How to use Google+ ‘Ripples’ to Your Advantage
You could be forgiven for thinking that Ripples is just another new feature that makes little difference to social networkers (the new ‘activity’ tab on Twitter, anyone?), but you would be wrong. Ripples can give you an inordinately powerful amount of information if you use it correctly. It’s not the most straightforward of features because of its capabilities but it’s something you ought to be using as part of your marketing strategy.
Read on to find out exactly how to do that.
What’s it All About?
Aptly named after the famous ‘ripple effect’ of consequences caused by a single action, Ripples is a visual representation of the effects caused by a single post, comment or link posted on Google+. It’s an interactive diagram which highlights the spreading of a post as it’s shared by users across the network. Clicking on the dropdown menu to the right of any post will allow you to select ‘View Ripples’. Doing this regularly will allow you to see who is sharing your posts, where they are being posted to and the frequency with which they are being viewed. Imagine the power this brings!
At first, certainly on popular posts, you’ll be presented with a cluster of circles that looks a little overwhelming. But simply hovering over certain circles will allow you to zoom in and see the sharing that is going on within those circles. This information is further broken down for you by Google+ as a pie chart which illustrates your top ‘Influencers’.
Within any social network, there are a number of people who you might wish to share your comments and links. Making one of these people your top Influencer can mean that your content is getting spread to exactly the kind of people you want.
Following influential members on Google+ and tracking their activity will allow you to tap into the kind of information they general like to share amongst their community. You will also learn the details of the people they tend to share to, who might also be useful contacts for you.
For example, if you are an SEO blogger, Google+ Ripples allows you to find and track people who like to share SEO-related information and start targeting them to become your top influencer!
Once you realise the potential of Ripples, it’s hard to imagine why the feature has only just been introduced. A few things you might wish to know about Google+ Ripples:
- Ripples are only available on posts that are public
- You may only view ripples on posts that were posted after 31st August 2011
- Only after a post has been publicly shared once will Ripples become available
- You can link to a Ripples page on your account to share it with others
Being able to visualise the spread of content on a social network is a valuable tool, and one that will no doubt be employed by the other social giants. So make sure it’s in your toolkit ASAP! It might take you a little while to get your head around the way information is presented but it’s worth taking the time and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits.