There are now approximately 250 million users in the Google Plus community since its launch in 2011.

Although similar to Facebook, it is different in several ways.   One of the major differences is organising friends and followers into separate ‘circles’ so you can post appropriate messages to the right people, instead of just one mass posting.

Although it can be a bit confusing at first, these are the top Google Plus tips to help you separate business and personal aspects and help drive your business too.

  1. Profile –  Make sure you’re taking advantage of your profile area.   It’s important you establish your personal identity not only to connect with your personal profile, but also with your business.   It’s a good idea to use a profile picture of yourself instead of using a company logo for your avatar to establish you as an actual person in order to build the relationship needed for your online business.   Showcase what your business can do for people in the ‘About’ section, highlighting your business but keeping your personal identity evident as well.   
  2. Hangouts – This feature separates Google Plus from other social networking sites including Facebook.   The Hangouts feature allows you to connect, by video, with up to ten people at a time.  This is great for meetings, training, demonstrations, webinars, e-classes, etc.   Think outside the square to allow your creativity flow to grow your business.
  3. Categorize with Circles – Their ‘Circles’ feature allows you to categorize your followers, which in turn allows you to send the appropriate messages to the appropriate groups of people. No more mass posting and sending irrelevant messages to people. You can separate your followers into customers.
  4. Sparks – This is another great feature of Google Plus. This handy tool lets you enter a keyword and an alert will be sent to you whenever any content on this subject is posted. This is a great way to search for, and find relevant and interesting content to share.  It can also be used as a tool to see what your competitiors are up to!
  5. Shorten Your URL – Be sure to shorten your URL as you probably won’t want to use the default link Google assigns to you. To do this, you can go to and choose the nickname for your URL. You can use your company name but some people prefer to use their actual name.
  6. Invite People to Your Circles – In your account you will see a suggestion list, provided by Google, of people to invite to your circles. Make a habit of going through these suggestions and inviting different people to the appropriate circle. More people than not will accept your invitation and it helps in building an effective network.
  7. Drag and Drop – Create memorable and unique posts by easily dragg and droppin photos, links, videos, etc. from your desktop to your Google Plus comment box.
  8. Google Notifications Window – This timesaving feature is helpful because it allows you to comment right in the window. You do not have to click over to a website to share a comment. You can also scroll through to see older and/or newer notifications.
  9. Check Your Google Plus Settings – There are many notification options available to you. You can opt to get notified when someone mentions you or adds you to their circle. There are several options available to you so be sure to check all the ones that apply.
  10. Use Mashable – Mashable is a news source that will keep you abreast of all Google’s features, updates, and other digital social media news as well. This will allow you to make the most of your Google Plus and social media tactics.

    Facebook has over 800 million users, so Google Plus is not yet the powerhouse that Facebook is, however it has many outstanding features and uses that could make it a very effective component in your social networking agenda.