Optimize your Page and Profile
Google+ Profiles and Pages are your key to establishing an authoritative identity online. First go here. Add a decent high-res photo and cover image. Fill out the "About" tab and add some links.
If you have a business, or brand and haven't created a Page yet, then go here to get started. Same rules apply as Profiles. Decent photos and fill out all the information.
Post something daily. A no-brainer, right? Then go do it. Be active to appear active. Activity creates engagement and visibility. Simple!
Google+ is made for big, good looking posts. Check out our video on this. Want some more examples? Here you go.
If you have a blog, or write any content online you'll need to get your Google+ Authorship sorted out. Why? AuthorRank is shaping up to be a big thing and you can already get your face in search results and start claiming your content right now.
Get started at plus.google.com/authorship
The latest shiny thing on Google+. Communities are where much of the action will be during the early part of 2013 and you really want to be involved.
Create your own Community if you want (be prepared to put the work in), but more importantly, make sure that you're active in Communities that reflect your interests/work/skills.
You can check out our G+ Resource Community here. and get started making your own Community here.
Got a webcam? Mic? No excuse not to jump on board this game changer from Google that has left all the "other" social networks scrambling to catch up. From private sessions, to conference calls and even broadcasting your own TV show live on air this is a must use feature to get ahead of the game.
Get started at plus.google.com/hangouts
Get some videos up and hook up YouTube to Google+. You can display a YouTube tab on your Profile page now so fill it up with some relevant content. Videos look great as Google+ posts, so it's an awesome way to create content and boost engagement on Google+.
Communities may have changed the game, but you still need to organise your Circles to "improve your inbound" (h/t +Robert Scoble) and build your network. Go here and start building useful Circles (topical, local, etc)
iOS, or Android, smartphone, or tablet, 2013 is going to be a huge year for mobile. Make sure that you're keeping up by both using Google+ on mobile and optimizing your posts for mobile viewing.
Get the apps here google.com/mobile/+
Don't forget about Google+ Local! If you have a brick and mortar location, it's essential that you get your Google+ Local page setup. Go here to start.
As a Google+ user you can also get more involved by doing Reviews.
Also relatively new is Google+ Events. These are a great way to promote your events, both online and off. Try combining Hangouts with Events to really make the most of this feature.
Comments / +1's / Reshares
Google+ isn't just about your own posts! Make sure you're active on other people's posts as well. +1 the stuff you like, reshare great posts and make comments. Make sure you're doing this daily. It doesn't take long to do and the return on your time investment is awesome.
Use Google+ Ripples to track influence and shares, or check out some of the awesome third party tools like +NOD3x, +All my + and +CircleCount. You can never have enough data!
And... that should do to get you started! Good luck and have a great 2013. If you've got any more suggestions, we'd love to hear them.
Need more help with your Google+? Follow us on Google+ for tips! You can also check out our Google+ Coaching and Training for an extra boost.