Google+ has been the talk of the town for at least the last year, but now more than ever people are jumping into that pool head first. I’ve heard many users talk about the lack of tools available or an open API for Google+. One reason so many people enjoy using other networks, like Twitter and Facebook, is because of the opportunity to use third-party tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and IFTTT. Well friends, don’t fret! I’m here to help YOU! Below are 6 awesome tools and extensions to use for Google+.
This may be the most popular Chrome extension for Google+ because it allows people to schedule posts the way you can on Hootsuite and Buffer. You have the ability to schedule a re-share from right inside your Google+ stream or schedule posts with the extension, shown below, from any website you’re on. Do Share allows you to share on your personal profile, Google+ Page or within a Google+ Community. For a deeper look at Do Share, check out Peg Fitzpatrick’s awesome article!
Another sneaky tip for Do Share is the ability to create Polls. When you open the Do Share screen, unclick the check box and a poll will open. This allows you to ask a question and fill in answers, allowing people to +1 their selection. Do Share also disables comments when creating a poll so people will focus on the answers you provide. The poll option can be shared the same as any other post, instantly or at a later time.
I first learned of Hangout Canopy a couple weeks ago, from a Google+ rockstar named Martin Shervington. When you install the Chrome extension, you’ll be able to click it to see who is currently hanging out on Google+. It’ll show you who is hanging out in public and limited Hangouts. You’ll also have the option to be notified when certain people you select are currently hanging out.
Now this tool is excellent during Hangouts because it is easy on the eyes. What it does is it swaps the filmstrip (panel of other viewer’s screens) from the bottom to the top. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but it is great because you are no longer looking down during hangouts and instead looking more into the camera. Below is an image pulled from the Poonvis download page
I’ve used this tool for almost a year now and have found it very helpful. It allows you to combat spam by clicking the Nuke Comments button within a post, which will remove the comment and give you the option to permanently block that user and report for spam. It works perfect for users who receive many comments per post. It doesn’t currently work for Communities, although I suspect that is on their to-do list. It does, however, work for Google+ Pages.
This is a great tool because it works as an extension within your Google+ as well as a standalone website for your profile. CircleCount is mainly about analytics, but also offers different options as a bonus. I don’t know everything available about this extension, only from what I learned playing around with it, but Google+ rockstar Ronnie Bincer gives a great breakdown here.
When you go to the site and check your dashboard, you will get a breakdown of every post since your very first one, a graph of stats by day/week, breakdown of followers and frequency of gains/losses, and show you your posts with the most shares, comments or +1′s.
The new update will align your Communities in alphabetical order. Although simple, it can be helpful for those in multiple Communities.
3. Favorite Posts
When you install this extension, across every post you see will have 3 buttons. To view Ripples of the post, Favorite that post or Add Shared Circle. When you favorite a post, you can then go to circlecount.com and check out all the posts you’ve clicked to favorite.
I love this option! When you hover over someone’s name you’ll be able to see statistics about them such as when exactly their last post was, number of followers and rank within CircleCount, and average stats for their latest posts, which will give you a sense of how active and/or popular a user is. A new update allows you to hover over any user’s name and it will show you an arrow, which tells you if that user is following you back or not.
This is one of my favorite extensions, which I recently discovered this past week. It allows you to receive, see and act on notifications for all Google+ Communities that you’re in. To make it even more useful, when you go to the settings for this extension it will allow you to choose which specific Communities you want to receive notifications for.
When you click the icon in the top right corner, you’ll be able to see the notifications for each Community. Once you click an option you’ll be able to see all posts for that Community within the dropdown box of this extension, which will then allow you to click on a post and go directly to that page. To get fresh notifications each time, you must click the “Mark as all read” option from the dropdown menu.
What did you think of these? Please let me know your thoughts or questions in the comments below and I look forward to seeing you on Google+! Feel free to Circle me here. That is it for now, I hope this helps you on your journey through the Google+ world.