I use my circles and the following of profiles feature for:
A. Getting interesting content in my Home stream, no matter if the ones I follow have circled me or not, unless they only post to "circles". I don't expect anyone to circle me back.
B. I have a lot of Finns (nearly a thousand) in one large circle which I also use for posting in Finnish. On my Finnish page +Gplussa . I have bite-sized circles of several thousand Finns for circle sharing purposes so that newcomers may find people to interact with, in their own language.
C. Communities have replaced Circles in many ways: Starting a community and engaging with people around a certain topic does not count towards the 5000 limit. I own a Finnish "Suomi" community with 20 categories about all sorts of things and an English language "Google+ Helper" community which is all about Google+, with categories of helpful posts for Goobies and old hands alike.
Community posts in my Home stream enrich my Google+ experience and helps me focus on topics I wish to see and learn about. The subscription circles are a good way to get notifications from those profiles or pages you wish to hear from the most.
How do you communicate?
Do you post in Public or to your Circles only, or a mix of the two?
Communities and circles are two different things
When you post something in a Public community, those posts can be seen by all the members in that community and also by anyone who checks the community, or searches for something on Google+ or Google and you post comes up in the search. Only community members can comment or share community posts, the non-members can only give Plusones to the posts.
If you have chosen to show the community posts on your profile, anyone looking at your profile will see those Public community posts.
How ever if people in your circles are not members of the community, they don't see those posts in their home stream. Only if they look at your profile or the community itself.
If the members have Community notifications on they will get an alert every time someone posts in a community, no matter what relationship they have with the members of the said community.
If they have chosen to receive posts from that community in their Home stream, they will see some of the community posts if they are members. Circles don't come into this at all.
Update for Communities: Display them on your profile!
Inviting people to your Community
When you invite people to a community from under the Gear icon, you get a post draft with "Add names, circles or email addresses" in the share box.
There is no invitation list as such. Sending a invitation creates a notification but only the people allowing you to notify them get the invites.
Sending those can be spammy, so I would rather "Share" the community on your own stream unless you are absolutely sure that the recipients wish to be invited.
Google may limit the number of invitations if people report them as spam.
Do you have to respond to all the interactions, all the time?
I'd say it all depends on the line you take on different social media platforms.
And on the amount of people following you.
Why do you Tweet or post on FB or Google+?
Which platform do you prefer and why?
I shared a link to +Peter G McDermott article and the post received very interesting comments, take a look:
The shares of this post have good intros too: I do like this one from +Armida Evony:
I believe the reason people follow other people on G+ is to find engagement, courtesy and interesting content, not necessarily in that order. Obviously there are exceptions, if someone is a high level Google executive they can post the most boring pictures in the universe with one line of text, and will get a zillion plusses. Why? No idea. Maybe because they think he will increase their Google Influence score or something? Good luck with that.
In my opinion, engaging with your followers and treating everybody with equal courtesy (except obvious trolls who should be consistently blocked), is just as important as posting interesting stuff. And if you drop the ball and start ignoring people that you used to engage with, they will wander off. Rightly so.
My Twitter is mostly for sharing information. That's a choice I've made.
I reply to questions but not to retweets on mentions. It's like thanking everyone separately for giving your post a +1: That I don't do either.
I do like to connect and engage on Google+ as there are no 140 character limits:
Sometimes replying to a question or a comment on Twitter becomes ridiculous and very bad language! :-)
Facebook... Well: My friends are not into the same topics as I am.
Scuba, nature / flower photography or Google+.
The best response I get from a FB post is when I post a photo of myself - say what?
As a shy Finn that's not what I want to do often...
Google+ is my favourite way and place of engaging. It's my window to the world.
What do you think:
Are your experiences or strategies different from mine?
Don't ruin the Internet!
Do you want to have an audience of a million people who ignore everything you say that isn’t about how to get an audience of a million people?Do read the whole article: Social Media “Experts”: Please stop ruining social media
If you said yes, congratulations! You’re a Social Media “Expert”! If instead, you actually want an audience that’s interested in you, your product, or your service, then you need to avoid these people and their “systems” like the plague. Real fans come from you putting a real message out there, not participating in mass forward and link share schemes, and real fans are actually interested in what you’re sharing.
The difference between real fans and contrived social media follows is why I can have as many plusses, likes, comments, and shares on a post as someone with twenty times my audience size; the people who follow me are, for the most part, actually interested in what I have to say.
More good reading:
Become a great Google+ Community member by +Paul Maplesden
15 people ruining social media by +Marc Ensign
What I Learned On The Way To 3 Million Google+ Circles by +Mike Elgan
Online audiences of value are earned, not gotten by +David Kutcher
Shared circles and circle tips on Google+ by +Jaana Nyström
How to attract an audience on Google+ by +Gplus Expertise