Pro Tip: Google Plus sharing and notifications techniques

Pro Tip: Google Plus sharing and notifications techniques

Take your Google Plus marketing up a notch with the Google+ Pro Tips ebooks series.

Take your Google Plus marketing up a notch with the Google+ Pro Tips ebooks series.

Sharing posts is one of the most important parts of Google Plus: it builds authority, exposes you to new audiences, and can do wonders for your web traffic.

Sharing a Google Plus post is easy: click the icon share button, set your audience, maybe add some commentary, and press “Share.”

Sharing a Google Plus post to get you the maximum impact, reach, and influence, however, takes a little more work.

But it’s worth it. Here’s how:

Setting the Stage

Best ways to share on Google PlusI’m going to walk you through the sharing and re-sharing of a post, so you can see how to leverage sharing and notifications work to maximize your exposure and reach.

I want to be clear about notifications: we’re talking about the red box on Google Plus, not push or email notifications that you can adjust in the Settings screen. These notifications cannot be turned off, which also means you should understand how they work, and use them judiciously so as not to be viewed as a spammer.

Also, this technique works for any post you want to share/re-share, like this one about social media monitoring on Google Plus, but since you’re here to get more exposure for your business, we’ll keep the story focused on you & your business.


Meet the Cast

The cast of characters in our story are:

  • [A] – the Google+ Page of your company
  • [B] – your personal profile
  • [C] – a connection that has circled you

Are you the visual type? Watch a walkthrough

Otherwise, skip below and follow along.


Scene 1: [A] Prepares a company page post

What to do: First, +mention yourself [B] in the business page post. Add relevant hashtags, extra links, other +mentions, and anything else that’s really important to have tied to the post that you want to keep in-tact in the event it’s shared.

Let me say that again: the initial post is the most important one in the entire sharing sequence. Make sure you take your time, and make it as complete and perfect as possible.

What this means for notifications:

When you +mention a user in your company page post, they will get a notification that says [A] mentioned you in a post,” and they can click right to the post.

Since you’re +mentioning your own profile from your Page, you will get a notification to link directly to the post from your profile. Be sure to leave a comment so you can be notified of future comments without having to be logged into your Page (if you want that to happen, of course…but it’s convenient).

Scene 2: [B] Shares [A]’s post

Time to re-share your company’s post. Be sure to add value and a takeaway so your audience has reason to read and comment. Adding value to a share can also influence your most loyal connections to re-share for you.

What to do: In the part where you add value to the share, [B] should +mention [A], as well as anybody in [A]’s original post that they feel should be included.

(For example, a collaboration post will have several users, and they will want to follow along with the shares so they can engage as well. In fact, here’s an example, see if you can figure out why I included the people I included in my share).

What this means for notifications:

[A] will get a notification that [B] shared their post. However, the notification is in the same notification “set” as +1’s and comments on their original post. If [A] clicks on the share notification, they’re going to be taken back to their original post, not your shared post.

Furthermore, none of the users mentioned by [A] in the post will be notified of the share.

We don’t want either of those things…you aren’t getting anybody’s attention that way.

So, by mentioning others in [B]‘s share, like in Scene 1, [A] and any other users mentioned will get a notification that [B] mentioned you in a post.” Clicking on that notification will take them directly to the post [B] shared. Now you’ve brought them into your own conversation about their topic, with a single click!

Scene 3: [C] re-shares [B]’s share

IMPORTANT: A re-share will only pass along the original post, not anything that [B] added themselves.

This is where it’s imperative that [A] stays on top of the sharing activity. Odds are users aren’t going to know to properly use notifications on a re-share (send them here, please), so if you’re [A] in our story, use Ripples on your original post to find re-shares so you can go and comment and thank them. Then you know what happens right? Yep, you get a notification when someone else comments on that thread, so you can keep tabs and build rapport with new users who are clearly interested in your content!

