Here are a few thoughts on the value of using quality 'tools' on Google+; starting with, what we would have to do without them.
Imagine an acquaintance wanders up and asks if you knew anyone in their local area, or who could be interested in their area of business.
They seem very pleasant, and after chatting for a little while, you want to connect them with 'good people'.
So you share with them a link to someone's Google+ profile, who you have in your circles.
The business person adds them in (and they become ‘extended circles’ to that person, through your connection).
And depending on their settings, they get a notification that someone added them in.
Note that extended circles is the default setting for Google+ notifications.
Then a little later the business person comes back and says “Love the person you suggested I get to know; we are getting on great!” followed by...“Know any more good people?” And you say, “I’d have to think and do a lot of searching about. Leave it with me."
So you hunt about on Google+, and you find 10 Profiles in about 20 minutes.
This time you add them into a circle and you send it over to them.
Some of these people are not in your circles, you are simply providing the information, for free.
They come back a week later and say “WOW. You find people who area ideal with whom I would like to build relationships. Could you…”
And you dive in and say, “I can’t do any more for you right now as I am too busy on client work.”
They say “What do you do?”
And you say “I help businesses connect with the right people in the best way for them, on the web.”
And they say, “well, couldn’t you do that for me? I’ll pay you for your time…”
You say “I charge $X an hour” and they say:
“Sure! Well worth it.”
You then spend an hour and create a circle of people (for ease of transfer) and send over 50 profiles and pages with people who are perfect for them to connect.
They pay you a $X, and they are delighted.
They then add the circle in, and assuming the business person is operating as a Page not a Profile - the person being added does not receive a notification.
There are several tools available that will not only make it quicker to find the right people with whom to connect, but also they can e.g. filter by criteria that would be far to hard to do by hand.
Well, firstly, people do not get your email address when they add you in.
Secondly, (as mentioned above) you will not receive a message from a Page ‘adding you in’ if they add a whole circle at a time.
Thirdly, if they decided to take the circle instead, add in people one by one (or if the profile list came in that manner) then you will receive a notification you have been added in BUT dependent upon YOUR settings.
i.e. whether you get an email or not (they do not have access to it) will depend on your settings. You'll find your settings here.
The same with whether they can notify you, or not e.g. extended circles is often a way for a spammer to be able to ‘bridge the gap’ between two people and then (as it is the default Google+ setting for several notifications, including +1/recommend) a person may well receive a notification which could be considered as spam.
These are my settings and I receive very few unwanted direct notifications from anyone sharing their content with me (i.e. clicking the 'send an email' check box). If I do, they come from people in my extended circles.
Google+ is a global open network.
You cannot stop people following you, but you can stop people messaging you, interacting on posts etc.
Many people, including myself, have had a significant boost in their numbers by being added to Google's Suggested User List (SUL).
And this can lead to many people that are beyond 'extended circles' simply adding one in.
In a similar way, we recently launched a service to help businesses connect with the right people for them.
The search and discovery method on Google+ is highly time consuming, and tools allow one to quickly ascertain whether e.g. there is a potential group of people within whom a business would like to connect.
As with the SUL, you cannot control who follows you, but who interacts with you, including sending notifications, is very much in your control.
Once more, extended circles is crucial to this - if one of your followers adds in someone, then (assuming your settings are on the default) then you can be notified. So, in this way, we are all responsible for each other's 'notification well being' by choosing who we add into circles.
At Plus Your Business we are always exploring how to help both individuals and businesses make the most of their Google+ experience.
So, please do get in touch about the Academy (below) if you would like to have access to the very latest news, views and tools we are creating for the community.