The built-in Circle feature of Google+ gives all of us a new way to provide specialty information to customers who want it.
In case you are not aware of how Google+ works yet, let's explain that a Google+ Circle is the terminology and process of organizing your friends, family, and customers into specific groups. The information you post to Google+ can then be shared with the public or with specific Circles so only those Circle members can see it.
If you are interested in the greatest SEO value, then all your Google+ Page posts need to be shared to the "Public." But to create a personalized experience you will need to create a special, personalized experience for your +Page followers. Since Circles allow you to group followers of your Page into smaller audiences, you can then share specific messages with specific groups to create that personalized experience.
For example, you could create a Circle containing people who have a birthday in December. Then on December 1st you would offer the December Circle members a special birthday offer, much like the same offer you would send via email or snail mail.
Of course that example shows you how you can deliver future content to people who you newly organize into Circles, but that's only half of the power of Circles. Any content you publish to a Circle today (articles, photos, discounts, etc.) will be visible to people you add to that Circle in the future. It's like creating a library of hidden content on your +Page that becomes visible only when you grant Circle membership to someone.
So far we're giving you some high level theory, so let's put this into specific use. We mentioned December birthdays so let's continue with that example.
On your +Page you need to create 12 empty Circles:
Once created you then go to your Stream page and "Share what's new..." In this case you want to create a post saying "Please comment here and tell us what month you were born in. We will send you a gift via Google+ the next time your birthday comes around." Share this to your public stream and go back and read the comments every once in a while.
Each time someone comments with their birth month, you need to add that person to the appropriate Circle. Continue to post this same question every few months. As your list of +Page members, grow you will continue to organize everyone into months.
At the beginning of each month you would simply "Share" a new post that says something like:
Come visit our online/local store to take advantage of this special offer in honor of your birthday this month. Simply use this XYZ123 code at checkout or print this and bring it into the store on your next visit.
_Special conditions: Offer valid this month only, not to be combined with any other discount or offer. Offer not valid on purchases of Pandora or loose diamonds, etc._
You will want to "Lock this post" so the members cannot share it and you will want to "Disable Comments." Both of these options can be set while you are composing the post. Look for the little light gray drop down arrow in the same box where you select the "December Birthdays" circle. If you forget to activate the Lock/Disable settings before you click the green SHARE button you can edit them from your Stream.
Did you notice the asterisk (*) on each side of the "Happy Birthday" in the example above? How about the underscore (_) before the words "Special Conditions" and then again after "diamonds, etc.?"
The asterisk and underscore are methods to format your text. The asterisk is use to *bold* words and the underscore is used to _italicize_ words. This little formatting will provide an extra special touch to the message and call attention to the important special conditions.
In tomorrow's Daily Golden Nugget we will share another example of how to organize your Circles in relation to photo albums of your products. We can't wait to tell you; it's pretty cool!
Another thing that's kind of cool is that, as we were composing this Nugget, Google announced that they intend to activate the multiple-admin feature for page management before the end of December 2011 instead of sometime in Q1 2012. They are listening to user feedback.
We listen to feedback too, so give us some!