Google+ is a different kind of social network.
The tactics, tricks, gimmicks, schemes, and strategies for driving traffic and attention that work on link-centric social networks such as Twitter and Facebook don’t get traction on Google+. A different kind of marketer and business professional enjoys Google+. (See How to Google+ Like a Boss.) Not better or worse—just different.
You must enjoy both the pros and cons of working within a living, breathing community of people with responsibilities and expectations.
On Google+, traffic is a byproduct, not the goal. It is an idea-centric social network, and the community responds to entertaining, educational, and/or inspirational ideas, and it engages accordingly.
There is much misunderstanding about Google+. SEO experts seem to have a grip on the many benefits it provides in search engine rankings, but many business owners and marketers struggle to find the ROI.
They come, they post, and nothing happens—perpetuating the “ghost town” fallacy. It’s more likely these marketers and business owners are alienating people with their actions.
What ticks off the Google+ community?
I polled my G+ audience. I wanted to find out what actions turn people off. What makes people hit “Mute” or “Block?”
Based on the results of my poll and the subsequent comments and conversations that took place on the post, here are 11 ways you can lose friends and alienate people on Google+:
1. Link dumping (via @Shannon Hernandez)
We all know what link-dumping is—and we’ve all done it. Link-dumping is not a preferred strategy on any social network, but it’s especially true for G+. Just look at your content stream and what gets shared.
2. No formatting (via @Ryan Hanley)
Google+ allows for basic post formatting (which you can learn here). Formatting your G+ posts help with readability. This is a must if you want to increase engagement and reach.
3. Using email notification without permission (via @Tim Brownson)
Google+ enables you to notify connections about new posts. Useless you have express permission to do so, don’t. You’re asking to be blocked.
4. Spam-blasting community pages (via @Matthew Brun)
Google+ community pages are great for building connections and increasing your authority, but too many marketers and business owners use communities as a place to link-dump their latest articles and do not engage in the community conversation.
5. Indiscriminate self-promotion (via @Wade Harman)
This one transcends Google+ and even social media; it really is a life thing. Don’t over-promote yourself. I get that what you have going on is important to you and may be important to others, but give first before taking at every turn.
6. Baiting commenters into an argument (via @JeffreyJDavis)
Don’t be a comment troll; that speaks for itself.
7. SEO spamming (via @Nico P)
If you’re using Google+ correctly—building connections and sharing relevant information—Google+ boosts search.
If you’re blasting out crap content, as many SEO spammers do, there will not be positive results.
8. Influencer stroking (via @Jane Peppler)
If you can build a strong relationship with someone who can engage an audience that you’d like your message to reach, well, that’s just great.
Don’t stroke influencers by constantly @mentioning them or only sharing their articles, though. Pandering is very obvious, and it’s not pretty.
9. Too much Google+ stroking (via @Fatemeh Fakhraie)
I have been guilty of this. I love Google Plus; it’s expanded my business by leaps and bounds, so try to get others to drink the Kool-Aid too often. Show Google+ love, but keep it within reason.
10. Sharing content without proper attribution (via @Bernd Rubel)
Give credit where credit is due. If you use someone’s ideas, images, whatever—give them a hat tip. This helps build stronger relationships and is just the right thing to do.
11. Forgetting to support supporters (via @Mike Timberlake)
It’s easy to get caught up in your own work. We’re all out on social media every day to increase our business. Make sure you support and thank those people who support you.
A version of this article originally appeared on RyanHanley.com.