Ten Hard Lessons About Growing In Google Plus

T his article offers ten simple Google Plus tips help you get started with building a true Google Plus presence and will help those that ...

Google Plus
This article offers ten simple Google Plus tips help you get started with building a true Google Plus presence and will help those that recognize the possible mistakes they are making. Some of Google Plus Tips seem like common sense while a couple of the lessons may force you to think a little. The ten lessons here reflect the top ten complaints I see within the Google Plus community as a whole.

Before we get started, I’m directing this post at those that need to read it so don’t take offence that I keep saying “you” throughout the post. The reason for that is because most of us know someone guilty of at least one of these Google Plus crimes. If you know someone like that, now you have a post to send them to so we can educate them on Google Plus etiquette.

Lesson 1: Your Posts Need To Be Public

This is getting better but some people seem to catch on a little slower than others. If you post something on Google plus and send it to anyone but “public” those people will receive notifications and, depending on their settings, may even receive an email. As appealing as that might seem to your marketing side, you need to understand that you’re going to be looked at as a spammer. You will be blocked, un-circled, ignored and disliked.
Private G+ posts or if you have something to share with a specific person or group of people and THEY understand why, it’s perfectly okay to add their name or add that specific circle.

Bonus Tip: While on the subject, I recently ran across an excellent post by Leslie P that shows you how to prevent every +1 you make spam your circles with a simple settings change: Don’t Spam Your Friends.

Don’t make me a spammer too! One more thing, while we’re on the subject. If you share to just certain people or circles, I can’t reshare your post publically. Did you know that? So the only way anyone can share your post is to spam their circles. That doesn’t sound like a smart marketing strategy, does it?

Lesson 2: The Internet Isn’t Private

When you circle me and I visit your profile to see if I want to circle you back, I’m looking to see if we’re a good match. We could be a match made in heaven but I’d never know it if I’m greeted with a “SuchAndSuch hasn’t shared anything with you yet” message. Major fail and I will never circle back. If you need that type of privacy, good luck being online in 2014.

Lesson 3: It’s Not All About You

Share other people’s stuff too. When I go to your Google Plus profile or Page to see if I want to circle or follow you back and all I see is link after link of nothing but your latest blog posts, I figure there’s no point in circling you since I’m not there as a way to subscribe to your feed.

Lesson 4: Turn Off The Tweets!

Seriously, it looks horrible and makes you look amateurish when you automate and send your tweets to other social networks like Facebook and Google Plus. Stop it, please.

Lesson 5: Google Plus Is NOT Facebook

It’s so frustrating to see otherwise intelligent people compare Facebook and Google Plus as if they were comparing a Chevy and a Ford. We hear, “G+ doesn’t have the same numbers as Facebook” or “Google Plus is more technical and geeky“. OMG, please shut up. You’re comparing apples and oranges here and most of you are simply repeating what you’ve heard others say. If that’s the case, try an original thought for a change, get smarter friends or stay on Facebook.

Lesson 6: YouTube Comments

This is a BIG but new creation. YouTube and Google Plus now share a commenting system and when you comment on a video, you are given the option to share that comment on Google Plus. I LOVE that! What a great way to cross-promote? But, it’s not so great when you comment over and over on a video. Don’t get me wrong, that is exactly the type of interaction we all want but keep in mind that if you don’t uncheck the “Also share on Google Plus” box on all but the first YouTube comment, your Google Plus is going to look like this…
YouTube Google Plus Tip
You don’t want the exact same video being posted by you over and over; it makes you look like a spammer even though you’re just interacting on a video.

Lesson 7: Update Your Profile – Please

You need to have a somewhat complete G+ profile AND have the permissions set-up where others can actually see it. Your images, who you are, where you’re at (approximate location, not exact location) and what you do are some of the most basic things we want to know so we can decide if we want to circle you back. Without that, it’s going to be a slow process growing your Google Plus presence. Have no fear, spammers and bots will still circle you, they’ll circle anyone.

Lesson 8: Buying Friends… Really?

This one amazes me to no end. The whole idea of building an online community, on any social network, is interaction. Am I right? Isn’t it common sense that buying circles, +1s or comments off Fiverr is exactly the opposite of real interaction? I understand the power of social proof but buying it is only proof that you’re dishonest. Please protect your reputation and, if you ever want any influence at all, don’t lower yourself to these types of low-life tactics. You’re better than that!

Lesson 9: Tag, You’re An Idiot

Does this bother anyone else on Facebook? Someone posts a nice picture or quote and tags everyone they can to draw as much attention as they can. We are seeing a little of that on Google Plus and it’s a spammy thing to do. Tagging someone should be limited to people (that you really know) that have something to do with the post. For example, if I’m sharing your blog post on G+, I’ll probably tag you (in a way – see Lesson 1) by adding you to the share group. A couple of weeks ago I shared a cool Star Trek post and I know Mitch Mitchell well enough to know he’d want to see it so I added him to the share. Beyond something like that, or an actual picture of the person, you’re just spamming.

Lesson 10: The Thank You… Tactic?

I saved this one for last because I personally don’t think it’s that big of a deal but I have seen a lot of complaints about it. Okay, so I share your post or image on Google Plus, either to my profile or page. That gives you additional exposure, obviously. Now say that happened ten times with a post, how do you thank everyone? You can +1 the post and actually say, “Thank you” but apparently that is being viewed as a form of self promotion to some people. The idea is that you’re creating additional buzz for that post by interacting with it.

The best way to thank them would be to return the favor and share something of theirs that you like and your followers would like. That’s not always possible, depending on who shared it, their niche, tastes, etc. Personally, I think the problem here is with those that are making it a crime to thank one another by insisting it’s self-serving. Don’t make it more than it is and don’t be so quick to attack, we’re all here for one another.

Your Lesson/s?

Do you have a lesson to add? Were any of these Google Plus tips helpful for you? Do you know someone that needs to read this? I bet you do so feel free to politely refer them to this page. Your comments, as always, are always welcome here.

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