Make sure the effort you’re putting forward means something.
Every social network has their own set of unspoken rules. Break them and you risk offending the dedicated users or looking like a n00b.
You don’t want to do either of those— especially on Google+.
So I’ve compiled this quick guide to help you make sure you don’t unknowingly break the unspoken social etiquette of Google+.
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Link Dumping (a.k.a. Link Littering)
There is no social network I know of where it is okay to just paste a link and post it without anything else.
Imagine if you saw a tweet go through your stream like this:
Now, I love Gary Busey— he makes me smile every time I see one of his Amazon commercials. This must have just been an accident. But it proves the point.
Nobody is going to click on or engage with that. Except that one guy who retweeted it. That was probably his site being linked to.
When posting on Google+ users tend to want to see some substance. Even if you’re just posting only a headline and a link, odds are you won’t get the highest amount of engagement and click-through that you might hope for.
If you want people to click on your links, take the time to post thoughtfully. You may even want to take a look at my Anatomy of a Perfect Google+ Post. It’s done wonders for a lot of people.
Ignore Community Guidelines
If you’re looking for a Google+ community to share into, do not post before reading the guidelines.
Each community has been started for a very specific reason. If it’s a community with a significant amount of engagement, the moderators have likely gone through a lot of trouble to get it there. And most moderators are not very tolerant of those who disrespect the community guidelines.
Look, if you really think the community is worth your time to post in, then you’d better take the extra time to get to know the community’s culture. Without understanding it, all your posting in there is a waste of time because it will either get caught by the spam filter, removed by a moderator, or get you banned entirely.
Know the community guidelines then interact and post accordingly. Your return on investment will be much higher. More importantly, you’ll begin to develop relationships within the community and that is the highest possible return.
Post the Same Exact Thing to Multiple Communities
Look, I know you’ve joined a bunch of different communities that have a similar subject matter because it’s a topic that you love. But have you considered that other people have done that as well? And don’t you think that when you post the same exact thing in all those communities that some people will notice the duplicated posts?
Not only that, but if you have your profile set to display your community posts, anyone visiting your profile will see every single one of those duplicate posts. You’ve instantly identified yourself as a spammer.
Instead, find the community where you have a real connection with the members. Post in that one. You’ll get much further and you’ll avoid being flagged as a spammer.
Say Google+ is a Ghost Town / Walking Dead / Shutting Down
This is actually quite timely because there’s a new round of doom and gloom going around about Google+. And it’s the same thing over and over again:
- Google employee gets interviewed.
- Fails to mention Google+ or mentions it in a way that is easily taken out of context.
- Sensationalist journalist sees an opportunity to exploit context and produce a doom and gloom article that will get millions of page views.
- Journalist publishes wildly inaccurate depiction of the “death of Google+”.
- Other sensationalist journalists catch wind and jump on the bandwagon by rewriting what the other said.
- All the anti-Google+ people come out of the wood work to say “I told you so” (despite being wrong for the last three years).
- Time passes, nothing happens, people forget.
It’s not worth your time or blood pressure to pay any mind to these types of articles, and it’s not a great idea to share them either unless you’re adding level-headed, informed commentary on them.
There are far too many good (accurate) things to share and discuss. Leave the doom and gloom link-bait alone.
The Number One Thing Not To Do On Google+: Also send email…
When you create a new post in Google+ and you select one or several of your circles to share it with, an extra option pops up in the share box.
Look at the very bottom of the post– that little check box that says, “Also send email from you to CIRCLENAME”… Never check that box unless absolutely necessary.
When you check that box what you’re doing is sending a push notification to every person in the circles you’ve selected. It will push to their notifications feed and to their email inbox if they don’t have strict email notification settings.
You’re forcing your content on them.
Checking that box without good reason will get you muted or blocked nearly every time in my case. Some people will even go so far as to report you as spam.
Pushing your content on people without their permission is the worst thing you can do on any social network.
In real life, imagine someone on the street handing out flyers. Instead of simply standing there, holding it out for you to grab, imagine they walked right up in front of you and held it right in your face.
That’s what pushing content on people without their permission is like. Don’t do it. It’s not only ineffective, it can be detrimental to your reputation.
There are some smart ways to use that feature though. Stephan Hovnanian, Mike Allton, and Daniel Futerman have all written great posts about how to create opt-in circles on Google+. This is where you allow people to opt-in to have you add them to a circle that you send these push notifications to.
This is the only scenario in which you should use this feature; when people have willingly opted in to receiving notifications from you.
Look, you’re free to use Google+ however you darned well please. These points I’ve made have shown themselves to be true time and time again throughout the history of Google+.
If you want to make a splash, get your story heard and develop a highly engaged following on Google+, follow these simple guides.
Are there any other things that one should never do on Google+? You can leave a comment by clicking here.