Proper Google+ Plus Etiquette – Who Says?

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Do you plus one yourself or do you cringe at those who plus themselves? What does where you stand on hitting the Plus One button on your own Google posts say about your personality?

Thou Shalt Not Plus Thyself and Plussing Unto Others

The ten commandments were written before the birth of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, so apparently God wants us to figure out the right and wrong of plusses and likes for ourselves. Two well-respected authorities, social media consultants Mike Allton of, and Jason T. Wiser of, differ on plussing their own Google Plus posts. Mike Allton believes in patting himself on the back once in a while with a plus, while Jason T. Wiser feels it would be vain for him to plus his own posts. Another social media expert, Dustin Stout of, thinks plussing yourself isn’t wrong, and takes it a step further, believing that resharing your own post isn’t a sin either. There are strong opinions surrounding this click, and upon examination, I would argue they align with a person’s attitudes toward life and love in general.

Let’s analogize for a minute that the Google Plus One (or Facebook’s Like) button is a digital way of sharing love. Love me-plus me-like me-oooh baby, it feels so good! There are as many different styles of love as there are views on the proper use of these social media buttons. Can demographic groups, personality types, love styles, and plussing be correlated? If I applied for a big money research grant (are you considering it now?), do you think behavior studies would bear out the following hypotheses?

Social Media Personalities and Plussing Tendencies

  • Demographic Group: Baby boomers
  • Personality Traits/Love Style: Modest and reserved. They don’t freely tell children and family they love them, but expect them to know it intuitively.
  • Plussing Behavior: Being raised to value modesty and humility, they’ll think plussing yourself is vain and hedonistic. Reserved, modest people will feel embarrassed and guilty for tooting their own horn with a plus button. Raised with old-fashioned notions about self-pleasure, they would perhaps even feel dirty afterward. Plussing others is based on merit alone.
  • Demographic Group: Hippies from the 60’s and 70’s
  • Personality Traits/Love Style: Give love to get love / Free love
  • Plussing Behavior: These people will freely and selflessly give others plusses, and believe that their appreciation will be more than reciprocated by people plussing their posts in return. Self-plussing therefore seems unnecessary to them.
  • Demographic Group: The Me generation
  • Personality Traits/Love Style: It’s all about me / Narcissistic love
  • Plussing Behavior: Narcissists will often plus themselves, They will only rarely plus another when they think it benefits themselves to do so.

Obviously, I’m overgeneralizing these demographic groups. The point is that the definition of right and wrong in social media behavior will differ as much as people do. I could go on and on about how religious, political, moral, and other factors impact social media behavior, but it’s beyond the scope of this blog. I’d be happy to use your taxpayer money to study the issue further though. If you don’t want the government to waste your money with me, feel free to sound off with a comment.

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Dana Altman has finally branched out on her own, after her success with legal writing and copywriting for for the past 10 years. She has a wicked way with words, but uses it for the good of her clients by promoting their businesses with expertly crafted content writing and social media marketing. She's written hundreds of published pages for the legal, industrial, construction, medical, education, technology, and many other fields. You can contact Dana at if you need help driving the right traffic to your site, and turning your visitors into customers. A full range of writing services is available, and can be customized to the SEO needs of any business.

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4 thoughts on “Proper Google+ Plus Etiquette – Who Says?”

    1. Thank you sooo much Jason for your contributions to this article! You really are the one who gave birth to it after taking me under your wing in my first week on G+, and by also introducing me to your esteemed colleagues. It’s been a privilege to have met you I deeply appreciate your help and guidance. BTW, this was migrated over to my brand new site, the site will eventually be deleted, so it’s currently on the site, which will soon be the new site once I finish working on it. Thanks again for everything-you’re the best!

  1. Most social media professionals would agree that resharing your post is a best practice. In fact, Guy Kawasaki will swear by it. It’s fairly common practice if you know that you have a diverse audience that consumes at different times (or across multiple time zones) to reshare your post at different times. Since a +1 can show up in your followers streams as a recommended post, it makes sense to me to utilize it as a “soft” reshare. I’ve had countless followers confirm that this practice works exceptionally well.

    So I guess I might just be a Hippie stuck in a millennial’s body (but with actual intelligence behind the practices I engage rather than what “feels good”).

    1. Thank you so much for your valuable insight Dustin! I really appreciate your time in enlightening me with your wisdom. It’s hard to acclimate to a new social environment, and very kind of you to offer guidance and ease my guilt. After having the “only plus thyself” mantra drilled into my head from the training course, I had no inhibitions about plussing myself when I initially did it, but then I felt like a shameless plussing hussy. I know your input will also be very helpful to others struggling to learn the ropes on G+. The next time I plus myself I can now tell others you made me do it 😉 I’m very privileged to have the opportunity pick such brilliant minds-thanks again!

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