Google+ maybe a newer social network, but it’s a powerful one.

In fact it is now the second largest social media network behind Facebook after only launching just over two years ago.

So why are so many Google+ users confused about how to use it? The fact is, if you’re like most people on Google+, you’re still a little confused about the site.

So what should you do?

To answer that question, here’s a list of some of the most common mistakes users make on the network. Examine these errors and avoid them, and you set yourself up to be ahead of the pack.

1. Not Optimizing Your ProfileCompleting your profile is Google+ 101.

When you add your name, bio, photo and other information, you let other users know who you are and how to identify you. This not only encourages connection, but it also reinforces your brand. To make the most of your profile, optimize it with keywords relevant to your industry. Likewise, include relevant links throughout your About page, from the “introduction” to the “website” section.

Look at my profile as an example:

  • Completed tagline
  • Keyword-rich introduction
  • Contact information
  • Photo

 Also optimize your profile by listing all the of the sites where your writing or content appears.

2. Never PostingYou gain the most exposure on Google+ when you post regularly.

Fresh content keeps you current in the feeds of contacts and makes you seem relevant, as is shown in the feed below. Likewise, regular posting benefits search engine optimization, improving your results when users search for content related to what you share.

3. Sharing Links Without CommentaryDumping links does nothing for you or your followers. In fact, it makes you look like a blowhard and, therefore, someone not worth following. Of course you want to share links to your latest blog posts or news updates — just be certain to do so with meaningful commentary. This encourages interaction and draws more attention to your links.

Make your readers want to click through, as Social Media Today does in this example:

4. Not Acknowledging Other Users’ MentionsGoogle+ is a social network—so when you ignore other users and focus only on your own work, you miss the point. What’s more, when other users see that you’re interested only in promoting your own content, they lose interest. For this reason, posting links with commentary and responding to what others share are best.

When someone links to you or mentions you in a post, like it or comment.
Also when you want to tag someone else’s content, tag him or her in the post, the way Straight North does below.

5. Neglecting to Add Google+ Badges to WebsiteWhat you post on Google+ is only half the equation—You also need to post Google+ to your website.

Add the badge to your profile, either in a button or through plugins like Easy Google+ Widget and The Google+ Plugin that make it easy for users to share your content on the network.

This way, your audience easily finds you on Google+, joins your circles, and increases your influence.

What about you?Looking at the mistakes outlined above, does anything sound familiar? Are you making any of these common errors?

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Digital Marketing Agency based in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Paraguay and sales representatives in Ecuador working for clients in Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay and the United States.

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