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Social media has evolved quickly over the past five years. Services like Facebook have transformed from places where people looked at pictures or posted friendly messages into a service where users can listen to music, play games, share their location with friends, or even buy and sell things. Facebook users spend an average of 16 hours per week on the website — more than any other site on the Internet.

Google has recognized the enormous opportunities presented by social media and are attempting to steal some of Facebook’s share of the market. They have tried to lure users away from Facebook by offering innovative new services and a vastly different paradigm of how people can relate to social media.

How is Google+ Different?
Google has tried to re-conceptualize how people think about their friends. With Facebook, friends are treated all the same: friends from your hometown, college, and work are thrown together. While this has its advantages, it presents a problem when trying to share things with friends. What if you want to share a photo with your college friends that you don’t want your work friends to see?

Google+ solves this problem by introducing “Circles.” Users put their friends into groups (called “circles”) and then choose whether to share content with the whole world, only users in your circles, or with just selected circles. This creates an excellent opportunity for Google+ authorship by writers and public figures: they can choose to share messages with the entire world, instead of requiring members to opt-in to view an author’s content as they have to do on Facebook.

Google+ Authorship Strategies
Authors that are trying to improve their reach can bypass, by using Google+ in savvy new ways. To draw new users into following on Google+, advertise your presence on Google+ on other social media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Foursquare. This will help convert followers on other services into followers of your Google+ feed.

Next, make sure that all posts are shared with “Everyone” instead of sharing with particular circles. If you share with a circle, it will not be available to anyone who stumbles upon your Google+ feed. If posts are shared with “Everyone” then new readers who come to the site through other sources will still be able to see the posts.

Improving Viewer Traffic on Google+
Google has made it easier than ever to drive new viewers to a Google+ profile. One of the ways it does this is by making the public contents of a file fully searchable on Google. As long as a post is marked “Share with Everyone” on Google+, its contents will appear in a Google search. For instance, if you are a marketing consultant, someone searching for “the best small business marketing tips” may see a post with that keyword come up in their search results on Google.

Another way to find new viewers is by adding other relevant users to your own circles. For example, create a circle called “Other Professionals” and add any colleagues who write about the same topics. If someone adds one of those users to their circles, your name is more likely to come up as someone they are recommended to add as well.

Finally, be sure to comment on others’ posts, especially if they are other experts in the same field. When users read those posts, they are likely to see your comment and click through to your Google+ profile if they like what you have to say. Commenting frequently on others’ posts is a proven way to generate new viewers!

Nisha represents a site called