Your Circles page displays your current and suggested connections. When you first arrive on this page, Google will already have displayed a number of Top Suggestions — these are the people the company recommends that you add to your Circles.
The Find People feature — which can be accessed along the left side of the page — lets you search for specific individuals, organizations, or brands. What’s great about this is that you can drag someone that’s already in one of your Circles to the Find People box and Google will provide you with related suggestions.
Another great management tip is to filter results between the people in your Circles and those that have already added you to their Circles, but haven’t been added to any of yours yet. Google+ also makes it easy for you find new connections through your address book. You can connect your Gmail, Yahoo! or Hotmail accounts and discover who’s already on Google+ and invite those that are not.
Unofficial Google+ Recommended Users
Although the site is in no way affiliated with Google, Recommended Users provides you with a hand-picked list of Google+ members worth adding to your Circles. The service lets you search for people based on topics that you’re interested in — such as community managers, journalists, and so on.
For example, if you’re looking for bloggers, just click on its category to see results. You can easily add an individual to your Circles by clicking the Add to Circles button below his or her image. Additionally, the service welcomes suggestions in case someone has been left off of a list or if you have an idea for a new list.
For years Twitter members have been highlighting their favorite tweeters by using the hashtag #FollowFriday. Google+ has unofficially adopted a similar tactic where individuals add #circlesunday to a post recommending other Google+ members. This not only helps you find people to follow, but it gives you a chance to go into detail about why you’re recommending someone — unlike Twitter, which limits you to 140 characters.
(This site no longer exists)
FindPeopleOnPlus is a great source for finding people on Google+. One feature that sets it apart from other tools is that you can sign in with your Twitter or LinkedIn accounts to see which of your contacts have already joined Google+.
The service also has a massive people directory that you can search by keyword. You can narrow down your searches by category — such as brands, schools, occupations and so on. After your first batch of results, you can refine them even further and filter by gender, age range, verified status, and more.
One of the best ways to find new people to connect with is by going directly to the source. Google+ has an active community, so why not ask some of your existing contacts who they are Circling? Once you’ve created a few Circles, consider sharing some of the more public ones with your community — chances are they’re looking for new and interesting people to connect with as well.
[Image credit: topgold]
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.