Circle centricAnother guide to Circlecentric Marketing on Google Plus

In sales training it is common to hear “it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission” yet, having followed Seth Godin’s principles of Permission Marketing since 2001, I believe that permission is a great way of forming/deepening relationships.

There is a striking contrast between serving users content “cold” and providing them with a service they’ve actually requested. The former, at best, has a lower conversion rate. At worst, it is quite annoying. Otherwise…

Why would you want to build up ‘notify’ circles?

Whether it is on a profile or a Page, using is the methodology of building up ‘opt in’ circles once people have begun to ‘circle’ will help you deepen relationships. In turn, deeper relationships move people from the outer toward the inner circles, the ones where you can have ‘sales conversations’.

Also, I have done tests on this and found people posts which are sent with a notification regularly have a higher initial levels of engagement, especially in their readiness to share posts onwards and into their network. This amplification effect can really help your content go viral.

In practical terms, notifications will bring awareness to a post where the stream alone can lead to things being missed. In other words, it is a way of gaining attention. It works, trust me.

How to build up your own opt-in notification Circles

Tip #1

When you experience new “engagement” from someone on Google+ you can add them into a circle called “new engagers”. And what constitutes “engagement” will, of course, be different for everyone. If you are experiencing this one a page e.g. people +1ing posts, you can do the same.

So, worth noting you can also set up different circles of people who have +1d, commented, shared etc. and treat each differently.

Tip #2

When this reaches about 50 people you can notify them directly by selecting that circle to send it to and checking the box for “notify by email about this post” – this sends them a direct message. But note, this option is not always available on Pages, so you will want to do a test that the email option is available per circle you build. Notification plus email will be powerful, but use carefully.

Tip #3

Also, you can let them know that you will be adding this circle to a larger “Engagers” circle (or whatever label you may like to add) which will be shared publicly and ask them if they would like to be included. This is very powerful as people like being added to circles.

Now, please note, people may not want to be put in a publicly shared circle when your business is selling a product or service that is ‘sensitive’, but on the whole when people are ‘fans’ they are happy to be put in a circle.

Tip #4

At the same time you may like to ask whether they would like to receive direct notifications from you on e.g. a daily or weekly basis i.e. I ask them if they would like to “opt in”.

Or you could use a ‘polling’ message as shown in this video:

You can apply this method to say e.g. “Please notify me daily” in the first comment, “Please notify me weekly” in the second and so on. People then vote with their +1 and you can ‘collect them up’!

Tip #5

Then, having done this information gathering, you can add these people to a “notifications circle”, or a grade/type of circle that you have as part of your broader Profile or Page strategy. You may well add them along with people that have already said “yes, please”, or you may start new ones. This decision could be influenced by, for instance, how much time it takes a new engager to move through your sales cycle to a point of potential sale. It will really depend though on your business.

Also, as you may well know, you can only notify directly 100 people directly using this method, so…

In time I will look at building up a second circle that “holds” people that say “yes” but I don’t have room for at present.

From there your intention can be to follow who is active within the original circle and adjust to find the 100 people if there are people who are no longer active, assuming that I am looking for 100 positive interactions.


Some people really won’t mind receiving notifications and doing this process may seem laborious. That’s because it is. If you make that extra effort to respect people’s ‘notification’ preferences then you will stand out from the crowd. If you disrespect it, people will simply ‘mute’ (so they don’t receive them any more) or ‘block’ you, and then you are left out in the cold.

Whichever way you choose, will be your way. I have enormous experience on my Profile and of Pages of applying this approach and people so often tell me how they find it unusually refreshing. Unusual and refreshing sounds good to me!

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