If you’re on Google Plus and you’re not using one of its best features Ripples yet then you’re missing out on a fantastic way to build your community, create leads, and generate traffic.

Over the past couple of years I’ve heard on several occasions people tell me that every now and again they hop on Google Plus and give it a whirl but can’t ever seem to get anything going. First, let me be straight with you, it doesn’t happen over night. You reap what you sow. Go join an already established community, be awesome and helpful, build relationships then watch your community thrive once you start using Google+ Ripples.

What is Google+ Ripples?

Google+ Ripples creates an interactive graphic of the public shares of any public post or URL on Google+ to show you how it has rippled through the network and help you discover new and interesting people to follow.

The image above is a ripple that was created when I shared the article 124 Pieces of Advice You Need To Read Before You Start A Business . As you can see it was a popular post and was shared publicly over 44 times. That’s a lot of opportunities to thank, discuss, and engage people!

Note: Google+ Ripples only shows public shares. This article has been shared over 130 times on Google+ but the remaining shares that are not shown here were shared privately.

How Do I See My Google+ Ripples

At the top of your Google+ update you’ll see an arrow facing down. Click on it. You’ll see “View Ripples” at the bottom of this drop down menu.

Note: If your article has not been shared yet then “View Ripples” won’t show up since there has not been any “ripples”.

Once you’re in Ripples you can see all the people/brands who have shared your update. This is where the fun begins.

First, notice that some of the share circles are within your own larger share circle. These are the people who have shared your post directly. The more people who share from your direct post the larger your circle will become. The people outside of your circle are the people who found that post on their own or through someone else and shared it publicly.

  • People in your circle who shared – These people you’re most likely already connected to since they shared the post directly from your post. Regardless this is a great time to view their reshared post, +1 it, and make a comment. They’ll appreciate you saying thanks and adding to the conversation.
  • People outside your circle who shared – These people you may or may not be already connected with. You may want to consider circling these people since they felt compelled to share the same content as you. If it was content you created then you should definitely circle them since they could potentially be fans, clients, or a great resource for you.

In the above image you can see that Marco Terry shared my article so when I hover over his share circle his Google+ box pops up. I can quickly add him to one of my circles and/or click “view post” so that I can easily interact with Marco.

Make Time For Ripples

If you only have a short amount of time for Google+ in your day then you’ll definitely want to spend a moment or two checking in on your ripples.


These are the people who are sharing your content. These are people who have said “Hey, I see value in you”. Begin nurturing these relationships. If you do this with genuine interest these people are most likely going to keep sharing your content and you’ll not only cement that relationship but you’ll begin overlapping with whatever community they’ve built. This is where you can build a strong foundation for your Google+ community.

Here is a great tip from Mark Traphagen talking about one of the benefits of using Ripples:

Take a moment to click the “view post” link after each one and leave a brief “Thanks for re-sharing this!” comment…Because I left a comment on those re-shares, I get notifications when others comment there. By entering into those “satellite” conversations, I help reinforce my brand (i.e., my name) as an authority in the area of the original post across a far wider reach of readers than the original post would ever get to.

What If Nobody Is Sharing My Content To Begin With?

The hard truth is one of these or a combination of them:

  • You’re not in enough circles yet so not that many people are seeing your updates. Try joining some Google+ communities to find like-minded people to grow your circles.
  • You’re not posting content that is shareable. Either the quality is too low or you don’t have a strong handle on whom your target audience is and what they like.
  • You’re not active enough to get traction.
  • You’re too selfish. You never share content from other people. Don’t make it about you all the time. Be helpful and provide value to others.

Focus more on:

  • Finding like-minded people and +1ing their content and sharing it. Go the extra mile and visit their blog and leave a well thought out comment.
  • Spend time figuring out the type of content that your audience likes.
  • If you’re feeling crazy join communities that host hangouts. You can cement relationships very quickly this way.

The Value In Google+ Ripples:

Trust is the number one currency on Google+. You build trust by providing value to the community and being present. You can easily do both of those things by using the Ripples feature, which will lead to people trusting you, which will lead to a strong community.

The more I utilize Ripples to stay in touch and meet new people the stronger my community grows. I promise once you get a little momentum going and begin utilizing Ripples to its fullest you’ll see your community ramp up very quickly.

Great Google+ Resources to Help You Get Started:

Google Plus: The Definitive Getting Started Guide

Google+ Success: What Your Business Needs to Know About Google+

6 Ways Brands Can Leverage Google Plus Communities

Tips for Hosting and Attending Google Plus Hangouts

How to Build Trust on Google Plus

Are you using Google+ Ripples to increase your engagement on Google+? Let me know your tips in the comments.