It’s really weird. I still can’t seem to get why so many people don’t like Google Plus at all…
As a matter of fact the site Marketing Profs actually conducted a survey, where it turned out that for 41% of the voters Google Plus is the network they “Never Want to Hear About Ever Again”, while for a whopping 50% it is also the most confusing network.
And it is true – there is a bit of a learning curve associated with Google Plus, but then again it is all rather straightforward once you get the hang of it (which shouldn’t take more than a couple of days).
Anyway, what I really hope is that you haven’t voted Google Plus as either the worst or the most confusing network.
If that’s the case and you actually have an active account over there, you have the opportunity to tap into a high-quality traffic source and a great community.
Even if you like the network and participate however, you might be going in a wrong direction and making some strategic mistakes.
In the below paragraphs I talk about five of the bad practices that I’ve either experienced on myself or ones that I stopped following and saw an improvement in my results thereafter. I’d highly suggest you reconsider them as well!
Let’s get started:
1. You Send Annoying Notification Emails
When it comes to internet marketing you can really say that getting someone’s email is the holy grail. I mean the idea of successful traffic generation comes down to actually converting the traffic into subscribers.
But on the other hand email is also the most personal type of messaging and a rule of thumb is to use it with great caution.
After all no one likes receiving emails from unauthorized parties. From an influencer, something like that can easily turn you into a spammer in the eyes of the one getting such emails.
And by simply checking the “Also send email to your circles” box you break that rule.
Just think about it – what would it happen if every Google Plus user were to send emails upon sharing something? Wouldn’t that ruin the whole user-experience?
What I’d suggest you if you’d really like to send emails is to create a specific circle, to which you will send emails. However you will ask people before you add them. You will only include the ones whose answer is positive. Now you have a legitimate way to use the feature.
2. You Don’t Ever Reshare Content
Similarly to Facebook, on Google Plus you have the option to either like (or plus) a post or share it directly with your audience.
Pluses can appear in other people’s streams like “Person A, who is also a friend of yours liked this or that post”. Of course that can’t return as much traffic to the original author as a reshare does.
By clicking the share button on the other hand, you are basically posting an update on your own profile. So except that it says “originally shared by the person who you reshared it from” the post is in your stream and all your followers will see it in their streams…
But I didn’t go around telling you why you actually need to reshare, did I?
Well it’s all about showing that you pay attention and you are not the kind of guy who just logs-in to share an update without ever noticing what others are posting.
That egocentric behavior is the reason why on Twitter you need thousands and thousands of followers in order to get your message seen. It’s just that a lot of the users don’t care what others are saying.
Also keep in mind that reciprocation matters on social media. Although it shouldn’t be your main goal, the fact is when you share someone’s post, they might return the favour. There’s also the building-relationships-factor. When people see you are engaged and not just the next spammer they will be more inclined to establish a connection with you.
NOTE: When resharing make sure to add via +Person Whose Post You Reshare. That way they will get notified of you mentioning them and will probably come to say hi. Additionally it’s common courtesy to give credit and to make sure your followers know who the real author of a post is.
3. You Simply Paste an URL and Click “Share”
That’ really the worst thing you could do. What I’m referring to here is sharing a post without taking the time to add any description to it.
And even though that also wouldn’t be acceptable on Facebook, there you at least have the option to write a meta description, which is still better than nothing. On Google Plus however when you paste a link, only the title and the blog post image are being fetched.
When you leave the description empty, you are only relying on your headline to drive visitors. I am yet to see one such post getting more than two-three pluses.
So what do I do with my descriptions?
- I often times start with a rhetorical questions or with a simple statement
- I either answer the question or expand on the statement
- I tell people what I’ve covered in the post
Something like that works fairly well.
What some other bloggers like Peg Fitzpatrick and Mike Allton would sometimes do is make a teaser of the post with the most important subheadings being shared. Sometimes I’ve seen such descriptions go to around 200-300 words and over. More often than not those posts do receive dozens of pluses, shares and comments.
4. You Never Go a Little Off-Topic
You know the funny thing is your own blog posts will probably never get close to the sharing that an off-topic post might receive.
It seems to me like Google Plus users tend to go off-topic a little more often that Facebook-ers. While on the latter you will rarely see marketers posting photos, comics, jokes and quotes, there are a lot of them on Google’s network.
Those kinds of posts receive a ton of sharing. I’ve seen such literally going viral and getting over 100 shares on profiles that would normally receive less than 10.
So if you are the guy who strictly shares news and articles from your own niche, you might want to broaden your reach.
5. You Don’t Add Formatting to Your Posts
About the descriptions again…
That one is important enough on its own to have a separate subheading.
The possibility to add formatting to your Google Plus shares is one of the things I really like about this network and what makes it stand out from the rest.
As we all bloggers know, proper formatting like adding bolds and italics can really help the reader sift out the really important from the less important information.
Aside from the above, a well-formatted post on Google Plus will be more likely to get noticed that one that is simple text and let alone one that doesn’t even have a description.
And how do you format your posts?
- Bold – *bold*
- Italics – _italics_
The idea is to surround the words or sentences with the respective elements ( * or _ or – ) for the effect you’d like to achieve:
I really hope you enjoyed the tips! All in all Google Plus is a great platform that if utilized properly can bring your way a lot of traffic and new readers. Stay clear of those five mistakes and you should be a step closer to a well-optimized Google Plus profile.
Now I’d like to hear your comments!
Are you on Google Plus in the first place? What’s your experience with Google’s network? What other mistakes can you think of?
Please take a minute to share!