How To Use Google+ Search To Find Influencers, Content & Communities [Tutorial]

Google+ has a fantastic search facility. It does so much more than the regular Google search. It surfaces some really great content and it can also help you find people to circle and communities to join.

In this weeks videocast I show you how it works. And how it can help you to find people, content and communities.

I am still a huge fan of Google+ and despite the sceptics I do think it will continue to be an important tool into the future.

If you enjoyed this blog post why not subscribe to my newsletter or my blog posts via email. Click here for more info.


photo credit: Cia de Foto via photopin cc
photo credit: Cia de Foto via photopin cc

In part one of this blog post I discussed the different ways to build relationships via conversations on Facebook and on Blogs. Read more here.

Conversation is the best way to build business relationships. Have you ever been to a networking meeting?  If it’s a big one you probably come home with a pocket stuffed with business cards. Most  you will never look at again, many will end up in the bin.  It’s the people you meet over and over you remember.  You might meet them at networking meetings again or you may arrange to meet up for coffee and a chat.  Online we need to replicate this offline relationship building and that is where conversation really helps.

Here’s some ideas for getting those conversations:


Linkedin is the business network. It’s a fantastic place to connect with other businesses who may either require your services or recommend you to others.  The first step is to connect to the people you know. If you go to a networking event and get chatting to someone request to connect to them the next day, look up your current customers and connect with them also. Immediately you have built a network of people to get to know further.

  • Status updates – Now you are connected to people you will see updates from them appear on your Linkedin home page. Make a habit of scrolling through these on a daily basis and liking and commenting on things that you find interesting. If the post might be of interest to your other connections share it on as well.You should also make a point of updating your own status on a regular basis with professional news and links to content about your industry that will spark discussions with your connections.

    The Importance Of Conversation Part 2 – Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+

  • Groups – Groups are where all the magic happens on Linkedin.  Groups are essentially discussion forums on specific topics. Use the search function within Linkedin to find groups that may be industry specific or one of the excellent business forums that are out there. If you are stuck for one to join have a look at the profiles of some of your connections and see which groups they are a member of.The Importance Of Conversation Part 2 – Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+
  • EndorsementsI’ve written about endorsements before. I’m not a huge fan but they can be used well.  If you endorse someone make sure you are endorsing them for something that you know they are good at. They will get an email from Linkedin every time they are endorsed so it’s another good way to remind them you exist.
  • Private messages – Linkedin will send you updates when your connections change their profiles, when they endorse you and when they have business anniversaries. Use this as an opportunity to get in touch with them via private messages to congratulate or thank them, re-kindling your relationship with them.


It’s easier on Twitter than any other network to get into conversations.  It’s part of what I love about Twitter, you can tweet anyone you want to whether it be Stephen Fry or the local shop.  Getting into conversations will improve your follower count and help you get to know people who can help spread your message.  Various social media practitioners have set different ratios that they believe you should use for promoting via conversing and sharing content from other users.  It tends to sit at about 30% promotion and 70% conversation.  It’s a hard ratio to reach so don’t worry if you aren’t there yet. The key is to make conversation an important part of your Tweeting.

  • Set targets – If you are not good at small talk or if you are shy you may need to set yourself goals for conversation. Start with something small, I often recommend new tweeters attempt to get into two conversations a day.  This could be as simple as saying good morning to someone or commenting on the weather.  Good relationships often start with small talk so it’s a good place to start your social media conversations too.
  • Twitter searchTwitter search and Twitter advanced search are fantastic tools for finding people and conversations. Advanced search allows you to search locally as well as for key words and phrases. Add a ‘?’ to your search and you will find people asking questions.The Importance Of Conversation Part 2 – Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+
  • Twitter chats – Twitter chats happen when a group of people go online at a specific time to discuss a specific topic. In order to join in you just need to follow the #tag and tweet using the tag.  They are a great way to meet new tweeters, get into conversations and build relationships.  If you want to give it a go tune into #blogchatie every second Thursday at 9pm (GMT – currently daylight saving at GMT+1), The next one is on 23rd May 2013.If Blogging isn’t your thing you might find one that you’d enjoy from this comprehensive list.
  • ReTweets – A good way to break the ice with a new contact could be to RT some of their content. Choose stuff that is relevant to your target market and use the ‘quote tweet‘ option if you are using mobile or the old fashioned RT method if you want to be sure they know you shared.
  • Lists – If you are following a lot of people on Twitter you may find it hard to keep up with tweets from the people you really want to see. If this is a problem for you it’s a good idea to set up a few lists. You could have one of your favorite tweeters, the people that you want to build relationships with. Once they are in a list you can choose to view just the tweets from those people. It’s a really good way to stay in touch with the people you really have to.twitterlists


Although Pinterest is a visual network it can still be a great place to find people and conversations.

