shared circle to a circle of your own, click on Add People, name your new circle, then click on Create Circle. Bear in mind that there is a limit to how many people you can add to your circles each day and that you cannot follow more than 5,000 people in total.

Eleanor's Shared UK Circle

Here is a great example created by Eleanor Fullalove – a collection of people specially selected on account of their geographical location… they’re all in the UK. Click on the image (right) to get started, it’ll take you straight there!

By adding 2,000 or so people to your circle, your G+ Stream will come to life, filled with great content and as an added bonus, a percentage of these people (about 5-20%) will also add you back, i.e. add you to their circles so that your content appears in their newsfeeds too.

The main aim here is to grow the people you have in circles to 2,000 in a few days. Easy!

Next, we’re going to share our recommendations on engaging with others – Part 3: Interacting with Others.

Notes on Engagers

Engagers are important as they create content, as well as share and comment on other people’s content, so you should find and add them to your circles. Hover over the Add button and you can create a circle to add them to (categorise them) or simply ‘follow’ them (leave uncategorised).

One of the major benefits of categorising everyone from the very beginning is that it will be easier for you to create your own Shared Circle/s further down the line. Creating a Shared Circle is a great way to boost your profile and your popularity once you are established on Google Plus.