5 Profile Tips For Making Friends on Google+
“I want you to follow me. But I don’t want you to see me or know who I am – I’m not comfortable with that. So circle me and I’ll get around to posting something sooner or later. Trust me.”
I swear this is the internal dialogue that I imagine people are having when they circle you on Google+ or follow you on Twitter and don’t put up a photo or profile.
Am I going to follow? Not bloody likely.
I’m a nice guy. I believe in “the kindness of strangers”.
But I’m losing my patience with people that either through ignorance or paranoia, go to the bother of setting up social media accounts without filling in their profiles.
How am I supposed to know which circle to put you in or list on if I have no clue who you are or what interests we have in common?
The motivation for this post is my recent attempt at circle maintenance. I came across dozens of of such profiles.
The ones without photos; easy - ignore. But the ones without a tagline, descriptions or posts? Let’s just say my “Purgatory” circle is getting pretty packed.
If you want to interact with humans, be a human being and not a “shadow” or an “egg”.
Here are 5 ways to make friends and influence people by creating a full profile.
1. Always have a personal photo as your avatar
This applies even if its an account for your business. If you’re on social media to interact with people on a human level, then put a human face on your profile, not a logo.
2. Write a brief description or tagline
This will appear under your avatar. It could be what you do or where you work.
If your workplace is enough to give someone an idea of what you do i.e. NASA, great, if not, it might be better to say, “digital engineer. or “accounts manager”. In Google+, you can add a more detailed description by filling in the “occupation” field on the profile page. This will appear when you hover your mouse over the avatar.
3. Let people know where else to find you online
On Google+, links appear on the right hand side of your profile page. It allows someone to check you out further on your other online places. Some people list everything. I include only those sites that I’m active on.
4. Publish before going public
It’s a good idea to post a few updates before you open up your site to the public*. These can be shared links or media (photos, video etc.). Add a little personal commentary and you’ll be giving people some insight as to who you are.
It also gives someone the opportunity to leave a comment and start up a conversation. Think of what it would be like to walk up to someone at a networking event and just stand in front of them – then turn your back to them and say nothing.
(*Google+ allows you to control the level of privacy on each part of your profile. Your Introduction can be public but your Occupation field only visible to your circles, you or custom.)
5. Tell your story
Google+ allows you to format your text and include hyperlinks in the introduction section of your profile. Take advantage of this to not only increase your search ranking, but also to give reason for people to circle (follow) you.
This is where you can let your personality shine. If your in business, make it professional but sprinkle in a little humour. Remember, we want to connect with you, not your company – yet.
Have I missed something? Do you have minimum profile requirements that must be met before you follow someone?
About Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Social Media Strategist with management roots in restaurant, hotel and performing arts. A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social". Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.