  • Comments – I find that I rarely get a comment on Pinterest but when I do I really pay attention. Essentially Pinterest is a place to share images so conversation seems hard to slot in.  However if you find an image you like why not comment on it, you will usually get a response and that is the spark of a business relationship.
  • Likes & RePins – Although commenting isn’t huge on Pinterest, Likes and RePins happen a lot. Just like Twitter by RePinning and liking you will be alerting a user to your existence. Always remember to keep your RePinning relevant to your business and target market.


Are people using Google+? Yes they are but it’s still a lot less crowded a space than Facebook and Twitter. I don’t spend a lot of time there but whenever I do I find something of interest.  The lack of a crowd can be an advantage, it makes it easier to get involved in conversations.

  • Search – I really, really love the search on Google+, you can type anything into the search box, a sport, a book you are reading, a band or something obscure. Whatever it is you will find someone talking about it. Because updates aren’t limited to 140 characters like Twitter it’s easier to get into proper conversations. You can comment directly on a post giving you the opportunity to connect with more than just the original poster but also the other people in the comment thread. This is absolutely the best thing about Google+
  • Circles – Circles work in a similar way to Twitter lists and Facebook Interest Lists. You can group people together relating to specific topics or related to how you know them.  The obvious circles to create have always been friends, relatives etc but you should look at setting one up for experts in your industry, customers, competitors and people you would like to get to know. You can then filter your feed by circle to ensure you are talking to the people you really want to.
  • Communities – Communities are similar to Linkedin Groups, they are topic specific discussion groups. Their a great place to meet like minded people and get into discussion and conversation.  There are communities based on every topic available so take time to find a few that will be relevant to your business.The Importance Of Conversation Part 2 – Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+

If you enjoyed this blog post why not subscribe to my newsletter or my blog posts via email. Click here for more info.

Google+ For Business by Chris Brogan

That title may seem a tad bold but it’s true.  Google+ For Business is a fantastic book on social media with examples drawn from Google+.  Sometimes we get too carried away with the tools and forget that social networks essentially all work the same way.  Some networks are better suited for particular audiences or target markets but how we approach them should be pretty much the same.

Having said all that since I’ve read this book I’ve been thinking of new ways of using G+, I’ve been more active, more creative and I’m beginning to love the place.  Chris wrote this book back in the early days of the network so he doesn’t delve too far into business pages.  From a personal and social point of view it’s much easier to use profiles than pages but that doesn’t exclude you from doing business there.  You can meet people as easily as you do on Twitter and you can build relationships with prospective clients the same way you might over time at networking meetings. So like most social networks Google+ works because it’s about building relationships, sharing useful and relevent information, letting your personality in and being real.

Back to the book.  It’s an easy read, it’s the first business book I’ve read on my Kindle and this was the perfect format for it.  I could pick it up whilst on a tram or during lunch.  It’s packed with case studies and what becomes clear is that people are approaching this relatively new network with fresh eyes.  They are finding new ways to do things, new content to share. I love the story of Jaqueline Carly, a fitness instructor who posts photos of herself pre and post workout everyday.  It’s this sort of simple but effective marketing that keeps Google+ interesting.  He also interviews some of those social media superheros including Scott Monty from Ford and Darren Rowse from ProBlogger.  He looks at how Michael Dell (from Dell) uses the network, he looks at the different ways people are approaching it and creates some scenarios of his own that small businesses would be wise to look at.

Then there is the bit that is really about Google+, although he doesn’t delve too deeply into the technical stuff he does share tips on how to make your profile more effective and how to manage circles.  Although Google+ has seen a redesign since this was written the tips are just as relevant, it’s a great beginners guide but also useful as a refresher if you’ve been there for a while.

Should you give Google+ a try?  Of course! Should you read this book?  Absolutely!

Buy the paperback on Amazon here. Or the Kindle version here.

This week I talked to Eamonn O’Brien of the reluctant speakers club about his success in driving quality traffic to his website using Google+.

In the last month of using Google+ he has discovered that;

– Google+ has been great for finding things that are genuinely useful to himself and other people
– Easier to spark up conversations than on other social networks
– More professional people and business people on Google+
– Content is more useful from a business perspective than on Facebook
– There are better in depth and quality conversations
– After just one month he’s getting 6% of his web traffic from Google+
– He’s getting more Google organic search traffic since he’s started using Google+
– Visitors from Google+ are spending around 13 minutes on his site compared to traffic from Pinterest that stays an average of 10 seconds
– The bounce rate from Google+ is lowest of all the social networks he uses
– He’s building new relationships and connecting with people he meets on Google+ elsewhere.

Eamonn is the CEO of The Reluctant Speakers Club, a leading provider of public speaking courses in Ireland. To learn how he can help you gain more trust and inspire others with your ideas, email , call +353.1.5311196 or log onto

You can circle Eamonn on Google+ here and the Reluctant Speakers Club here.

Have you had success with Google+?  I’d like to hear about your experiences.

As you read this I am on my way to SMWF (social media world forum) in London.  As you might be aware the highlight of the conference for me is Chris Brogan.  I’ve got his latest book ‘Google+ for Business’ on my Kindle and I’m looking forward to his presentation on the subject.  That’s why this week I thought we’d take a look at a pretty cool tool for use with Google+.

