Top 10 Google+ Plus Tips

10 Google Plus Tips Revamped For 2013


Top 10 List marquee

Sounds pretty good don’t it? Below is my Top 10 Google+ Tips, but it’s missing one, there’s only 9 plus tips. So…. The best G+ tip submitted by commenters here on the blog post wins inclusion in my new Guide To Google Plus Marketing that will be downloaded by a few hundred thousand in the next year.

Here we go now…


#10 – Set the post to public before you type your first word

Since every other social network to date has posted publicly by default, most Google+ users expect the same to be true. But it’s not. And truly, you want most of your posts to be public. If you only post to circles, anyone looking at your profile will see an empty page, unless they are IN one of your circles that you posted to.

Make it a rule, as soon as you click in the “Share what’s new” box to create a post, set your post to public every-time, first thing. We can’t share your post to our public stream or link to it if it is not set to public.

#9 – Create a Headline, not a paragraph

Your next step is to create a headline, not a paragraph. That means enclosing your headline in asterisks, one at the beginning, one at the end, no leading or trailing spaces and your headline will appear in bold text.

Most headlines either push fear or shout benefits, or a combination of both. If you don’t know how to write a headline, here’s a great How To Write Hot Headlines article.

#8 – Use an image, in every post

Ever notice that every major blog uses an image in their posts? Well they pay for stock images, so they have immediate access. You probably don’t have the budget for that so here’s how to get royalty free images online.

BEWARE: – There is a penality in Google’s search algorithm for reusing other’s images, here the lowdown on Google’s Image penalty….

Go to Flickr.com >>> Click search >>> click advanced search. You don’t even need to enter keywords yet, here’s the Flickr page this will get you to….

Scroll down the page and check all three of these checkboxes.

  • Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content
  • Find content to use commercially
  • Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon

Now search with your keywords and you will return a list of images that you can use, along with a list of copyright limits. In fact the image on this blog post was found there itself. Just search “top 10″ using the settings above if you want to use it for your own top 10 list blog posts.

To get more traction on both Facebook and Google+ be sure you include a relevant image at the top of your post. That goes double for posts only on Google+. Setting your post apart from the others is key with an image and a headline that tells us there is something better and more benefit laden than the rest of our very busy stream.

#7 – Call to action

While saying “Please reshare, +1 and comment” in an effort to get to the Google+/hot What’s Hot section is a great way to get flagged for gaming the system, you should be including some kind of call to action in a G+ post…

What do you want the reader to do? Click thru to the content, comment there, or comment on the G+ post? Do you want them to answer a specific question? Or do you want then to ask you one?

Then keep that above the fold…. Google+ gives you 9 carriage returns before it cuts off your text and enters the Expand…. link (usually). You have to get your message across in that time or it will never be seen by most. So, if you want the entire post read then return your call to action and post some benefit copy as to why the reader should click “Expand…” and read on.

#6 – Time of day makes or breaks Google+ traffic

Posting in the middle of the night, late evening, too early in the morning or on Holidays is a great way to think Google+ is dead. Two ways you can determine when your market is awake:

1 – Your email list (mine is on AWeber) will have a list geo demographics showing where you are getting subscribers from.

2 – Also your Google Analytics will show where your blogs are getting traffic from. YouTube analytics / insight will show you where your videos are getting engagement and views.

Adjust these time zones to your time and remember, that early morning, mid morning, lunch time and just after, and just after 5 PM are huge engagement times. You can adjust your time to another time zone here…

#5 – Keywords, Hashtags and Hangout search

Use keywords that you want your post to be found under on both Google+ search and Google search. G+ posts are ranking well in both.

Use hashtags just like you learned to do on Twitter beginning with the # pound sign for advanced users that search for content hash tagged linked. There are tons of articles on this and here’s Vic Gundotra’s own hash tag post and video.

Also new just this week is Hangout search filtering in Google+ search.

#4 – Google Analytics, know where you have been, before you move forward

One reason many say Google+ is dead is because they have no way to know what is going on on Google+. Be sure you have Google Analytics set up on your blog so you can really see how Google+ is converting for you.

