If you’re going to use Google Plus as a social media strategy, then you need to screen who you are adding to your circles. If you don’t, you will wind up with nothing but fake profiles and pics of fuzzy animals in your daily feed. And nothing makes me want to remove a user from my circles faster than when I look at their posts and all of them look like spam.
What I am about to show you will save you a lot of time on Google Plus. After all, you don’t want to take the time to create content worth posting just to share it with a bunch of spammers who don’t care about sharing it right? Here are some ways to screen who you are adding to your circles.
Use Google Images Search
First thing you always want to do before you add someone to your circle is use Google Images to check that their profile picture is legit. Here is an example of one that I entered into the Google Images Search:
As you can see this photo is showing up on multiple websites, none of which seem to be from the same company. And this example above only shows 3 out of the 5 different websites this profile pic appears on.
Granted this may very well be the original picture attached to this profile, but I always like to err on the side of caution in this situation. What I have found is that when you add this tell-tale sign to the rest of the list below, you can usually feel confident about not adding this person’s profile to your circles. I also try to make sure I only add users that have a clear identifiable face in their profile picture.
Review Their Google Plus Posts
The next thing I like to do is check their recent posts. Check to see if they have recently posted any original content. Stay away from the profiles that are littered with pictures of fuzzy animals or the ones that only share other people’s irrelevant content.
The occasional picture of a fuzzy animal or a link to some great content is okay. But if that’s all that is in their feed then it’s just not worth while adding them. Remember you want real live people in your circles that the Google Plus community can trust.
Look For Social Proof On Their Google Plus About Page
This one is my favorite. Go to their “About” page and look to see what other social networks in which they are involved. If they haven’t listed any then I usually don’t add them. Here are the social network profiles that I hope to find listed on the About page of a user I want to add:
WordPress (or any of the top blogging sites)
I will actually go to each of their social networks to make sure they have recent posts so that I know they are actually connected to these places. If I look into their Twitter account and they haven’t tweeted for a year, that is a red flag for me. And I definitely use that info in my decision along with any other negative signs involved.
Audit Their Google Plus Circles
One of the last things I like to do before I add someone is do a quick audit of who has them in their circles. I am always concerned if I see a bunch of profiles with no pictures, or profile pictures with no faces in their circles. It makes me wonder about the intentions of the person I am considering adding. Last thing I want is a bunch of spammers coming after me once I have added someone.
Review Them Again Once They Are In Your Circle
And last but not least, I try to go back and review a user once they have added me to their circle. Sometimes the information I am looking for in the first audit is not available until after they have added me. I have revealed several bogus accounts by using this technique. Especially when I get to review their posts once they have added me.
Well that’s all for now and hopefully you understand how to screen people you want to add to your circle. All of these steps should take you no longer than a couple of minutes once you get the hang of it. You will start to realize without having to complete all of these steps every time who is worth adding and who is not. I have found that the users that can pass any of these simple tests usually are legitimate users who were worth the time to add to my circle.