Guest Post - Our host is David Ingram, here David gives you some ideas on how you can use the Ripples featureon Google plus to your advantage.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
Well, the first thing we should probably do is explain what Google+ Ripples are. For those of you who have not come across this useful tool before, it’s essentially an interactive graph of those who have publically shared one of your Google+ posts.
This visual representation of your publically shared posts by others provides fantastic insights into the natural flow of viral content within your niche, and can help you to identify and connect with industry influencers.
Of course, other social media sites provide this sort of data, but it’s usually only available via third party plug-ins. Ripples is Google’s own effort at conveying this sort of info, and it does so in visually friendly and intuitive way.
If a post has been shared publically, there will be an option to ‘View Ripples’ when you click the little arrow on the right hand corner of the specific post. If you click this you are then led to a graph, which provides the information.
This graph is quite self-explanatory. The top left corner shows the number shares in total and also recently. Each of the bubbles within the graph displays a person’s name and their status when they shared the graph. The most interesting thing though is the size of the bubble.
The larger the bubble, the more shares that particular person contributed to your post. So, if a person has a larger bubble they have provided more clout or influence for that specific post. This allows you to easily see who’s encouraged others to share onwards.
We’re all aware of the importance of influencers in an industry and some have more of this ability than others. Google+ Ripples makes it extremely easy to see who is influencing and driving interaction to your posts via a quick look at the size of their bubbles.
Nurturing a relationship with these influencers is very important and can allow you to reap huge benefits if you’re a little bit savvy. Add to this how visual and easy to understand it is and there’s no excuse for not making the most of it.
The next step is to group those you deem as niche relevant influencers and those you see as benefiting your posts beyond the immediate repost. Create a circle of these folks and then begin to build a relationship. This is easily done and sending them exclusive content, first peeks, using the hangout feature and also plain old direct interaction go down a treat. That all said, you still need to focus on the other 95% of those in your circles as they are often your bread and butter.
It’s also possible to increase the chances of getting an influencer in your field to share your posts with a little calculation and research. There are influencers in any field and then again there are influencers– people who have hundreds of thousands of followers and provide huge potential if they share an article.
The downside is that these people may not be in your circles and so you have no chance of them seeing your Google+ post. Unless!
How to Get the Influence of Influencers
Firstly, find the largest influencer in your niche or industry and find a post that they shared with their circles. Now look at the Ripple data.
Next, find out who the original poster was and make sure that this original poster has a reasonably strong following.
The industry leader will have shared the original posters post and you can assume that there is an element of trust between both.
Connect with the original poster by one of the usual means – Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn – they’re usually on the Google+ profile. Try and build a relationship with that person by providing them with something of interest or value.
When you are friendly ask the person to share one of your posts via their Circles. You can then hope it will catch the influencer’s notice and they will repost it. Of course, if this doesn’t work, it’s still getting a lot of notice via your new found interaction’s followers.
Do this with a number of people in contact with the industry leader and you will greatly increase the chances of them seeing your post.
So, take a look at Google+ Ripples and remember that by engaging with these power users you get the extra edge and you and your posts can significantly benefit.