While I only got 15 comments and 20 +1′s on a post last week, hundreds more clicked thru to the linked content. If you are judging Google+ by public interaction you are probably selling G+ short. So be sure to be measuring your click thru rate for real insight. I will bet you are pleasantly surprised at what you see…

A great way to make notes as to when social media campaigns succeeded or failed is to add annotations to specific days. Here’s a video from Google explaining how to do so…

#3 – Convert your hangouts to YouTube videos

While Google+ Hangouts On Air are still limited to about 200 top users and still in testing, you can still get much of the benefits by screen capturing your hangouts and posting them to YouTube.

Mac users have the software they need already on their machines for free and for Windows users Camtasia is the most popular software and an industry standard.

So while the rest of us wait for On Air streamed hangouts to become public you can return much of the benefits of this to your followers thru screen capture and replays on YouTube.

NOTE: Be sure to say when you post a public hangout that it is being recorded for public replay. It is against YouTube’s TOS to post video with people in it that are unknowing recorded. I have seen videos in the millions of views get taken down due to this violation.

#2 – One G+ Hand Washes The Other

We have all heard about how sharing, comments and +1s make our Google+ posts more visible to others on Google+ and in Google search. But how do you actually get them is a mystery to most. Well it’s easy actually :]

  • To get shared by power users, you have to make the first move and share theirs.
  • Want lots of comments? Then engage others on posts where conversations are going on. That means you have to read the comments that are previously posted and then join the conversation, not just Twitter style post a one sentece blurb and forget about everyone else. Remember that social media is not about you.
  • Guess who I am most apt to +1? People that have +1′d my posts. +1 ing a post on Google+ lets the poster know you were there. Plus one ing comments does the same. Use this time saving tool and let your peeps know you were there, expecially if you are time challenged and they will do the same on yours…
  • This is not Twitter or Facebook, we are not going to follow you back just because you follow us. Sharing, commenting, +1 ing… That will get you followed by power users that will re-share your content and do you way more good than any amount of followers will 99% of the time.

#1 – You Tell Me….

This is your chance to shine. Tell me in the comments below what your number one Google+ tip is. You could be featured in the full version of this post in my new Ultimate Guide to Google+ Marketing in PDF. This PDF will be read by 100s of 1000s in 2012 as I am interviewed by top Internet Marketers while I write my new book, “Google+ Marketing: An Hour A Day” published by Sybex this summer, on Barnes and Noble bookshelves and Amazon.com in print and digital delivery.

Be sure to use your Google+ profile link in the URL box so others can follow you as well below.

In the mean time, help your friends out and share this blog post using the social media buttons at the top of this post. Happy New Year to all! – Chris

Google+ Comments


22 Comments

  1. Posted December 27, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Be human.

    This means being responsive in the discussions you start or share, and actually being helpful as that discussion develops.

    This also means be natural in your conversations on Google +. Don’t try to be something or someone you’re not.

  2. Posted December 27, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    This is a great blog Chris and I’m sure this will be a great book. My number one Google + tip is it’s ability to let you engage people that add you to their circle directly. When someone add me or my business page to their circle, I send them a note that thank them and include a free gift or sometimes ask them to choose one of three gifts. That way they write me back and we have interaction. One more important note on this tip is to address people by their first name. It makes them feel warm and accepted.
    Think of this tip as going to a restaurant and the owner address you by your first name and told you he has a special table for you. (Even-though all the tables are obviously the same) and offer you chips, coffee or whatever for free and spend a few seconds telling you how great it is to see you(you get the idea). It makes you feel you are spending your money where you are appreciated.
    If you are thinking you don’t have anything to give for free, find something the person have shared and add a comment that start with addressing them with their first name and what a great job they have done. It validates their effort and can get you to their VIP circle.

  3. Posted December 27, 2011 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Awesome tip Joseph, we used this strategy highly on Digg and then Facebook in 2008. It works well and is proven, you seem to have gone me one better here. AWESOME!

  4. Posted December 27, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    You are welcome Chris…anything to help your success. If you need me for anything, don’t hesitate to ask. There’s more where that came from.

  5. Blake
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Loved the blog post. Some really great tips in it versus the usual ones I typically see repeated.

    I like your #10 tip as I see many public figures especially struggling with that at the profile and page level. While it might make sense to have some VIP/reward type of exclusive posts for people that have circled you… doesn’t make sense to have every post limited as effectively takes many of the benefits and tie in (especially earned media opps) with G+ and G search. I see page owners make the same mistake in segmenting out circles that they will specifically market to. Clever tactic but if 100% of posts for that audience are behind a circle and not public it limits the discovery, earned media and search boosts you get. I think with profiles or brand pages people have to be mindful for their content strategy and use of circles from the out set as they will have a direct impact and correlation back with success/growth of their efforts.

