Google’s social network is growing by leaps and bounds. With the recent changes Facebook has made, it is now a no brainer for individuals and businesses to look for other alternatives and Google Plus is becoming the choice for many. At just 2 years old, Google Plus is now thought to be the number 2 social media site among active users. If you have embraced this wonderful social network (It’s quickly become my favorite) then you will need to know how to create the perfect Google Plus post so you can get the most out of your experience.
One of the biggest advantages to Google Plus is the ability to format your posts with special font dressing. You can add bold, italics and strike through to your text in your posts and it is easy to do. To bold any text, simply place an * (asterisks) before and after the words or sentences you’d like to be bold. It would look like *this*. To use italics, simply place an underscore before and after the selected text like _this_. Finally, to use strike through add a dash mark – before and after your selected text like -this-.
Add A link
You won’t need to add a link to every post but, if you do there is a ‘better’ way of adding a link to get more engagement. As with most social media sites, links alone don’t drive engagement. To add a link to your Google Plus post, you have two options. You can copy and past the link right into your post or you can use the yellow chain button labeled Link. Either way will work just fine, I find it easier to just copy and past the link into the post.
The trick here is, once you have added the link, you will want to remove the link preview that is automatically generated. This will bring back the media buttons which will allow you to upload an image to the post as well.
Add An Image
Again, not all of your posts will include an image. I would recommend that every post you intend to share that includes a link should have an image uploaded. This increases engagement and has an added benefit of increasing your social media signals to the link that you added to the post. We humans are visually stimulated so images in posts will naturally get more engagement. That being the case, any links in the post will reap the benefits of the social signals like +1′s, comments or shares. Adding an image is as simple as clicking the camera icon labeled Photos.
Hat Tips or Mentions
I find that Google Plus is a more refined experience. Unlike most other social networks there is a certain etiquette to follow when mentioning other people. You don’t want to mention people in an effort to make yourself seen. Each time you ‘plus mention’ someone they get notified. This can become very annoying once you get a big following and for those that abuse it, you may find yourself losing engagement. One of the most common practices is to mention someone if you share their content. It is known as a ‘hat tip’ and it should be executed properly within your post. A hat tip should be formatted like this: H/T +Charles Heitz and it should be towards the bottom of you post. If you need to mention someone in the body of your post, it’s best to just type their name out without mentioning them. It makes your post easier to read. There is one other method for mentioning someone and that is called a ping. The difference here is that you are not directly quoting that person, rather you are wanting to softly let them know you found or have content they may be interested in. This is normally reserved for a closer relationship. Much like the hat tip, you would format the ping like this: ping: +Charles Heitz Whether you are pinging someone of giving them a hat tip you can call up their name one of two ways. When you start typing begin their name with a + or an @ either one will bring up suggested people.
You can see in the image below, when I mentioned myself my name turns blue, it adds a + in front of my name and at the bottom of the post, is shows that it will be shared with “Public” and with me directly.
Add Hash Tags
The last bit we need to do to format our perfect Google Plus post is to add our own hash tags. Google Plus will add their own if you don’t but, it’s best to add 3-5 of your own hash tags. Just like on Twitter, you simply use the pound sign # before the words you want to use. When you start typing the hash tag, Google Plus will offer you suggestions. I strongly recommend you use the suggested tags, unless you’re creating a hash tag for yourself, as those suggested hash tags will be much more effective in helping to get your post found by other users.
The Sum Up
Creating a beautiful post on Google Plus is pretty simple. Use formatting in your text to dress it up a bit, add a link AND image to drive engagement. Mention others and use hash tags. You won’t be able to format every single post this way or use everything I’ve described in this article but, even using a few of them and making sure you use mentions and hash tags correctly will help to increase your following faster and will show people that you care about your posts and the content you are sharing.