Google Plus

100 Ways to Improve Your Google Plus Experience • Jimmie Lanley
100 Ways to Improve Your Google Plus Experience

If Google Plus leaves you feeling a little blah, you probably need to try some of these experience boosters! I’ve listed one hundred different actions you can take. Some are one-time changes. Others are more complicated or need to be done periodically. But they all will help you discover more of what G+ has to offer and, better yet, help other G+ users discover you. Plunge in and make the most of the social layer of Google!

Profile Perks

1. update your profile image to a friendly, recent head shot

2. beef up the story section of your profile with deep links to your site

3. check your hovercard and shorten your tagline to 40 characters so it all fits

4. view your profile as public to see what others see

5. format the story section of your profile with the available tools — bold, italics, hyperlinks, and bulleted lists

6. include contact information on your profile and allow people to send you messages via your profile (in settings)

7. display communities relevant to your niche on your profile

8. tick the current box for employment and education to make those fields show up on your hovercard

9. in the work section of your profile, list multiple skills

10. upload a custom cover image (min. 480 x 270) instead of using one of the default options

Community Clues

11. share to communities with selective discretion

12. engage in communities by answering questions and having conversations

13. start your own niche community and promote it outside of G+

14. start a private community where you engage with peers and experiment with G+ functions

15. use a private community (in which you are the only member) to bookmark G+ posts by resharing posts to the community

16. turn notifications off or on for communities

17. adjust the settings for individual communities to adjust the volume of content in your home stream

18. if you manage a G+ page, you can join communities and interact in them as that page

Posting Perfection

19. use a poll to promote engagement

20. tag authors of the content you share

21. tag and hat tip when you are sharing something you saw on someone else’s post

22. use bold (* before and after text) to create a headline for your G+ post

23. use italics (_ before and after text) to create a subheading below your headline

24. use the • symbol (Alt 7) to create a bulleted list

25. use other interesting symbols to draw the eye to important parts of your post (Alt 16, Alt 4, Alt 26, and Alt 22, for example)

26. always post public

27. never tick the also send email box when sharing

28. vary the ways you share — links, videos, images, and text

29. share an entire photo album

30. use the G+ photo editing tools and filters on your images

31. use the 80-20 rule when sharing— 80% content from others; 20% your own content

32. reshare great posts from others, tag them, and provide a personal introduction

33. don’t share link litter (links without any context or introduction)

34. add one to four relevant hashtags at the end of a post

35. look at the related hashtags in the explore tool and start using new hashtags in your own posts

36. use autoawesome to make cool animations

37. don’t use the same thing you posted on Facebook or Twitter on G+

38. share an image optimized for Pinterest on G+; it works there too!

39. use Do Share Chrome extension to schedule posts to your G+ profile

40. when posting a link, scroll through the available images with the arrows and choose the best one

Plus Moxie, a G+ course for bloggers

Cross Promotion Creativity

41. include a link to a Pinterest board where the share is already pinned

42. tweet your G+ posts

43. pin your G+ posts with videos or images

44. add a G+ badge to your site

45. share great hangouts on Twitter and tag the host and panelists

46. add all your social media profiles to the links section of your G+ profile

47. invite readers of your email newsletter to your G+ hangouts

48. include a pin it for later link on your shares

Conversation Cues

49. install Replies and more for G+ Chrome extension so it’s easier to reply with tagging

50. set a time for 15 minutes each day and engage on other people’s posts

51. search hashtags relevant to your niche to find interesting content and people to engage with

52. use Google Plus keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) such as typing / to get to the search box

53. don’t be afraid to mute people who annoy you with notifications

54. reserve blocking for real creeps

55. on the home page, click more to choose a single column or multiple column layout

46. tag people you respond to

Circle Strategies

57. stalk your favorite people by adding them to a circle for which you turn on notifications; be first to +1 and comment on their content

58. browse the posts from individual circles instead of your full home stream

59. adjust the settings for a circle stream to show more, standard, or fewer posts

60. install (affiliate link) Circloscope and use the tool to manage your followers

61. don’t stress when “weird” people circle you

62. create a niche circle of awesome people and share it to your stream (include yourself!) with an introduction and hashtag #sharedcircle

63. look for the two arrows on someone’s profile to see circling is mutual (you circle them, and they circle you)

64. order your circles (by dragging and dropping) so that your favorites show up at the top of your home stream

Plus Moxie, a G+ course for bloggers

Honing the Habit

65. install the G+ app on your smartphone and tablet and browse G+ instead of Facebook or Twitter

66. add G+ to your daily social media routine or social media editorial calendar

67. use Buffer to post to any G+ pages you manage

68. use the Everypost app to post to multiple platforms at once, including your G+ profile

