Google+ has an interesting approach to social interaction. Google looked at how people socialize in the real world and they applied it to Google+. For instance, instead of everybody being able to see what you’re saying, you can group people into Circles and choose who sees what. With that approach, designers can use Google+ in interesting ways. We can connect, be inspired, and share with people. If you are a designer and have Google+, try using it in these three ways.
Connect and Communicate
- Create specific circles – As mentioned before, Google+ gives you the option to group different people into different groups. For designers, I suggest creating specific circles for three people: your clients, your real life friends, and people in the design community you find interesting. Separating them will set you up for easier ways to connect with each Circle. What other circles should designers use? Let me know with a comment.
- Socialize – People generally enjoy discussing intellectually with others, so socializing is essential to creating relationships on Google+. With your Circles set up, start socializing with people in each circle. When somebody from the design community has an interesting status update, comment on it, and start a discussion. Getting their attention can lead to them following you back and being known. For clients, ask them about their business and remind them about your services. By doing this, your clients will know how interested you are in their business, and will remember that when referring others to you.
Inspire and Share
- Sparks – Google+ has an interesting way of keeping people up-to-date with their passions. Sparks is a feed widget in Google+ that looks for articles and websites related to what you are interested in. For example, my Sparks are Web Design, Video Games, and Comics. Each Spark contains articles, images, and websites that can gauge my interest and inspire me. Take advantage of Sparks and create interests based around your field of design. Then look around and enjoy what Google finds for you.
- Community – The design community is currently in love with Google+. We appreciate its beautiful interface and easy-to-use functionality. We also love to showcase our work on it. In your design community circle, add as many people as you want. Add different people from different fields of design because each field has different perspectives and ideals. This will create an interesting source of inspiration as the work and insights will be diversified and different. By doing that, your work will improve from seeing the different styles and perspectives of each person in your Circle.
Showcase and show-off
- Create photo albums – Google+ has a neat, organized way to share photos. Similar to Facebook, Google+ allows you to create albums and share with certain Circles. For a designer, this can come in handy when showcasing your latest design. Create a photo album for your designs, and set it so only the design community circle can see it. You may add others to it, but I suggest only that particular circle because they will be able to give you the most helpful feedback. Then upload your designs, and get your name out there. A good tip would be to watermark your designs before uploading it to Google+ to prevent people from stealing your work.
- Share with circles – If you don’t feel comfortable directly uploading your designs to Google+, there are alternatives. You could upload the designs on image hosting sites like Flickr, and share the link to certain Circles. This works just as well as using Google+ directly, and you are still able to get recognition and good feedback.
Comment and include your G+ profile
There is so much more you can do with Google+, but these are basic things designers can start doing now.
Do you use Google+? If so, how do you use it?
Share your answers in the comments section and link your Google+ profile so we can all connect with each other.