Here are a few things to keep in mind while making the switch.
Invite your friends.
I’m talking about anyone that deserves an invite. This isn’t Facebook so don’t be afraid to invite family members. Unlike Facebook, on Google+ you have full control over who sees what you post from the moment you post it. Your parents and family members do not have to see everything (or anything) you post.
And let’s give special attention to inviting any girl friends because Google+ is still only about 12% female and I’m starting to feel out numbered over there.
Circles are way more relevant in Google+ than your lists or networks are on Facebook. Since you are just starting to organize your connections made on Google+, think carefully about the makeup of your circles. I would suggest a circle of your closest friends, one of second level friends (mine is literally titled “2nd Tier”), the rest of your acquaintances, coworkers, and then one with family members.
You can also arrange circles to replace “Groups” over in Facebookland. Any organizations or clubs that you used to communicate with through Facebook groups can now be done (seemingly) openly, by sharing with only that circle.
There are no “walls” on Google+, and the makers say there is no need for them when you can choose who sees what you share. This is, again, why circles are so important.
Bring pictures, but leave the duck faces behind.
There is a new Google Chrome extension to help with your transition. Called Start Google+, the extension lets you import Facebook pictures over to Google+. But before you start importing like a mad man, try not to ruin Google+ with all your duck face pictures.
Facebook is starting to get a little over populated with duck faces almost exactly like when MySpace was takenover by the kissy-face-peace-sign-pic (and the word “pic”). Let’s not spoil Google+ with all those drunkie pictures that are so prominent in Facebookland.
MySpace was taken over by junior high schoolers, Facebook was the college wave, and now Google+ is the new adult social networking world (in a much different way than previous attempts like Linkedin) so keep it classy people.
Schedule a Hangout.
One of Plus’s best features is the Hangout. The Hangout option lets you video chat with anyone else on Google+. But not in a Chatroulette way. When you start a Hangout, you make it available to one of your circles. Then any friend in that circle can join in the video chat. Soon you will have as many as 10 close friends chatting it up face to face.
This is a huge advantage that Google+ can hold over Facebook’s head. Try it out and you will be convinced Plus is pretty great. The Business Insider gives some other suggestions of Hangout uses you would have never thought of. Holding a meeting or press conference are two of the more relevant ideas.
Here is a quick guide book from the Google+ team to help with specific tasks on Plus, in case you need more guidance. Plus is in a league of its own right now and, once more people join, might actually be a threat to Facebook (contrary to my previous thoughts). And please, let us know your reactions to this new breed of social networking.