All too often I hear the same lament from fellow food bloggers, “Google Plus just doesn’t work for me”. When I hear this I do my best not to cringe, shout out expletives and tell them exactly why it doesn’t work for them…….sigh
Instead I take a deep breath, and repeat I’m one with the Universe, I’m one with the Universe………and then I begin my explanation. I’ve said it so many times, to so many people, that I feel I should be wearing a name badge stating “Hi, I’m Chef Dennis and this is Why you should be using Google+”
This morning once again I heard from a blogger that has been on G+ all of two weeks telling me how disappointed he was in G+, because evidently his posts in a community had been marked as spam and as he put it, ” it would be nice if I could have some guidance on what not to do. it would also be appreciated if maybe G+ could clean up its act and go after the real spammers, because chasing off people like me is an excellent method of ensuring the platform’s mediocrity”
Mediocrity, really? Guidance, really? I guess all those posts I’ve done and that so many others are doing just isn’t enough help(not to mention the help two of us have already given him). The comments that are made and the attitude some people have towards G+ just leave me speechless.
He then went on to say that he will probably curtail his activity on G+because of the problems he was having……Oh please, say it isn’t so…..sigh
I have to admit that I now mark blog posts as spam and report them to Google, when a community members (who’ve been sent the rules twice before they even come into the community) disregards the guidelines and decides that the rules must apply to everyone else and not to them. Google takes a pretty firm stance on what is considered spam and they leave it up to moderators to decide how their communities should be run. The Mark as Spam, Ban and Report button does come in handy occasionally (I only ban on the second offense).
That being said, anyone that knows me, knows how much I help other bloggers, I’ve spent countless hours as have other members of my community helping new plussers learn the ropes., and find their way on G+. I don’t think I’ve ever turned anyone away that’s asked for help, but after reading his comments the only thing that came to mind was my favorite Godfather quote “You’re dead to me Fredo” Hopefully I’ll feel better about this tomorrow………
But for now the question is why aren’t some bloggers successful on G+, and the answers really pretty simple, after all it’s not rocket science. Here are my top 12 reasons-
You Might not Be Successful on G+ if-
1. You Post content that’s only of interest to you….such as your own blog post , or posts of only a small circle of friends (who only post each others work ).
2. You schedule your posts. (Plussers don’t respond well to those that don’t engage others, they can tell by your profile if your active or just leaving your posts)
3. You post a link with a thumbnail so only a small picture with your descriptions shows up. (Posting a large picture with a link will get you shares, comments, and +1′s. G+ is a photo driven community)
4. You have no interaction with others on G+, you only leave comments for other food bloggers. It’s all about engagement and making new friends.
5. You think G+ is Facebook, its not…..get over it and learn how to use G+
6. You think G+ is only a passing phase and will never really catch on (kind of like what you thought about digital photography)
7. You think Google Authorship is one of the new cruise ships for their writers. (not really but I thought it was funny and wanted to see if you’re paying attention)
8. Seriously, you have no clue how important Google Authorship is, and if you do, you don’t think using Google+ will help you. (Google rewards its users, the more you use G+ the more your searches go up)
9. You believe posting the same content to as many communities as possible will help you (when actually it will get you banned in some and ignored by good plussers)
10. You aren’t a good plusser, and you don’t want to share your sandbox. You don’t understand how important sharing good content is, and that good content doesn’t have to always have be your content. (and you wonder why no one wants to follow you)
11. You over share your content. Post it once and if it’s good content, it will get re-shares and comments which drive it back to the top of the stream. ( if its not good content it and you keep re-posting it, that only makes things worse)
12. You believe that you don’t need to follow people you don’t know, or you only follow food bloggers, or you don’t follow people who have less followers than you do….sigh (if someone has a good profile and a pic and they post good content, follow them)
If you’re guilty of some or all of these examples, this is why G+ won’t work for you, and this is why you will fail. But don’t despair, it doesn’t have to be that way, and the first step to your success on G+ is to try to understand how it works and use it as it was intended to be used. Not how you think it should be used.
Stop criticizing G+, because you don’t understand it, you simply need to find someone patient (like me….sigh) to sit down with you in a hangout and explain how things work and then start applying what you learned.
Then be patient, you’re not going to be an overnight success no matter how many followers you have on twitter or facebook, and only through your diligence and engagement will you begin to see results. It will take about 3 months for you to begin to feel at home and start seeing the time you’ve spent paying off. You don’t have to spend all day on G+, it can take as little as 20 minutes a day twice a day if you use your time wisely, but I’ve found the more time I spend on G+ the less time I want to spend on any other social media, they just don’t compare.
So my friends, if you want to Make Google Work for You its going to take time and effort, but since G+ will eventually take over as the #1 social media on the planet, it might be a good idea to start now!