Google+Timing can tell you the best time to post updates to Google+.  As far as I can work out it only does this for personal profiles at the moment but it’s still pretty cool.

Just sign up with your Google+ account and it will pull some data and give you some pretty cool graphs outlining the best time of day to post to reach your followers.  It also ranks days and times in order of importance.  So although Wednesday between 8pm and 9pm is my optimum time there are countless other options.

On Wednesday I’ll be putting together a short summery of what I learnt from Chris Brogan about Google+ so do drop by.

Last week we showed you how to set up a Google+ business page, this week in part two of our series we show you how to complete your profile information and how to post content.

Next week we will show you how to circle other business pages and how to engage with others on your page.

If you are based in Ireland don’t forget to add yourself to the Google+ Irish Business Directory:

Google+ finally launched their Business pages this week. Over the next few weeks we’re going to show you how to create it & make it look pretty, how to post content and how to attract people to it.

In part one we show you how to create a page and how to make it look pretty.

If you are in Ireland you can add your business page to the directory:

*UPDATE* The Google+ Directory has now moved to it’s own site. You can register directly on I’ve closed comments on this post to avoid confusion.


On Monday Google+ finally released the long awaited business and brand pages. It seems to have given the network a much needed boosts with general activity on the site growing significantly amongst my circles.

To create your page click here and follow the instructions. We’ll be making a video or two over the next week or so to help you get started and share tips on how to make the most of it.

Here are some of the Irish business pages we have found so far, if you’d like to be added to this list please leave your page link in the comments section. For now it’s just a list but I’m looking into some tools to make it a stand alone directory.

Write on Track

Write On Track offers a blog coaching and mentoring service. Not sure of where to start with your blog and like a couple of training sessions? Or perhaps you would prefer a couple of months of mentoring until you are confident? We offer blogging services tailored to your needs.

You can also outsource your blog writing to us.

Lorna and Marie have both reached the finals of Blog and Social Media awards in previous years.

Greenside Up

Greenside Up shows people how to grow their own food, whether it’s at community gardens, allotments, private gardens or schools we can come to you.

Garrendenny Lane Interiors

Garrendenny Lane Interiors is an Irish online home, gift and lifestyle store.

Purchase wallpapers for your home, buy your Christmas gifts here, we will giftwrap for free and can send them abroad for you too.

We source from various European companies that are not readily available elsewhere in Ireland and we also stock many new Irish designers too.

Eco Evolution

Eco Evolution is a highly professional renewable energy company specialising in the consultancy, design, supply and installation of renewable energy technologies such as Wind Turbines, Hydro Turbines, Solar Photovoltaic (PV), Solar Thermal (Hot Water Supply & Space Heating), Heat Pumps, Heat Recovery Ventilation and high efficiency Ecorad aluminium radiators for the domestic, commercial, industrial and agricultural markets in Ireland.

CG Online Marketing

CG Online Marketing customises all services to maximise your online endeavours and produce targeted results.

We cover:

  • SEO and SEM
  • Online marketing strategies + consultation
  • Website audits and projects
  • Social networking strategies, management + customisation
  • Copywriting and content generation
  • PPC advertising
  • Online promotions
  • Competitor analysis
  • Analytical reporting for insights + online behaviours
  • *NEW* Marketing outsourcing

Wedding Singer Cork Siobhan Oliver

Wedding & function singer based in Ballincollig, Cork. It has been my privilege to study with renowned Irish sopranos Cara O’Sullivan and Mary Hegarty. I have a B.Mus Hon in Vocal Performance from the Cork School of Music.

Puddleducks is Ireland’s leading online specialist for ourdoor clothing for children. Our range includes waterproof jackets, dungarees, trousers, hats, gloves and much more. We also sell a fab range of cosy and fun fleeces. In fact everything that is needed to allow kids to have fun and stay warm and dry in the great outdoors – whatever the weather has in store.

The Secret Garden Centre

The Secret Garden is tucked away in the beautiful countryside of North Cork. Stocking a wide range of plants, trees, shrubs, perennials and gardening sundries, it’s the perfect place to come and find something different for your garden.

With tea, cake and birdsong we are well worth discovering

Luxury Irish Artisan Handmade Bath & Body Products from Dublin, Ireland

Sligo Genealogy Research Services

I provide a friendly and reasonably priced research service specialising in genealogy, local history research, and related photography in County Sligo, Ireland.
I can undertake searches in the Flax Growers Index, Tithe Applotment Books, Griffith’s Valuation of Tenements, Parish Records, Gravestone and Memorial Inscriptions, 1901 and 1911 Census for County Sligo and I can also obtain Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates for County Sligo.
I hope I shall be of help to you in tracing your ancestors. Meticulous research is assured.

And don’t forget us!

At we love social media. We help small business with social media using big business knowledge.

Leave your link below to be added