Amanda DiSilvestro

Google+ Ripples: How To Make Them Work for You

13th Mar 2013 Social Media 3 minutes to read

Google Plus RipplesAmanda DiSilvestro looks at Google+ Ripples and why most marketers are missing a great way to gain fascinating insights from their fans. 

In some ways, Google+ is Google’s version of Facebook— they look and feel very similar at first glace. For example, comment streams run down the center, groups are on the left and friend suggestions are on the right, and chat windows appear in the bottom corner. However, the further you dive into the network the easier it is to see that there are some significant differences as well. One of those differences is the free tool Google+ offers called Google+ Ripples.

A Recap: How Google+ Ripples Work

Although ripples have been available to Google+ users since October 2011, many people still miss this option. Fortunately, the concept is quite easy to understand and it’s never too late to get started.

Ripples are what their name implies: It allows you to view the ripple effect of a post. It lets you see where a post has gone since it went live on the web. The information is displayed in a visually stunning array of bubbles that branch out to showcase who shared the post with whom. In essence, it resembles a pretty science experiment. Below is a screenshot of an example ripple:

Example ripple

Below the visual bubble picture are helpful statistics that break down the information. There are three categories:

  1. The influencers – Shows you who the main sharers are as well as how many times they have shared.
  2. Statistics – Shows you how the post has publicly spread via chain lengths; e.g. average / longest.
  3. Languages – Shows you in which languages the post was spread, breaking down the actual numbers in English, Japanese, and so on.

You can even watch the spread of the ripple effect by moving a time bar to go backwards and forwards in time watching the bubbles bloom onto the screen as well as a graph showing the high and low peaks of those that shared the post. Below is a screenshot of just that:

Watch the spread of this post

You can also interact with the bubbles by zooming in and out which reveals the names and comments (if any) of those who shared. Furthermore, you have the option to check out analytics and determine how you can gain more ripples for your content that you share publically (private posts do not spark ripples). Overall Google+ Ripples is not only visually stunning but it is also easy to use and as mentioned above, free! You can learn more about the specifics in a post I wrote on Search Engine Journal.

How Your Company Can Use Ripples In 2013

So now that you know what it is, how can you use it? Google+ Ripples can be an important tool for you because it can help you identify who major influencers are in your industry in order to share your information with those influencers and boost your search results. A few ways you can use this feature include:

  • View Ripples – At the top right hand corner in the drop down hit “View Ripples” on any post in which you would like to learn more about who is doing the sharing. You will quickly see who the major influencers are by the numbers they have shared with.
  • Share with the major influencers by way of someone else – Use what you have learned to your advantage by finding a way to connect with someone who may share your posts with those you have identified as a major influencer.  You will easily be able to identify who originally shared information and can contact them and begin a networking relationship.
  • Promotion – Having your posts shared by those you consider a key influencer is an important approach in today’s marketing. Google+ allows you to identify who the opinion leaders and industry experts in a given area are as well as a chance to network your way to that person. Along the way you will be sharing with other circles you were not in originally and all the while growing your search engine results in the process.

Google+ is a very powerful ‘information network’, a place where millions of people go to connect with others that share their interests. Therefore, if an influential person with a large, engaged audience mentions you or links to your content in their posts, the potential is great. Have fun watching your bubbles grow!

The views expressed in this post are those of the author so may not represent those of the Koozai team.

Image Source:

Vector Colourful Water Ripples by BigStock

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