69. follow boards devoted to G+ on Pinterest

70. become familiar with G+ Help and search it for answers when you are confused

71. install the G+ button on your browser and use it generously across the web

72. add a bookmark to G+ on your browser bookmark bar right beside another bookmark you use every day

Hangout Helps

73. participate in live hangouts by asking questions and providing positive feedback to the panelists on the event page

74. circle the people who attend a live hangout with you

75. host your own regular hangouts where you demonstrate your expertise

76. before you hold a hangout, have a practice session

77. join (affiliate link) Ronnie Bincer’s Hangout Mastery group

78. learn event page etiquette

79. create video content for your YouTube channel with hangouts on air

80. after a live event, reshare a hangout on air event page with your commentary; tag the host and panelists

81. use your hangout on air videos for content marketing purposes

82. make a hangouts headquarters on your site so your audience can easily find your hangout schedule and past shows

83. selectively message the guests of your event with a special announcement

84. convert your hangouts into a podcast

85. forget Skype and use hangouts for your video conferencing

Settings Success

Become familiar with your settings so you can customize G+ to suit you.

86. select which tabs you want visible to visitors: photos, YouTube, +1s, reviews

87. allow G+ to automatically add hashtags to your posts

88. turn off image auto enhance if you notice white backgrounds appearing gray

89. adjust your notifications to stop the emails or turn them on if you need the reminders

Extra Credit

90. study the ripples of a popular post

91. see how much traffic G+ is sending to your site with Google Analytics (Acquisition → Social → Network Referrals)

92. never make circling (or any G+ action) a requirement for a contest (see terms of service)

93. never hold a contests, sweepstakes, or other such promotion directly on G+ (see terms of service)

94. connect your account to CircleCount and look at your stats

95. create a custom overlay for your hangouts on air (instead of the basic lower thirds)

96. keep data from your hangouts on air and take that to sponsors with the aim of monetizin

97. use Plus My Reach to analyze data from your hangouts on air

98. use the comment tracker during a live hangout on air to engage with your audience

99. add your hangout appearances on other people’s channels to your own YouTube playlists

100. Take the Plus Moxie Google Plus Course for bloggers.

Plus Moxie, a G+ course for bloggers

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Confessions of a Google Plus Profile Snob

I admit it. I’m a Google Plus profile snob.

I take a look at someone’s avatar, hover card, and profile to make a very quick decision about circling or not. I am likely misjudging and therefore losing out on following some amazing people. But the fact is my time is limited. I can’t spend a lot of effort researching people. I take a look and make a decision. And I suspect that many plussers are just like me.

Here are things that turn me off when it comes to following someone.

1. Avatar

I am not prone to intently look at avatars that are not smiling human faces, looking directly at the camera. I tend to mentally dismiss these avatars

  • stuffed animals
  • flowers
  • dogs, goats, cats, rodents, snakes (Yes, I’ve seen all of those animals on G+ as avatars.)
  • logos
  • inanimate objects
  • cartoon characters
  • men without shirts or women showing cleavage
  • people looking aloof or wearing sunglasses
  • couples or groups of people

2. Hover Card

If the cover image is the default Google color swirls, I have an automatic prejudice. I’ve seen it so many times; it just doesn’t stand out to be noticed. If the hover card has no additional details besides a name, I tend to move on without clicking over.

3. Profile

By default, the hover card click takes you to a person’s posts. If I see three or more identical posts (normally to communities), it signals spam to my brain. If there are loads of silly gifs, memes, inspirational images/quotes, and map check-ins, I tune out. If all the shares come from the same domain and have no interaction on them, I get bored.

If the content looks promising, I usually switch to the about tab to learn a bit more. If an about section is vague, sparse, or filled with platitudes, my eyes gloss over and I am clicking back.

That’s my confession. It may make me sound like a very shallow person to evaluate a plusser in this way, but it’s my typical mental process. And I suspect that I’m not alone in this snobbery.

Moral of the story? Get your profile and hover card beefed up so you are attracting followers.

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Top Three Ways to Look Like a Spammer on Google Plus
Top Three Ways to Look Like a Spammer on Google Plus

Obviously you don’t want to be a spammer or appear to be one on Google Plus, so take note of these three actions and steer clear. Most offenders are innocently making mistakes because they don’t know any better. But these three no-nos will turn off potential followers, alienate your existing audience, get your posts flagged as spam, and might even get you banned from Google Plus altogether.

