For the past couple of weeks now I’ve been watching the furore around the launch of the latest social network to his the scene, Google+ …
I’ve read extensively and viewed a range of opinion via articles from key social influencers such as @mashable,@michaelstelzner,@hubspot and many more. Lots of articles around the questions: “Will it take over Facebook”? “What’s the purpose of Google+”?
And many responses around “It’s all about humanising the Google search – and winning the ‘feelings’ of the user in a noise saturated world”. “It’s making social make sense rather than be an endless stream of noise”. Etc…
There are indeed many other conversation themes around Google+, but the Facebook war and ‘friendly and purposeful’ ones seem to frequently recur.
As a marketer – my mantra is, the more targeted the marketing, the better.
And so, from a marketing perspective, Google+ offers the advantage of helping users to do this.
Effectively, each ‘circle’ is a segment – and you can segment your ‘contacts’ as you wish. Much the same as you do with a Twitter list – but at the moment, that Twitter list feature only enables you to view rather than communicate into that segment.
So…Is Twitter missing a trick?
In my humble opinion the Twitter List is currently more comparable to Google+ than Facebook
Most of the articles I’ve read focus on a Google+ and Facebook war. However, really, all Twitter has to do is make the ‘Twitter list’ (a list where you can segment those you follow into specific lists to review only their particular content … er a Google Circle) – interactive – et voila, the need for active Twitterers to transfer everything into Google+ is really eradicated.
If the Twitter list enabled the user to very simply target messages into a specific list – and for conversations to remain targeted (rather than having to set up separate Twitter accounts for such targeted conversation each time) – then perhaps Twitter, probably the simplest communication channel, could become the bigger threat to Google+ over Facebook.
Setting up your networks online takes a fair bit of time. My followers and those I am following on Twitter has taken over a year to cultivate and fine tune – and I endeavour to I keep followers and conversations as ‘targeted’ and purposeful as possible. And it’s an ongoing process. Therefore, the thought of starting again, with a new platform doesn’t fill me with delight. However, if Google+ for business makes it seamless – then no doubt I’ll explore.
Autonomy is interesting
I’ve opened an account on Google+ and I saw very evidently how to bring in hotmail or yahoo email contacts. I don’t have either of these email accounts for serious contact management. I watched a video about downloading all email contacts into CSV and then uploading them, but the button wouldn’t enable, so I’m sure that’s going to follow.
So… I started searching for people – and found a few. I like the fact that I can bring them into a circle but they don’t know the name of that circle. Or who else is in that circle – so it’s a bit of a ‘strange’ way to build a targeted community’ – again, it’s more a case of building a targeted list – (er – back to Twitter).
To create ‘specific targeted spaces to collaborate’ – I’ve been using www.bizzbug.com for years. With Bizzbug you create ‘social spaces’ for a specific purpose. You can invite one person or thousands of people to a space – and it can have its own forum, blog, folders, events, calenders. Almost like a closed LinkedIn group – but the permissions are far greater and the folders element means that entire projects can be managed and stored forever. (Incredibly time saving, particularly when many users on the project need to view the same material from different locations). So – I suppose when I’m viewing Google+, I’m also thinking… I already have a solution to autonomous collaboration that works excellently, thank you.
It would have been useful to have a function to bring across my Twitter, Twitter lists, Facebook Page and LinkedIn contacts so I could segment them into circles. And perhaps this is going to be a feature of the much awaited ‘Google+ for Business’ However, from the video I watched about what Google+ for Business was going to enable, it focused more about integrating the platform with other business Google products such as Adwords and Analytics – so we’ll have to see.
If the objective of Google+ is to create one dashboard that offers multi-channel management – to eradicate the need for other networks and centralise social networking – then there’s still much to do.
However, it’s a long game and if anyone is resourced to do it – then Google is. And I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on how Google+ and Google+ for Business develops.
So… what say you? Any views, new or ideas about Google+. Any Google+ tips to share ?
@Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative – the online visibility experts. A digital marketing and design agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The agency covers all aspects of online visibility – covering social media marketing and social media training, user focused website planning and conversion focused website design.
For marketing and social media advice – view the Carvill Creative Blog