In his book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us (2008), Seth Godin talks about the human need to belong; to be part of a tribe; to “contribute to (and take from) a group of like-minded people.”
We’ve all felt this need to connect with people who share the same interests and goals. As a college student, belonging to a “tribe” can help you connect with others in your field of study. It can also help when it comes to learning more about career opportunities and available resources, sharing the experiences you have along your college journey, and even in job searching down the road.
Searching for Your Tribe in Google Communities
Google Communities are great places to find a group of people who share one of your interests. At the top of your G+ page, locate the search bar and type in the best keywords for your field of interest. Notice the second section called Communities. Click on one of these results or just hit Enter to be taken to a complete search page where you can filter for Communities. Scroll through the resulting list and find one you like.
Next you’ll want to find out if this Community is a good fit for you. Read the About section to get an overview of it and then scroll through the posts and see if the Community is an active one. If it looks like a good fit, click the Join Community button and then post a hello message to the members.
Circling Your Tribe
Who you “Circle” is one of the most important steps in developing your Google+ tribe. (“Circle”, in case you don’t know, is like when “Friend” someone on Facebook or “Follow” them on Twitter.) When you find a great Community of people in your tribe, Circle them in order to see their other posts easily.
On the Community page, click the See All link in the Members section in the left column, and an interface will open up where you can easily Circle any of the members. Then you can name the Circle anything you want (don’t worry—it won’t be visible to the general public or even to the members of the Circle).
When you Circle someone, they will receive a notification, so just make sure beforehand that your profile contains everything about your career aspirations, college classes, and other important activities you are involved in. That way others can Circle you back and you can start building relationships.
Once you’ve found people to circle and pages to follow, start separating them into Circles so you can post relevant material to just that group of people at a time. Just try to keep the number of Circles you have manageable and memorable, so you can focus on developing your interests and advancing your career or personal brand. (Tip: When you log onto G+, save time by clicking on that Circle name at the top of the newsfeed to just review those posts.)
Other ways to find great Tribe members for your Circles are through the Explore icon, which takes you to the trending posts, and Hangouts, which allow for face-to-face interactions with others.
When it comes to social media, Google+ is one of the most valuable platforms out there for finding like-minded people who can help you develop your interests in college and down the road. For more great tips on how to find your tribe, check out this awesome video playlist: http://bit.ly/GPlusTutorials.