How to Make a Great First Impression On Google Plus

Post by Ray 4 years ago - Google Plus - 3 Comments

The image someone sees when their mouse hovers over your Google+ avatar is your “hover-card”.

This is your Google+ Business Card.


I enjoy receiving notifications when someone has added me to their circles,

Default Google+ Bluehead

then disappointed when I’m greeted by a “blue head”.


What’s a “blue head”?

It’s the default profile image Google uses when you haven’t supplied your own (like the Twitter “egghead”).


Social media is “sharing” media. That’s it. That’s all.

If you don’t want to share your story, social media is not for you.

But if you do want to network, you’ve got to be real. (Cue Cheryl Lynn music)


If you get a notification that I circled you, you’ll see this hover-card when you place your mouse over my avatar.

Ray Google+ Hovercard


If I hadn’t uploaded a profile photo, cover image and bio onto my Profile page’s “about” tab, you’d see this…(not my best look!)

Default Google+ Hovercard

When someone comes across a “blue head” in their notifications, 99% of the time, it’s ignored.


G+ HoverCard is your 3 second elevator pitch.


1. Smile and be visible.

People will remember you and want to look at your content if you appear trustworthy and friendly.

Cyrus Shepard did his own study to see how much his Google+ photo affected his traffic.

In her post: Heatmaps to Help Your Google+ Profile Image Appear in Search Results, Ann Smarty show us how a close-up shot, a smile and even which direction you face in your photo has an impact on where readers look and how they feel about you. 


2. Don’t use a generic or default Google+ Cover photo.

Be creative and show us your tastes and interests.

There are many sites where you can choose a template or create your own like:

Carter Gibson Google+ Hovercard

In this example, we can see why Carter’s a Community Manager – he loves people.

I change my cover photo often and share photos I’ve taken that reflect my everyday life. My current cover is an iPhone photo I too while walking Ruby after a recent snowfall.


3. Introduce yourself.

Remember, this is your Google+ business card. Your goal is have people wanting to know more about you.

Ray's Google+ Profile Tagline

The first thing you see under your cover photo is your Tagine.

This is pulled from your Google+ profile page. Keep it short and succinct.

Ray's Google+ Profile Employment line

The second line on your hovercard is pulled from the “employment” section of your profile.


Go to your Google+ profile page now and see what your hover-card is saying about you.

If it’s not the image you want to present, make the appropriate changes.

While you’re there, take the time to optimize the rest of your profile page.
Gareth Mark wrote an excellent post on how to do just that: Optimize Your Google Plus Profile

Have you circled me yet on Google+ ?


Subscribe to my weekly Google Tips Newsletter.



About Ray Hiltz

Thanks for dropping by. I'm the Director of Digital Marketing for My background in business includes non-profit (performing arts), restaurants and Promotions. Having moved on from my own strategic consulting company, I now write about what interests me. So in this blog, you may read about my thoughts on marketing, health issues and business culture. You can follow me on Twitter @rayhiltz or @image24Call

3 Responses to “How to Make a Great First Impression On Google Plus”

  1. and again…another useful Google+ tip 🙂 Ray, did you test some of those .gif (?) cover photos? I search the internet and some people have fantastic Google+ cover photos

    • KlaudiaJurewicz Thanks, Klaudia. I haven’t played much with gif’s. You’re right, there are some incredible gif covers. Guess I’ll have to put my creative cap on and come up with something 🙂


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