In this edition of Google+ Monday Golden Nugget, I need to explain some Google+ commenting etiquette. In fact, the type of etiquette you should be practicing on Google+ is the same type of good etiquette you should be employing on other social networks and when leaving comments on blogs.
Simply said, you should never spam someone's social share. "Spamming" isn't just for emails; it also applies to an unwanted solicitation as a comment on a social post, or on a blog post. This is referred to as "comment spam."
On Google+, and all social networks for that matter, you should always +1, Like, or Favorite someone's socially shared post when you find it enjoyable, truthful, or educational. That action helps promote that social share to your friends, and elevate its overall visibility in that social network.
In Google+, the posts with several +1s will appear as "What's Hot" in your Stream.
If you think your own friends will also find that socially shared post enjoyable, truthful, or educational, then you should re-share it to your Circles. This will bring greater exposure to that post, and that person or business will appreciate you for doing it.
When re-sharing a post you should always add your own description to it so your circle of friends understands why you are passing it along to them.
You should leave a comment on the original post when you want to express your opinion, amusement, or thanks to the original person who shared it, or to other people who also commented. You could leave a simple comment of "wow" or "amazing," but if you are engaging socially like this as your business, then it's always going to be better to leave a relevant comment of more than just a few words.
"Relevant comment" is the operative phrase there because when you post irrelevant comments using your business name, they usually end up leaning towards the spectrum of unwanted solicitations.
You should never post a comment with an explicit solicitation of your products or services. This is always poor etiquette no matter where it's done, and about a month ago one jewelry manufacturer did exactly that to one of the jWAG posts shared on Google+.
Here's a copy of their spam comment, I've blurred out their name and contact information so as not to completely call them out:
This should have been a post of their own, not a comment on a jWAG post. It's also pretty unusual to see hashtags within a comment. The 9 hashtags they used would have been perfect if this was their own original post.
Comment spam like this has only 1 goal: To sneak a message in front of a different audience. This comment was deleted very quickly, so their tactic failed.
Deleting comment spam like this is easy; simply hover over the comment to reveal the controls as shown in this screen shot:
Then click on the (X) icon and you'll see this popup message:
That popup message gives you the choice of deleting the comment and blocking the person from posting a comment ever again, or just deleting the comment. You can be aggressive and block the person, or you can just delete the comment.
The person managing the account might think it's okay to leave comment spam, or maybe they are following bad advice from some internet marketer. If you are willing to help them learn the right way, you could delete the comment then send them a private message using this sharing method
I explained a while ago. Give them a warning that they should not leave comment spam on your posts. Invite them to do some real social media engaging with you.
There's no need to tell someone you will block them if their bad manners persist; I find that those types of warning simply start online arguments anyway.
Make sure you read and fully comprehend the post you're going to comment on. You want to avoid an embarrassing faux pas where it could appear you're remarking lightly to a personal tragedy, political statement you may not want to go on record for, or a public argument between friends (or worse two customers of yours, i.e. husband and wife). Just as with a dinner party, it's probably better to comment on the weather than religion or politics!
Bottom line, comment spam is bad. I sure hope those of you reading this never do it.