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Once you’ve set up your Google+ business page you might find yourself struggling to find people to follow that are related to your niche. Although I’m a big fan of the Google+ interface, their user search feature still needs a bit of work because it’s pretty hard to find anyone within it.
Like with other social networks, adding relevant users is a great way to gain some followers to your page. Obviously this shouldn’t be your only tactic but it’s a going starting point for the beginning of the campaign. Over time and various successful Google+ campaigns, I’ve found some time saving ways to quickly find users that you can add to your circles.
A little while ago I stumbled upon a collaborative spreadsheet that is regularly updated with well over a thousand different Google+ shared circles that you can follow. The circles have been categorised by interest/niche and have a link to the circle and the creator of the circle. This spreadsheet is my bible for finding any Google+ users that I want to either target or just simply view content from.
You can check out the spreadsheet for yourself here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ao1OX3UN25EvdHRWR3lwWXQ0a0RhWnFuWml5RnJHdkE&hl=en_US#gid=0
Another great way to find related Google+ users is by using some advanced search operators within Google search. Advanced search operators can be used for all kinds of web research and if you’re involved within online marketing at all then you should really wise up on them – here’s a great resource related to advanced search operators.
The first search that we are going to carry out will look for shared circles within your niche:
site:plus.google.com “shared a circle with you” inurl:posts “YOUR NICHE HERE“
All you need to do is replace the “YOUR NICHE HERE” with your actual niche, for example, “travel”. This will then return results only from within Google+ that are posts where people have publicly shared circles related to your niche.
The next search will look for individual users’ profile pages. This will stop you getting any business pages and the search also makes sure that they are real people because it only returns results for users that have followers (h/t to Liz Quilty for part of this search):
site:plus.google.com “have * in circles” inurl:about “YOUR NICHE HERE” “YOUR LOCATION HERE“
Again, simply swap the “YOUR NICHE HERE” with your actual niche. You may also notice that I have included a part of the search that is location-specific. This will allow you to only find users from a specific country/city/region – which can be very handy for marketing purposes.
Do you use a method that I haven’t mentioned above? Let me know in the comments below because I’m always looking for neat ways to quickly find the types of people that I’m looking to engage with. Look forward to hearing from you!
A UK based digital marketing consultant, Matt oversees digital strategy at Wyatt International. He is a columnist for many different SEO publications, a lecturer for the Digital Marketing Institute and speaks at events across the UK.