If you’re [B] in our story, when [C] shares your post you will get a notification that, if clicked, takes you to your share of [A]‘s post, just like what happened to [A] above when you shared their post. Like above, that’s not optimal, so you should also keep tabs on re-shares so you can engage with users.

If you’re [C] in our story, here are some tips to really impress the people whose content you’re sharing:

  • Click through to [A]‘s post (click the word “post” in the shared section of [B]‘s post, it will read like this: [A] originally shared this post:)
  • Leave a comment on the original thread so [A] gets a notification
  • Sharing from the original post by [A] is great…power users do this, whereas other users re-share the power users. So going to the original post will likely land you in the company of very influential people if it’s a popular post. Great way to get noticed. OR…
  • If you’re trying to build a rapport with a user who shared it already (another user playing the role of [B] in this example), you might want to re-share their post, and follow the same guidelines that I said above about mentioning, so [A] and [B] both get mention notifications.

And by using the Ripples you can also see which influential users have already shared it, in case you might want to hop over to their comment threads and get involved.

Epilogue: a recap of how the shares & notifications work

In this story, we covered two types of notifications that drive sharing and re-sharing on Google Plus (but this is how they work in general, too):

“[User] shared your post” – takes you to your post when clicked, not the one they shared. However, you can use the Ripples on your post to find the share and then go engage with the user that shared your post.

“[User] mentioned you in a post” – takes you to the post where the mention is when clicked, where you can engage with them. This is what you want to see when your content is being shared (along with a second notification that “[User] shared your post.”) Then you know they did it right, and you should definitely engage with that user.

Bonus: “[User] commented” / “[User] +1’d your comment” – takes you to the post where the comment was made (which could also be a comment with a mention of you in it, hence the notification).

Bonus 2: Totally unrelated to sharing and notifications, make sure you add the same hashtags into your share as the person who originally shared it.

Are you using these techniques to gain influence with power users when you share their content? How about when sharing your company’s content? Tell me about it below.


About Stephan Hovnanian

I own Shovi Websites, a website design and email marketing company located outside Boston. I spend my days managing websites and staying up to speed with all the latest trends across the web so you don't have to.

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  • Mike Bayes

    This is great! Here’s a suggestion… add or do a screen shot video on “how to” . People are visual… .

    • Stephan Hovnanian

      Hey Mike, thanks for the feedback. Good point, a visual could be easier to digest…what’s everybody else think who reads this? My only hesitation was having so many applications for this technique that it could get confusing to nail down into one walkthrough.

      • Michele Broad

        I would love a video demo walking me through this. I didn’t understand this very much-sorry I read it twice and I am not a techie person and it was just confusing for me.

        • Stephan Hovnanian

          @google-69767f1a40396a68bf273fcc3c1c44d7:disqus and @google-61b8229c864ece656f30e68f7dcc2ec3:disqus the video walkthrough is up. I hope this helps!

  • Mike Allton

    Thanks for including the video (and including me)! That definitely helped clarify the point that you were making.

    And good tip about leaving comments on your page posts. Frankly, I tend to ignore my page posts completely because it’s such an inconvenience to monitor. I share new blog posts to my page but I encourage all interaction through my personal profile. I just set up email notifications for comments on page post so that I can log in and respond occasionally.

    • Stephan Hovnanian

      My pleasure Mike, and I’m glad you picked up a tip, you’re kind of a star when it comes to sharing already :)

  • Angel Perez

    Awesome advice here. I have been doing some of the things suggested but not all of them. I will definitely have to implement them.

    • Stephan Hovnanian

      thanks Angel! Obviously you want to pick & choose…I had a good dialogue with Harold T on Jesse Wojdylo’s share about goal setting and testing. Give it a look (click Jesse’s name)

  • Heath Rost

    Wow, great post! Shared and subscribed to your mailing list. Great video!

  • Radhika Subramanian

    So this is what you were talking about and I must say it was worth the wait. Clarified a lot of things and how the sharings of a page and a personal profile works. Fantastic post . Thank you very much.