    Some tips that come to mind are:

    * In G+ posts where you have commented and are directing comments to someone be sure to tag and make it clear in your comments back. Often you see people directing comments in G+ posts with tons of comments and you have no idea who they are directing it to and/or they have directed it back to someone who might miss that because they haven’t been tagged (especially true on G+ posts with 100+ comments).

    * Knowing when to notify others of a post – This is one I cautiously give as it is one that can easily be misused. One trick in notifying users of a G+ post without tagging them in the actual post is in the Share box (where you decide which circle) is you can also tag individuals here which while they won’t show up in the post (or get any additional alert activity – comments, etc) they will get a notification of it being live. At the moment if you share a post and wanted a set of business teams alerted of it and you added them by circle they won’t be notified of it but they will see in their stream. A way around this to alert them is to individually tag all applicable teams member for a post so they can once its live re-share, comment on or are aware of it. In addition if there are any key media contacts or other they can also be notified so they can pick it up to re-share, comment on or other. You can cover a wide ground of people needing to be contacted fairly easily. Know where/when to use this feature will be key as outside of team members and especially external audiences you have to be on target and highly selective here. Having a good set of ground rules and rules of engagement using this feature will help you out as anyone feeling like they are spamming them can easily mute or block you on G+. By implementing a clear and concise strategy here and using this where it makes sense you will see a bump in engagement. I keep separate text files of individuals divided by various categories so that I can easily remember who to tag given a company team, company team member, media or external audience members. For external audience members I’m highly selective in who I utilize this feature with and I think active users are ok but be mindful of people you don’t know as well. For people you don’t know or need to call out it is better in the post to tag them with a clear call to action.

    * Twitter to limiting for a discussion on a subject/promotion/etc? – Not uncommon to see politicians trying to hold Q&A’s or debate style topics on Twitter and/or similar types of events where people are clearly looking for deep engagement and conversation but Twitter serving more a headline style chat creates more skewed context and limitations in doing so. To work around this instead of wanting to drive the conversation entirely on Twitter link to a Google+ post. Use the link to G+ as the call to action for users to jump into a conversation/feedback and more. Use Twitter to get users aware of your effort son G+ and driving a conversation on it versus on Twitter. Be mindful of which profile or brand page you are pointing people to. It might not make sense in all cases to drive users to the official G+ page but to a G+ brand representative account. Example if Dell was needing something more personal or driven by Michael Dell they might opt to direct to a post Michael Dell has on his profile that is setup vs using one off the official Dell page.

    * Make sure you have clear communication when holding a Hangout. Many aren’t familiar with how they work, where to go to and what they will need. In your communication out make it clear: where will it be, when will it be, what they need (a G+ account, webcam) and tips for having a good Hangout (test out before with your system, tips, best practices) make sure have Hangout installed and what is involved (as Chris mentioned if its going to be recorded and re-used in any fashion spell that out). The “where it will be” part can be especially confusing depending on how people setup the Hangout so be sure to write the communication with that in mind as they may not be familiar with how/where to find your Hangout. You can also use 3rd party services like: http://www.schedulehangout.com/

    Hope these tips help, I could sit here all day writing various ones from circle push theory and more. Love the blog and will be sure I post this comment over there.

  6. Posted December 27, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    My top tip is to have fun! LOL, ok now seriously I am not sure if this is a top 1, but here are a few things I have found out.
    When I am sharing G+ with a limited group, I make sure that what I am sharing is appropriate for that group, and I will also share it as more of a “what do you think of this?”, or “could you take a look at this and let me know if it is worthy of going public with?” type of question. If my closest contacts in an inner circle do not reply chances are it might bomb in the public posting.
    Once I make the post I hover my mouse over the circle title bar and the window opens up asking me to notify them by gmail. I always do, since most are so busy but will see my email and hopefully respond.
    If I do not get any response from the same people over and over, then maybe they are in the wrong circle, and I can move them so I quit bothering them.
    I do still post public but on a limited basis. I would like to be known as someone who finds gems on the internet not someone who has 80 cats (which I don’t).

  7. Posted December 27, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I would say that the #1 most important part of marketing on G+ and throughout all social networking, now and into the future is what I would call the three magic T’s of Social Marketing:

    Targeted – Use your Circles: All of your posts and content should be relevant and interesting to your audience, and you should know your audience well enough to do this. Obviously Circles go a long way towards helping you do this, by allowing you to select different circles to receive different information.

