Creating connections is an integral part of any digital strategy. For the most part, you and I made a connection through a social channel. Channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, or Pinterest.
Even though Google killed off authorship in the search results, I am still a believer in using Google Plus to drive referral traffic.
Not only is Google Plus a nice source for traffic, it is also an excellent website to build meaningful relationships. Unlike Twitter or Pinterest, your profile can provide some great insight into your audience. You are able to provide detailed information about yourself on your “About” page in Google Plus.
Most people (myself included) took some time to really provide details about who we are are. Not only can you cover your background, but you can add employment history and even links to other websites you frequent.
Among these websites listed are typically other social media profiles such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Since I am already connected to someone on a Google Plus, chances are that at they would connect to me other other social sites they have profiles on. Sure, I could manually go through each of my connections and make a list of their social accounts to follow. It would feel a lot like “Where’s Waldo“. You would spend so much time looking at each Google+ profile and seeing where they might have other social media accounts.
But, ain’t nobody got time for that!
Keep reading and I will reveal how to easily create a Google Docs/Microsoft Excel file that shows how to find social media accounts of your Google+ audience.
To accomplish this, we will need access to the following tools:
While there is a paid version of Circloscope (which I use), I believe you can use the free version for the data we need.
The first thing we need to do is to get a list of the users who follow you (or who you follow) on Google+. For this, we will use Circloscope.
For me, Circloscope is the most powerful Google+ tool out there. I won’t go into all the cool things you can do with it, but here is a good starting point.
This is a browser extension that loads right up into Google Chrome or FireFox.
Once it is installed, we need to export the list of users we want to find the social profiles for. Depending on how you have your Google+ Circles setup, you can choose one, some, or all of your circles to pull the data from.
Once you have exported from Circloscope, we will need to modify the file. For some reason, when you create a CSV file from Circloscope, it does not properly generate the Google+ ID of the user if you simply try to open the file in MicroSoft Excel (if you know why, please let me know).
To properly import the CSV data, I like to use Google Docs to import the Circloscope data which creates the correct Google+ profile URLs.
So head on over to Google Drive and click to create a new spreadsheet. Once you blank spreadsheet has is created, click on “File > Import >Upload” and select the text file you exported from Circloscope. For the settings, you can select “Replace Spreadsheet” and “Detect Automatically. Then click “Import.” Once the import is complete, click “Open Now.” Your spreadsheet will show all the data that was exported from Circloscope, including the Google+ ID number.
Now we need to add the a URL to the ID to create a full URL that will pull up the social media links we want to scrape. You might think we are simply going to add the URL “http://plus.google.com/+” to the ID. However, I’m not a huge fan of scraping data from Google owned sites.
So what we will do here is scrape a site that already gets this data from Google+. The site you will be getting the data from is CircleCount.
Therefore, we need to combine the URL for CircleCount and the Google+ ID so that the script we run knows where to get the data from. In your Google Spreadsheet, click on column A and right click > “Insert 1 Left.” This will create a new column. Then in this column, paste this formula:
Provided your ID column is column C, this will create the full URL our script needs to visit for the data. Be sure to drag down the formula for all rows of data.
Next, we need to save this file as a CSV. Simply click on “File > Download As > Comma Separated File (CSV).”
Once the CSV is ready, we can move on to actually getting the social media profile data from Google+. To do this (and automate the process), we are going to use one of my favorite tools, iMacros.
In short, iMacros allows you to do many things, one is automate repetitive tasks. In this case, we are going to use it to visit a list of Google+ profiles and create a CSV of social media profiles for Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Facebook.
By default, your macro will be saved as “#Current.iim.”, you need to right click on the name and select “Rename” to rename it as something else. By default, anytime you click “Record”, the macro will be saved as “#Current.iim”. It is important that you rename it so that you don’t accidentally overwrite it. Also, for this macro to work, we need to be sure it has a .js extension. So a name like “GooglePlus.js” would work.
This script is what tells iMacros what it needs to do. Here are the basic steps:
Before we actually run the script, you will need to move (or save as) your CSV that was created in Google Docs as “Profiles.csv” in your “/iMacros/Datasources” folder. This file is where the iMacros script will look for the usernames to get the data for. This will be the same location as what you used on row 11 of the script. For example, I saved my CSV into “C:\Users\Chris\Documents\iMacros\Datasources”.
Now you are ready to find social media accounts. In Chrome (or FireFox), select your script in the iMacros area and simply click the “Play” button.
I like to open the CSV file in Excel so I can easily sort and filter the data. Of course, you can use Google Docs to do this as well. You can view the raw data, or create a chart to easily see the breakdown of where your audience has social media accounts.
There are several ways to use the newfound social media data you have collected. Most notably, you can see which social channels your connections are already on. With this, you can easily locate their social profile and reach out to connect with them. Since you are already connected with them on Google+, you have a great chance of them connecting with you on other social sites.
One thing you can do specifically for Twitter is load up the profile URLs into certain tools which will then follow these users in somewhat of an automated fashion. If you are really adventurous, you can also use iMacros to do this as well. In fact, I’m confident you can do this with iMacros on Pinterest as well.
If you really wanted to dive into the Twitter profiles, you can easily build a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that will scrape Twitter profile data.
Those are just a few ideas of how to use this social profile data from Google+. Be sure to let me know in the comments how you plan on using this data.