FAULT! Flagrant Google+ Fouls

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[This is a guest post by Mallie Hart.]

While my partners in flagrant foul crime have hit on several sports analogies, I was left with only two choices. Soccer or tennis. I’m going with tennis, as the progression is somewhat easier to understand!

We’re skipping the warning phase here, folks. Read the Google TOS, ask social business savvy friends and colleagues and do a little research. It’s easy to get caught up and run afoul of social done right, but that’s no excuse.


Comment For Comment’s Sake: Don’t hijack a post with an off-topic comment that detracts from the topic under discussion. Repeat faults will quickly take you to loss of game status.

Misspellings and Grammar Errors: There’s no excuse to leave them up for all to see, because, unlike Facebook, Google+ lets you edit posts, not just comments.

Thank You Sans Mention: Yes, we know – a thank you at all is a bonus, but adding that mention (+name) makes sure the recipient sees the thank you and also adds to overall searchability and value.


Format With Intent: Yes, Google+ allows you to italicize and bold parts of your posts.  That doesn’t mean you must or should go overboard. Use italics and bold properly to create emphasis, not to scream at your audience.

Share With Intent & Purpose: Yes, you have the ability to publish for the public – but that doesn’t mean one always should. Very specific, targeted, and possibly TMI information should be shared sparingly, with only the circle to which the information pertains.


Alert Etiquette Breach: Just like it’s wrong, Wrong, WRONG to tag people in photos on Facebook– people who don’t happen to be in the photo – simply to increase your reach, it’s just as lamentable to +mention someone who has nothing to do with a post or topic of interest. We all suffer from information overload. There’s no excuse for making someone take time from a task or objective to look at something of little to no value with no intent other than stroking our own ego.

Engaging in the ME ME ME Mentality: You know these Plussers. They share only their own mediocre “motivational quotes” and, of course, their own blog posts. If they don’t have anything new to post they choose to share from their archives, without once stopping to check if the post is still valid or valuable. Sometimes the information is so out of date that the “tips” can only be called criminal.


Inappropriate Attire: We admit this one shocked us. And we’re hard to shock. Apparently some gentlemen (though that’s probably not the correct designation) think it’s okay to take part in mixed company, public hangouts sans shirt. SERIOUSLY. It’s creepy, completely without class and just wrong. Get to the closet and pull out a t-shirt dude!

Sure, these were written with a tongue-in-cheek style, but the intent is VERY serious. The idea of social is so easily stomped upon when we forget a little common courtesy and common sense. Let’s take back social and connect and engage with some manners!

Connect with Mallie on Twitter


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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and social media customer care agency. She's also the author of Conversations That Connect -- a book all about social listening and social media customer care. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout on the socials!
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8 Comments. Leave new

  • I love this ~>> “Sometimes the information is so out of date that the “tips” can only be called criminal.” It can be the next Law and Order: Social Media with Criminal Intent.

    Great tips! I really love the ability to edit everything on G+ and agree 100% that there’s no excuse for typos or bad grammar. That being said, there is a culture on G+ of “we can do what we want” and some people just don’t care about those things. It’s interesting to see those discussions, I just walk away from them.

  • Great tips! Absolutely love Mallie’s writing style! These are all fantastic “Flagrant Google+ Fouls” and the one that stands out most to me after reading this – probably because it happened recently – is the Loss of Point > off topic comment. As for the Loss of Match: Inappropriate Attire, I hope that I don’t come across this one 🙂

  • Avatar
    Mandy Edwards
    February 2, 2013 7:33 PM

    I have totally LOVED this series! I see these G+ fouls all the time. I wish people would “get it”. Until they do, we get great posts like this!


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