Google+ has taken the social media world by storm and has emerged as a very strong force to reckon with in just a short span of a few years to a staggering 350 million active users. It is still relentless in its phenomenal growth and experts from SearchMetrics project that with the rate it is getting now, Google+ may surpass even Facebook by the year 2016. Not only is Google+ a part of, Google of course, it also presents a wide variety of features that would prove very useful for business owners and digital marketers.
There is one feature that is somewhat missed by many digital marketers but may prove one of the most useful features Google+ have which is specifically intended for business owners. We are referring to Google+ Ripples, launched back in October 26, 2011, a feature that will tell business owners how people read and share their content in a very graphical manner. The following infographic is an attempt to provide you with a brief but comprehensive overview of what Google+ Ripples is and what it can do for your business.
The infographic (click to zoom):
What is Google+ Ripples?
Online users can post and share posts and content with other users, enabling business owners and digital marketers to create good brand awareness through members of this social community. Digital marketers may find a summarization of how this content is read or shared a great source of information that will help them in their business. But instead of just presenting data in a standard, tabular or textual manner, Google+ took visualization a step higher with Ripples.
Ripples is a real-time and fully interactive tool that will provide digital marketers an insight of how their content spreads throughout the social media realm. Built as an integral part of Google+, Ripples features each layer as to how it is connected to the original poster which is represented as the center of a big circle (as shown below), ripples, which expand every time a particular engaging content is shared and reshared as it remains connected to the Google+ user who posted the original content.
Full Google+ Ripples Page
(image source: www2013.org/proceedings/p1389.pdf)
To truly appreciate the importance of Google+ Ripples and how it can be used as a digital marketing tool for your business, it would be important to know more about how Google+ Ripples work and how you can take advantage of its features and tools for your business.
How Does Google+ Ripples Work?
The key to the Google+ Ripples system is the visualization: how it presents the downstream layers of shares and reshares in an interactive structure represented by circles or ripples. It provides information about who has shared a particular content or post, presenting it in a graphical manner that radiates outward as content is shared from one Google+ user to the next.
In a nutshell, what Ripples do is to show you in a graphical manner an overview of who are very much interested about your content, interested enough to repost. It will also tell you an insight of the influence this re-poster has with other users by giving you a glimpse of the size of his network. The following provides information on how you can navigate through Google+ Ripples and use the available tools it offers for your own purposes.
Located at every upper right hand area of a particular Google+ post is a small drop-down arrow that shows the key action steps that one can do with the post. Within this selection frame is the “View Ripples” tab which, by simply clicking, will direct you to the main Ripples page.
When you post content, ripples are created and the Google+ Ripples system will show you the extent of how people have re-shared this particular content. You can explore each ripple that your content created, providing you with the information about the online users who re-shared your content.
You can do this by clicking on a name to select a bubble and then zooming in or out of a particular bubble using the slider. By simply hovering over a name, the system will provide you with information about how they re-shared your content and the corresponding characteristics that goes with this re-share. Exploring ripples this way will also allow you to directly add people to your Google+ circle.
Tools You Can Use with Ripples
Aside from providing you with an interactive and graphical overview of how your content is spreading, Google+ Ripples provide other tools that you may find useful for your needs.
The time-lapse is another graphical representation of how your content spreads through time, showing information about who shared your content and the extent of how they shared your content through their own network.
Influencers is a tabulated representation of the top online users who have publicly re-shared your content. From this list, you can now begin to identify the particular user or users who provided the most influence in spreading your content and the extent of how they did it.
Statistics provide a summary of how your content spread in terms of the Average chain length, the longest chain, the number of shares per hour.
This pie chart provides a graphical representation of the languages your influencers are actually using when they shared your content.
How Can You Use Google+ Ripples to Your Advantage?
The graphical representation Google+ Ripples use to represent how you content spreads out may seem like just a fancy way of highlighting statistics. But as a business owner and digital marketer, you can look at the interactive ripples from a different standpoint and may actually use the information you can derive from these ripples specifically for your advantage.
- Google+ Ripples can Help You Identify Brand Ambassadors
Ripples can help you identify your true-blooded fans, online users who are sure to read each of your updates or posts and will most likely share your content through their own networks. These are the people who can provide you with good social signals, influencers who have shared your content in the past and will most likely do it again. Ripples will tell you exactly who these people are, allowing you to show your gratitude for them by sending them thank you notes, an online gift, or a special offer or two.
- Google+ Ripples can Help You Identify Influential Influencers
While brand ambassadors are influencers who you can rely on to share each of your content, these influential influencers on the other hand are, in their own right, leaders and authority figures in your particular niche that already have a good following to begin with. Other online users respect what they have to say or share, and if you become an object of their sharing affection, it will bode well for your content and your brand.
Identifying these influencers will allow you to develop and nurture a special kind of relationship or partnership with them that can benefit both of you as leaders in your own particular niche. You can mutually share each other’s content as, having a history of sharing your content in the first place, these influencers would be willing to work with you in these collaborative efforts that will pose a win-win situation for both of you.
- Google+ Ripples Provides You with a Social Measurement Report
Digital marketers may need a way to measure and provide the statistics and other measurement indices for their branding campaigns through Google+. Ripples can provide you with such information that you can include as part of a comprehensive Google+ performance report for your internal use as a business owner or for your clients as a digital marketer. From the information generated, you can provide useful insights and plan your next course of action towards further improving your social media marketing campaigns.
Google+ Ripples is still evolving and will continue to do so in the next couple of years. Currently, using Ripples can be a good way to identify key influencers and brand ambassadors. These people are vital to the success of your brand awareness campaign, and identifying them will allow you to nurture relationships, strengthen their trust, and create a more dynamic and more viral channel that will allow your content to spread out and reach even more targeted audiences.
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