Google Plus Circles is feature for you to organize and group different people into different circles based on relationships, needs, wants, or objectives. A easier way to visual the use of circles is to think of it as TV channels. Imagine if you want to have 20 or 50 channels, what will it be? Comedy, action, family drama, discovery channel or NSFW?

The purpose of this post is to share my ideas on effective circling on Google+ to make your experience on G+ better and enjoyable. The 2 main purposes of using Circles is to:

  1. Share relevant content to the right group circle of people
  2. Organize and follow content without being overwhelmed.

Making circles should not be complicated process, but what are the ones you should create and what should you take into consideration?

1. Play, Rest & Relax Circles

Google Plus Circles - managing your stream

Within these circles, I group them into what I like to do (hobbies), what I want to learn (languages), what I love to eat (food), etc. For examples:

When I’m not sure what to have for dinner, or where to dine for a special occasion, I’ll switch to the food circle to get inspiration. Well I only know how to eat, for those who knows how to cook, you can circle G+ users that shares recipes.

To reduce distraction, I have a circle, let’s call it ‘entertainment’, where I have Google+ users that share funny pictures/videos, motivation stuff and generally posts that are not related to work. I usually switch to this circle when I want to relax my mind a little. Too much work makes the mind dull. :)

2. Location Circles

This are location specific circles for me to find out information highly relevant to the country, city or location.

For Google+ users who travel between countries often, this helps you to engage with G+ users who frequently post updates for that particular country.

For marketers, this provides a deeper market insight based on influential Google+ users that share information or provide LBS (Location Based Services).

3. Work Circles

It makes perfect sense to separate work from leisure. A circle to contain all your colleges is a must. Maybe even better to put your bosses and superiors in a separate circle to make it easier and safer to gossip about them. The good and bad thing about Google circles is that a G+ user don’t know which circle they have been placed in, so go ahead and create a circle call “the evil bosses”.

Under work, we can have existing and potential customers. By doing so, we can send out updates and newsletter that are more appealing and relevant to each group/circles of individuals.

For existing customers, we can send out customized promotions to reward and give loyalty discounts for new products or freebies to encourage upgrades of plans.

For new customers, we can offer something different, do company branding, or reinforce with our posts on why we are better than competitors. I believe you get the picture, the type of circles you can create is up to your imaginations and requirements.

4. Sharing Circles

Google Circles icon for managing your circles

For every circle you created, you have the option to share the circle and it’s members with other G+ user too. So if you have a new colleague, you can share that ‘colleagues’ circle with him. Colleagues leaving? Update by removing. Having circles that are created this way helps us to achieve our objectives with no fuss. To share circles, simply access the circles management menu by clicking on the Circles icon located on the left side bar, then click on the “Actions” button on upper right corner to “Share this circle”.

Sharing Google Plus Circles

5. Multiple Circles

A G+ user can appear in multiple circles, so of you have a ex-classmate who is a colleague and knows your spouse too, you can put him/her in all 3 circles. This allows you to post updates depending on the nature of the post, which can be work-related, ex-school mates gathering, or a party that you want to co-ordinate with you and your spouse’s mutual friends.

6. Events or Project Circles

Be it for work, play, eat or even study, you will find the need for you to create temporary circles. I call them temporary because we will usually delete it after a period of time. Below are typical scenarios:

  • We create circles when we have to work with colleagues or temp-workers for say 6 months. Chances are we won’t be meeting or contacting them when the project is completed.
  • Planning for a function or gathering with classmates. Ok I know we may have the ‘classmates’, but sometimes not everyone is attending and to keep the discussion closer, we can do that in a new circle.
  • Circles can be created for events too. A circle for you to discuss with event planners and people involved. This is necessary because most of time you need to share information that is event-specific or sensitive. After the event is completed, you can choose to delete it, or keep the circle if it is a yearly event.

7. Prioritize the Google Circles

You can adjust how much or little you want to see from each circle in your “All Circles” stream. Currently there are only 4 levels that you can set: see nothing, fewer, most and everything of a specific circle. This helps to manage the information you want to see, and to prioritize what should appear more (often) on the main Google stream.
Adjusting your Google stream

If you own more than 1 Google account, likely 1 business and 1 personal account, you can drill down further with the circles. For a business/work account, you can create task-specific, customers, and project-related circles. While-as for your personal Google account, you can have all the leisure circles (e.g. food, travels, music, photography, entertainment, etc) sans the boring work updates. Personally, my needs do not warrant having 2 accounts, plus I prefer to use one account to manage all my information needs.



Lincoln is a fan of Apple products, loves red wine and traveling. He blogs on internet marketing, social media, wordpress tips & guides, and using technology to maximize efficiency. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook for regular updates.

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