Sometimes being the Answer Man for so many interesting questions concerning how to use G+ can be fun and other times it can be very thought provoking. Recently, the question I was asked recently was both.
I was asked…
What percent of interaction on Google+ should be spend on posting, commenting, sharing and +1 people’s posts, comments and shares?…and which of the functions produces more interaction?
This was a great question that lead me to find that nobody really has addressed the amount of effort a person should spend using the different forms of interaction on Google+. Of course the question came up on how much time should someone spend using each of the interaction features. Before that can be determined an explanation of the features and which ones are more important needs to be discussed.
The Good, Bad and Ugly!
To answer these questions I started looking at how I and others are using the G+ interaction features. What I found was rather exciting but I also found that the dark side of SEO and Social Networking is rapidly moving into G+.
Hopefully offering this look at how to effectively use the G+ interaction features and how they are used the wrong way will steer people to understand the fact they need to use all of the features if they are going to be seen by Google as someone who is truly interactive.
Following is what works for most of us so I am sure it would work for everyone.
Posting original material, making heartfelt statements and linking to posts offering relevant data or content is by far the number one feature that produces the most interaction on G+.
I consider there to be two types of Posts people make on G+. The more favorable type of Post is the original text material reflecting an original thought or remark on something of relevance. Usually these remarks or statements are prefaces with a link to a blog or a photo/graphic.
The other type of G+ post people make is considered the less desirable type of posting. I am not sure why so many people prefer to use this method but posting Only a Link without any original content or remark does not produce effective interaction.
This style of social networking is prevalent to how many spammers or people who have a misunderstanding of social media will use to gain prevalence in their search rankings. People using the Link Only…or Hit and Run as it is commonly referred to…, usually find the number of people who place them in their G+ Circles going down..rapidly. Good to hear that Google is looking into discounting the Link Only posts.
Since a comment field is available on every type of post on G+ one can take it Google is encouraging comments.
Posting a Comment …especially a supportive or constructive form of a remark or statement… is the top ranking form of interaction on G+.
However, I placed Commenting number 2 in order of effective G+ interaction since there are many people who ONLY Comment and never post any original material in their profile page. One has to question these people’s motives and after reviewing a few Comment Only people profiles it became clear they do so in hopes their comments will lead people to view their spammy looking business services they display in the banner header of their personal profile page.
Unfortunately, many people do not want comments made to their posts. Sometimes cutting off the comments is warranted but most of the time it is to keep anyone from disagreeing with their point of views. This really hurts the person blocking comments.
Commenting is a basic form of socializing and offers people in a social community the opportunity to express their opinion, to socialize or ask questions.
The Share feature on G+ is the most powerful of all forms of interaction. Having a Post shared by others is the biggest honor they could receive. Sharing a G+ post means the author of the post has delivered content to the space so profound that nothing else can really be said better about the subject.
Sharing a post is also an easy way to continue a conversation from one circle of interest to another circle of similar interests.
G+ has made it easy to share content with just clicking on one button. Once the Share button is clicked it becomes a Post which allows for additional remarks and comments to be made.
Of course, there are the Share Happy people who just Share other people’s post without making any comment or statement why. In a quick exchange of questions/answers I had with one of the Happy Sharers I found this particular person was told by a “G+ Guru” the should go through their stream each day and share all posts since it will trick Google into seeing them as an “Ultimate Interacter”(…believe me, I couldn’t make up these phrases this person provided.)
Sharing content is a huge part of interacting and should be frequently done but moderately.
The +1 feature has to be the easiest interaction feature on G+, but questions still, after almost two years, are echoing through G+ on what does it mean when someone clicks on the +1?
To some the +1 is a lazy form of interaction and is the only form of interaction many people use. The debate goes on if the +1 is a true form of interacting or just another form of appearing to interactive with people to trick the Google Search program into thinking they are interactive so they get a higher placement on the Google Search engine.
What the +1 button means to many people is a sign of support towards someone’s content they made on a post or as an acknowledgement that they read the person’s post.
It is still unclear why a complete stranger hits the +1 button on a post
In another interaction I had with a person I found that each day would go down their G+ stream and hit the +1 button was AGAIN another person being told by a G+ Expert, ..this time in a paid seminar…, that hitting enough +1 buttons each day will trick Google into seeing the person as someone who is interactive. They also were told by the presenter of the seminar that G+ was a complete waste of time and the only value someone can get out of G+ is to daily go through their entire stream to +1 all posts…. then go back to Twitting.
So this is what I have found as the ways to interact on G+ that really work. Now for the question of how many and what is the balance of usage of these features.
Where to Spend Time
Like anything else, when someone uses only one of the interaction features as their ONLY form of interaction their existence on G+ could be questioned. The question then becomes…
What is a good percentage of each type of posts should a person make to be viewed as someone who understands what social networking is all about?
Here is what I found as a good ratio of usage of the different interaction features that works for me.
- Original Post 40%
- Comments 30%
- Share 20%
- +1 10%
Granted the Share feature is the most used interaction tool on G+ and does bring in the most valued information or content.
For the more content heavy providers the Post with a link to their blog or supporting sites would be their strongest interaction feature. For the social butterflies, the Comment and +1 feature becomes their prevalent features with Shared Button as a close second place.
Use It or Lose It
It truly is unfortunate there are still people fighting the fact G+ is taking control of the social space for personal and business interests. What I have found is happening is most people are entering G+ using other social platforms method of interaction. This just will not work in the Google overseen environment.
Many people are just not getting a good start on G+ and are taking the advice of people who are not understanding the change Google is making in social networking. This results in the majority of people on G+ not understanding what they are doing on G+ and just doing what someone else is telling them to do.
Hopefully, newbies of G+ will find people who do understand G+ and the direction social networking is taking. I hope what I have found on how the interaction tools should be used is of help..if not..let me know how I can help.