1. Tick the also send email to box when sharing

Ticking the also send email box (bottom right in the image below), generally results in ticking off the people who get the notifications. Many people will automatically mute or even block you at the first offense, especially if they don’t know you. Get enough people muting or blocking you, and Google will delete your entire account.

send-email

What happens when you tick the box

Depending on that person’s settings, they may receive an email that you shared something with them. At a minimum, they will receive a notification under the red bell area.

The only time you should use that box is when you know a person wants to be notified. If they haven’t expressly asked for notifications, or if you don’t know this person intimately enough to send them a text message, do not tick the box.

As a general rule, don’t use that feature. Share public. End of story.

2. Share the same thing to multiple communities in quick succession

You might not know this, but when you share the same thing to more than one community, it is almost always flagged as spam. This is an automatic feature of Google Plus; it’s not a matter of the community moderator being mean.

A post flagged as spam is simply invisible to the community. However it will show up on your posts page if the group is public. So if someone is checking out your profile, imagine what he sees — a whole screen full of the same thing over and over. Major turn off.

These multiple community posts can also show up in the streams of people who are members of the same group or communities you are posting to. Again, this makes you look like a broken record, and a desperate one, too, especially if that share is link litter.

The solution is to post the information or question in a different way for each community and space it out over at least a half day each.

3. Link dump (AKA link litter)

This mistake is normally a result of ingrained habits picked up from Facebook and Twitter where short posts are favored. Google Plus is a different animal, and short, meaningless posts that pander for a click are not well received compared to longer, more meaningful ones that allow the conversation to remain on G+.

Whether the link you are sharing is your own or someone else’s, avoid these kinds of introductions in the text area:

  • Check out my latest post.
  • This is really cool.
  • I liked this. You should read it.
  • I posted today. Click to see it.

When you share, provide something in the introduction area that

  1. invites someone to comment even without reading the post you are sharing
  2. piques someone’s interest enough to cause them to click over for more
  3. gives context for the share, telling why it’s great, how someone would benefit from it, etc.

In other words, initiate an actual conversation on Google Plus and let the link be an extra add-on and not the sole purpose of posting. When you are pandering for traffic, it’s obvious, and while it might be acceptable on other platforms, it’s spammy on G+.

If you have any questions about these three spammy behaviors, fire away! I’ll do my best to answer them here in the comments.

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Are You Looking for G+ Tricks? jimmielanley.com
Are You Looking for Google Plus Tricks?

There are no tricks.

There are no gimmicks.

There is no easy way or fast way to build your audience and engagement on Google Plus.

There are strategies. There are principles.

There are best practices that will boost your Google Plus experience when applied consistently over the long-term.

(Of course, there are tricks and gimmicks, but they do not generate authentic growth, real relationships, or genuine authority.)

So if you are seeking tricks or top ten tips that you can implement today and see dramatic results by the end of the week, forget it. The only way to see success is showing up daily.

The trick seeker wants the diet pill instead of the hour in the gym four days a week.

It doesn’t take long in terms of minutes each day. But it can take a long time in terms of days, weeks, and months. It’s a slow plod, and you have to be willing to trudge through the dry days to get to the reward later on.

They key is interacting every day (or as close to that as possible).

  • Interacting does not mean link dumping.
  • Interacting does not mean treating G+ like Twitter or Facebook.
  • Interacting does not mean sharing the same link litter in multiple communities in quick succession.
  • Interacting does not mean ignoring the comments you got on your posts, checking your notifications only twice a month, or never responding to private shares or tags.
  • Interacting does not mean ticking the also send email button. (Please stop doing that. Just stop.)

Top Warning Signs That You are a Google Plus Trick Seeker

Google Plus trick seekers expect results that are disproportionate to the investment they are willing to make. They want to be a super star but are willing to put forth only the most meager, token effort.

These are things I often hear from the seeker of G+ tricks.

  1. How can I automatically share my blog post to G+?
  2. I’m going to use G+ as a page instead of a profile because I can schedule posts with a tool without ever going to G+.
  3. No one interacts on my posts! (said in frustration, self-pity, and/or anger)
  4. Google Plus is too complicated. I can’t figure it out.
  5. I tried Google Plus for a week and it didn’t work for me.

The Solution to the Trick Seeker’s Mistake

Change your paradigm and make some G+ resolutions.

  1. Resolve that G+ is worth investing in for several months’ time before you decide to give up.
  2. Show up every day. Every day. Write it on your to do list or on your calendar if that’s what it takes.
  3. Seek to interact far more than you broadcast. Read, engage, comment, plus 1, tag, hat tip, and reshare.

That’s it. The to do list is actually very short.

 

Need personalized help with G+? I provide profile and page evaluations, G+ training, and long-term business page management. See my packages here or email me at jimmielanley@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

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