The image someone sees when their mouse hovers over your Google+ avatar is your “hover-card”.
This is your Google+ Business Card.
I enjoy receiving notifications when someone has added me to their circles,
then disappointed when I’m greeted by a “blue head”.
What’s a “blue head”?
It’s the default profile image Google uses when you haven’t supplied your own (like the Twitter “egghead”).
Social media is “sharing” media. That’s it. That’s all.
If you don’t want to share your story, social media is not for you.
But if you do want to network, you’ve got to be real. (Cue Cheryl Lynn music)
If you get a notification that I circled you, you’ll see this hover-card when you place your mouse over my avatar.
If I hadn’t uploaded a profile photo, cover image and bio onto my Profile page’s “about” tab, you’d see this…(not my best look!)
When someone comes across a “blue head” in their notifications, 99% of the time, it’s ignored.
G+ HoverCard is your 3 second elevator pitch.
1. Smile and be visible.
People will remember you and want to look at your content if you appear trustworthy and friendly.
In her post: Heatmaps to Help Your Google+ Profile Image Appear in Search Results, Ann Smarty show us how a close-up shot, a smile and even which direction you face in your photo has an impact on where readers look and how they feel about you.
2. Don’t use a generic or default Google+ Cover photo.
Be creative and show us your tastes and interests.
There are many sites where you can choose a template or create your own like: GoogleCover.com.
In this example, we can see why Carter’s a Community Manager – he loves people.
I change my cover photo often and share photos I’ve taken that reflect my everyday life. My current cover is an iPhone photo I too while walking Ruby after a recent snowfall.
3. Introduce yourself.
Remember, this is your Google+ business card. Your goal is have people wanting to know more about you.
The first thing you see under your cover photo is your Tagine.
This is pulled from your Google+ profile page. Keep it short and succinct.
The second line on your hovercard is pulled from the “employment” section of your profile.
Go to your Google+ profile page now and see what your hover-card is saying about you.
If it’s not the image you want to present, make the appropriate changes.
Have you circled me yet on Google+ ?
About Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Google Plus Specialist and Social Media Strategist helping small businesses establish their brands and build their communities on the social web. 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+.