    For example, one of the main benefits of G+ is that I can post my baby pictures to a circle that is made up only of family and friends and not show it to anyone else. Facebook won’t let you do this. This is a security concern.

    By contrast, if you have a newsy article you’ve written or found and want to share, if you have arranged your circles well, then this should be a breeze. (**Side note: Organize your circles well!!)

    Topical: Know what’s happening, what people are talking about and add something to the discussion. This works even if it means joining someone else’s thread or discussion. You can easily post a link in your comments on someone else’s post. I have found that people who respond to these kinds of links – those engaged in the discussion – are far more valuable to have as members of your network and as customers. In this new economy, a stronger customer relationship goes a lot further than just adding lots of subscriber numbers. Keep it human, keep it real.

    Equally important on the topical subject is that you MUST include supportive links and resources to authority sites. Don’t be afraid that linking to other sources will hurt you – it won’t. Google loves this, and apparently, so do you Chris Lang – you do it all through this top 9 list! Basically, if you treat your G+ post like an optimized Blog post, then Google will give it some SEO love too.

    Timing: Chris, you cover this to a great extent in tip #6, but I’d like to add another dimension to the timing issue. If you use Google alerts to keep you updated when news stories break in subjects that you are an expert on, then you can be the first to post the news to your G+ feeds.

    The thing about Google is that they are providing us with an entire suite of tools to accomplish our goals, and they are NOT anti marketing as many people believe. What Google wants you to do for your audience/customer is to give them a better experience, and to take that experience to the next level. This is laid out in the Google manifesto ZMOT – http://www.zeromomentoftruth.com/google-zmot.pdf

    Creating a relationship with your reader is what helps you to be the go-to source, that they can trust to synthesize all the complexity into something they can understand – and more importantly USE.

  8. Posted December 27, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Ask questions! Ask someone’s opinion, ask for advice, ask if there is recent news. Ask for votes. “This worked for me, what works for you?” All these things are ways to get your readers engaged in your posts and get a great conversation going.

  9. Posted December 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Awsome Post These tip Reminders always jog my memory about things I should be doing but quite often forget. I suppose it would be a sensible thing for the “forgetful” amongst us to make a “notepad” list for our desktop to remind us if the things we should be doing each time we are considering posting, commenting or participating in conversations.

  10. Posted December 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this great share and some very useful tips. Headlines absolutely make a difference to get more eyeballs on your post, but #2 is also very true in getting more ppl to +1 your post. I think a great way to get more +1′s are in live hangouts. As it is now in Beta i think if G adds a +1 button somewhere in there, followers with the same interest in hangouts are likely to +1 your post sooner.

  11. Posted December 28, 2011 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    Chris, Thank you for sharing your insights, the headline one will sink deeply forever with me.

    I would love to contribute.

    Use your Name area to your best ability, what do you really want people to know first about you. (This is the area right under your name)

    Also

    Use the photo area usefully. You can use this area to share your work life or your home life or make a statement. Take a look at good ones and see what you like. No doubt others will like it too.

    Take a look at +Mari Smith her photos tell a story about who she is an milestones in her Career. I just love the one of her and Guy, wow!

    Also

    Be yourself. Be true & authentic, no one likes a fake.

    That is what I have left to add +Chris Lang, Hope they are recieved well.

    Truthfully bud, I have nothing on your ability, I will always learn off you and thats the way I like it.

  12. Posted December 28, 2011 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    This is already a great list, which doesn’t need necessarily to get additional points ;)

    Adding an image to the posts (#8) is very important I think. We started on the CircleCount brand page with posts about new features with the link to the blog post, where we have an image which is shown as a thumbnail. We moved on to use a bigger image uploaded to Google+ and putting the link into the post.

    The time of the day to post (#6) is also very important, since through Google+ you have followers in the whole world. Especially for a europe-based projekt like ours it is important to know when to post something (one of the main reasons we love our dashboard ;) ).

    Our best tip* for posting on Google+ is to ask the people for their opinion but also to hear what they are saying. We received a lot of great ideas, where we already could realize some of them. Posts about new things should also include a mention to the person where the idea or part of it came from. That’s putting the persons in the foreground where they belong to.
    A bookmark to thesearch for the name of the project in Google+ should also one of the first pages you are starting your day with.

