+1 To Get One: A Technical Proof
“Pay with a tweet” and similar functions for Facebook and other social networks have become quite popular lately. They allow companies to give away something (maybe it’s some hidden content, an ebook, or competition entry) when a user shares their website & marketing message on social networks. This has some varied success, but has the major downfall of being very transient – the notification can disappear from the walls of user’s friends in a matter of minutes.
Enter Google Plus.
One of the overwhelming reasons for a brand to use Google+ is the fact that user’s actions actively modify the search engine results of their network. With thousands of blog posts documenting this, I’m not going to get into it too much here, other than this:
Plus One to get One
So, how can we get our users to Plus one our pages? Using the “Pay with a tweet” model is possible, however we need to be careful about this -
Google’s policy says: Publishers may not promote prizes, monies, or monetary equivalents in exchange for Google+ button clicks. So we can’t pay for +1′s – +1′s affect search rankings, so giving the user a prize or money for a +1 would be the same as paying for a link.
The policy also states, however: Publishers may direct users to a Google+ button to enable content and functionality. So we can use a +1 to unlock content, as long as you don’t normally charge for that content (that would be a “monetary equivalent”).
What is considered acceptable behaviour?
- Giving +1 users exclusive content related to a blog post (like the data from a study)? Definitely.
- Asking users to +1 before they can get your eBook? Probably – as long as you’ve never charged for that eBook before
- Letting users who +1 enter a competition to win a prize? I think this is OK, although it’s not specifically mentioned, the policy documentation gives me more the feeling that they’re trying to stop out-and-out buying of plusses, but unlocking the entry to a competition sounds legitimate enough.
The technical stuff
Depending on what you want to do – replace my alerts by setting a cookie, jQuery in some new content, or fire an analytics event.