Are you one of the many millions who have recently jumped ship from Facebook in order to try out Google's new attempt at a social network? If so, you're probably wondering what you can do to make the most of your experience with the service and if there are any tools that will let you get your notifications quickly and efficiently. There are several third party apps available and Google's own Google+ for Android is competent, so check out this list of tips and tricks you can use to make sure you have the best Google+ experience possible.

1. Surplus Chrome Extension


One of the downsides of the new Google+ notification system is that the bar doesn't follow you every where you go. Thankfully you can remedy this by downloading the Surplus Chrome Extension. This extension will alert you to any notifications no matter where you are on the web.

2. Finding New People To Follow


Since Google+ is an open platform, it's always a good idea to explore who you might want to follow and add to your acquaintances circle. Check Google+'s list of people who have recently followed you who you haven't added your own circles. Use the search to find new people by name or simply type a hobby or interest like "photography".

3. Thumbnail Selection


When adding a link to your Google+ feed, it doesn't always find the right image on the page that correlates to the link you're sharing.

You can change this by hovering over the image and clicking the arrows to rotate through the available images.

Likewise if you don't want an image to accompany your link at all, you can delete it by clicking the X.

4. Show +1'S


The Google +1 button has taken the web by storm, but the default settings on your Google+ account don't show these +1s to your friends.

Change this by clicking 'Edit Profile' and then clicking the +1 tab.

From there, you can choose to display everything you've given a +1 on your profile.

5. Google+ Integration


The biggest problem of joining a new social network is the adoption rate. While you may enjoy it, your friends may not. Therefore, you can't give up your Facebook and Twitter account if you want to stay in touch with them. Thankfully, Publish Sync for Chrome makes this easy, as it adds checkboxes to Google+, Facebook, and Twitter that allows you to select which networks it should push updates to. This is a must have for people who can't switch social networks without losing hundreds of friends and their updates.

With invites being released globally, more users are signing up and experiencing what Google has to offer. Google+ could be the futures leading social networking platform, which should not be a huge surprise as Google is a mega giant in the online realm.