The quickest and most effective way to send a private message on Google+.
Want to reach out to someone on Google+ through a private message and not sure of the most effective way to do it? This one little trick has has been extremely effective for me.
And guess what? It doesn’t involve Hangouts.
Firstly, Why Hangouts Don’t Work
For one, Hangouts don’t work with pages. So if you’re trying to reach out to a brand page (or someone who uses a page as a profile like +Guy Kawasaki) then you’re out of luck.
Or if you are using a brand page yourself, you don’t have the opportunity to use Hangouts at all.
Additionally Hangouts have privacy settings which allow users to determine who is able to send them messages. If a user has strict settings and you don’t pass their privacy settings then your message may not go through (they will need to accept it first).
So if you’re really trying to get your message seen (and in a timely fashion), Hangouts isn’t the most effective route.
For carrying on conversations, Hangouts are great! Once a connection is made, it’s the best way to communicate (IMO) because it’s device agnostic, free, and only requires an internet connection.
But for first contact, there is a better way.
Private Message Posts on Google+
To send an effective private message on Google+ you simply need to start with a new Google+ post.
Before writing anything, be sure that you remove any and all circles or visibility selectors from the To: field. Since you want this to be a private message, you want to make sure you don’t accidentally spread the message further than the intended recipient(s).
Now, begin composing your message with a headline such as Private Message. I like to do this because when the message is recieved the recipient will instantly know this is intended for them alone.
Give a hard return. This gives a nice visual break between the headline and the actual message. This is also what I recommend doing in my Anatomy of a Perfect Google+ Post.
On a fresh line, begin your actual message by +mentioning the intended recipient(s). This does two things:
- It ensures that the person being mentioned will get a notification of this message.
- It adds their name to the To: field.
It is very important that you +mention the person. If you don’t then they will not recieve a notfication of the message and may not see it in their stream. This has happened to me numerous times when people have tried to send me private messages. Because I get a large volume of notifications from people sending me stuff (people who haven’t read the top 5 things not to do on Google+) I tend to only pay attention to the +mentions I get.
If you follow everything I’ve said so far, you’ll be able to reach out privately with much higher success.
A Few Creative Ideas
Now there are numerous reasons you might want to reach out privately to people on Google+. Once you understand how easy it is you may begin to see the application for different scenarios:
- Introducing yourself to someone you’d like to connect with
- Thanking someone for following you
- Sending a Happy Birthday message
- Letting someone know they’ve made a typo (happens to me all the time)
- Asking for someone’s email to take the conversation further
- Letting someone know you’ve attempted to send a Hangout message and wanted to make sure they got it
- Telling someone they’re awesome (because who doesn’t love spontaneous compliments?)
There’s plenty of reasons you might use Google+ private messages to communicate. And if you’d like to get some real pro tips, my buddy +Ben Fisher has written a post all about communicating privately on Google+. It’s got a few neat ideas about the practical business outreach applications of using Google+ private messages.
So, who’s going to be the first person to send me a private message once they’re done reading this post?