Using the Google+ Ripples Feature to Identify Key Influencers
With the launch of Google+ pages marketers have become even more interested in how to best spread their messaging more effectively across the unknown territory of Google+. One way of helping explore the impact of a profile's or page's marketing efforts is by examining the Ripples per post.
Social Influencers via Ripples
Ripples is a feature that was launched a week or two before Google+ pages, but is important nevertheless. With any post, at this time limited to posts that are widely shared, you can see who and how the particular piece of content is being shared on Google+.
Simply click the the down arrow next to any post published by yourself or others located on the top right hand corner of the content. This menu allows you to perform a few functions, one of which allows you to view Ripples.
From here you can view who publicly shared this particular post and then the chain of events that occurred from the initial share. In the example above, the Dali Lama posted and this is the ripple effect his content created by the other users sharing the same content. You can see who initially shared it from the Dali Lama's profile, followed by the people who shared from the initial sharers. The main ripple is from the Dali Lama, followed by smaller ripples of those who shared the content and then followed by larger ripples of people who initially shared the content that was then re-shared by members of their own audience.
This is helpful in two ways when it comes to identifying the key influencers of your personal profile or your page. First, you can identify trends among the people who are consistently sharing the content you're sharing with your audience. You can see which of the people re-sharing your content have the most influence among their audience, identifying trends and acting accordingly. Changing your tactics to suit these particular influencers or brand advocates can help your content reach a much wider audience.
Secondly, the Ripples tool is extremely useful in helping you identify the social influencers of your competitors. This research can be done similar to competitive link analysis in SEO. In your SEO efforts you want to observe your online competitors link profiles, to learn which valuable websites are linking to them. You'll in turn want to contact some of these websites to link to your website because you have similar quality content and the more quality links to your website the better. Same idea when it comes to Google+, except your hunting for your competitors influencers not links. In the end, influencers help generate links to your profile, but the most important part is that you'll want to attempt to attract the same valuable influencers to become a part of your audience and help spread your content far and wide.
Brian Honigman is a freelance writer, content marketer and social media consultant focused on strengthening relationships with brands, startups and their customers. He is also an active contributor to a number of digital marketing publications like the Huffington Post, Mashable, Social Media Examiner, Business Insider and others. Follow him on Twitter at @BrianHonigman and on See complete profile
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