As the latest social networking site, Google+ is showing a lot of promise in terms of great features and value offering. People who have become tired of Facebook all seem to be raving about Google+, but it seems that rather than being a Facebook killer, many people are saying that Twitter should be more worried, as Google+ offers Twitter features that are a lot better.
Google+ seems to have been able to successfully replicate how real life interactions work with its features such as Circles, Sparks and Hangouts. But as with any social networking platform and similar real life, the question of etiquette comes up.
Since many people are still exploring what Google+ has to offer, no one has really come up with a strict rule of ethical conduct in this site. But here are some things that I believe are worth taking note of when using Google+.
1. Think before you post
This rule should actually apply to any social networking site, but more and more, you see people in Facebook and Twitter just posting whatever they want without being mindful of what others think.
Since Google+ allows people to follow you without the need to follow them back as well, you should always think about your posts before putting them as public. One of the best things about Google+ is its feature called Circles, which allows you to share content with a specific group of people. So if you think your post doesn’t really interest all the people who are following you, it’s probably better for you to simply use your Circles to share content with a group whom you know is really interested in the topic.
2. Don’t post too often
No one enjoys it when someone spams up their page with content, and if you post too often, each of your posts won’t really get the attention it deserves. So make sure to wait a bit before each successive post. You wouldn’t want anyone to miss a post of yours, right? And that will happen if you keep putting out new content before anyone has time to assimilate what you posted before.
3. Always give credit to the original poster
Re-sharing content is a great way to get people talking and spread good information, but always remember to give credit to the original poster. After all, that’s basically content that they originally thought of, so make sure to acknowledge their contribution.
4. Think before you comment
Just like your posts, you should also think before you comment. The comment thread in Google+ can make for a good discussion and debate, but again, be mindful of what you say, especially when you’re commenting on other people’s posts.
Unlike Facebook, Google+ allows you to comment on the posts of people you’ve followed even if they haven’t followed you back. So if you’re going to comment, make sure it’s relevant and adds to the discussion or people will just see your comment as spam.
Also, it’s a good idea to reply to the comments left in your posts. It’s a good way to get a discussion going, and helps you form better relationships with your followers.
5. Don’t ignore your followers
As mentioned earlier, you can actually follow people in Google+ and they’re not obligated to follow you back. And vice versa. But it’s a good idea to perhaps at least introduce yourself before you follow someone send them a private message to let them know you want to follow them. Social networking sites are all about forming relationships, and you may be surprised at the wonderful new relationships you create with others by simply letting them know who you are.
Social media has truly broken many barriers in how people interact with each other online, but it can be easy to abuse this sometimes. So as with real life, always be mindful of what you say and how you act, so that everyone can enjoy participating in social networks such as Google+.
By Kevin Dreefs