    *”Tip” is not the word I would use personally for this point, since this is a self-evident point, but it seams that for a lot of people it is a tip ;)

  13. Posted December 28, 2011 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Make sensible use of the ‘also email persons not using Google+ yet’ function when posting. Include in your circles the people you’d like to join G+ by adding them by their email addresses. Once a week, post pertinent content to the public, adding a circle containing your personal contacts. Click that ‘also email’ box.
    Eventually, these people will join G+, circle you first and learn the ropes from you.

  14. Posted December 28, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Hey Chris,

    A no1 tip?

    Remember it’s about Community. Sharing, +1s and Commenting is all part of that.

  15. Posted December 28, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Wow! What an informative article. And outstanding comments!

    I’ll add my 2 cents…

    +1 comments in your own posts to show people you are paying attention and “engaging”, not just putting stuff out there and on to the next post.

    Even more importantly, “mention” people who post good comments. I know when someone mentions me in a post that I comment on, I get a little “jolt of energy” to my system. “This person noticed me and took the time to put a little hyperlink of my name that points to my profile.” That will naturally get me to take notice of that poster and follow him just a little more closely, knowing that they “know who I am” and may actually engage me more on their next post.

    Finally, circle people who add valuable comments to your post. This was said by Chris, but to add to his point, the timing of your circle can help, too. If you are in the middle of a good exchange on a post and all of the sudden, that new person who commented elegantly and intelligently on your post 30 seconds ago sees that you just now circled them, it holds more impact. Remember, real-time association impacts more than anything, in my opinion, anyways…

    Keep the good stuff coming, Chris!

  16. Stephen
    Posted January 1, 2012 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    Tread carefully with…… “While saying “Please reshare, +1 and comment” in an effort to get to the Google+/hot”…..

    For me a very fast way for an uncircle if it’s done to regularly, same goes with resharing your own work. Both look bad if not done delicately.

    Simple thing for me is don’t try to hard, both examples I give are people trying to hard and in fact come across as pushy. Pushy is not someone I follow.

    Nice article Chris, reads well and pertinent. Job done.

  17. Posted January 11, 2012 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Be sure to use the new Author relationship tags with your G+ account. You can claim authorship of your blog posts via G+, which in turn makes your avatar appear next to the articles in Google search results. From there users can click to your G+ profile or add you to circles directly from Google!

  18. Posted January 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Thank for the assistance Chris – it’s much appreciated!

    All sub’d up now :)

  19. Posted February 8, 2012 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    Hi Chris,

    Really good article, I would agree with every point you make, with the possible exception of explicitly asking for shares, +1′s etc. It’s so tempting to do so, but I believe G+ is about giving in order to receive, and that kind of behaviour clashes a bit.

    Anyway, my suggestion is to really delve into one of the great features of G+ that you don’t find in other social networks, namely Hangouts. They are an excellent way to meet new and interesting people, and have a lot of fun too. Running your own hangout brings people to you, and it you promote it emphasising the topic area you can even make it public and not have too many random attendees :)

    A couple of weeks ago I started a regular hangout session of my own, and already I have met some amazing people and also helped a few get into G+. There’s more information in my link above.

    Colman

  20. Bamsa
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    My suggestion? Come back frequently to read the comments. They are pure gems too! Good job Chris. We can’t say that too much.

  21. Posted March 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Excellent article Chris! There is so much to learn.

    I would have to say the number one tip I have and personally have to take action on is to get in the habit of spending more quality time on Google +! All the tips here are so valuable, but won’t do anyone any good until they actually spend the time to take action on them.

    We are such creatures of habit and many of us have created our social networking routine and are so used to it, that to open up to the possibilities that Google + presents is something that I think many of us have to consciously work on. Something I have to consciously work on and especially so now that I have a business page!

    It’s SO GREAT to have you, Chris, and the others commenting here, to mentor me, teach me and inspire me to have quality interactions with the people in my circles! And to create real value for those who have chosen to circle me!

  22. Posted November 26, 2012 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    I realize this comment is late but I wanted to thank you for sharing the great tips.

    I would suggest for the #1 tip:

    Keep your account actively posting, etc. Make a post on your Google+ page, or have some activity, no less than every 72 hours.

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Chris Lang, he specializes in strategies within Social Media and Google Plus. [...]

  2. […] Chris’ Top 10 Google+ Tips Post […]