Room for 1 More Social Network?
I was lucky enough this week to get my Google+ beta invite and ever since I’ve been poking around and playing to get a feel for it. There’s already a cornucopia of blog posts laying out all the best tricks and tools in Google+ so I’m not going to go there…BUT instead offer some of my perspective about where I see it going and how it will be used.
Right away I’m loving it! The dashboard is very clean and fresh and there’s a high quality of social savvy content primarily because of the users. Currently it’s the Social Media elite sharing all their favorite articles and insights although I’ve already spotted some bad push messaging of Real Estate listings (What was he thinking? ~ Block!)
Anyway…the good news is (and probably the biggest news) Circles allows you to control what posts you’re seeing and what posts your contacts will see as well. See Google understands that we share different things with different people ~ here’s the primary difference between Facebook and Google+.
On Facebook it all goes out to everyone on the public feed. On Google+ you can literally focus on different groups. For instance: Real Estate info will likely not be of interest to my social media peeps, and my pictures of my kids may only be interesting to my friends and family. The privacy levels are much higher and will surely be attractive to many (Am thinking the younger generation who don’t want their parents ‘friending’ them on Facebook for instance.)
One of my favorite features is Sparks. Sparks has organized topics of interest that it tracks. Type in “Fashion” for instance and instantly all relevant articles appear. Want great content to share? Researching for a blog? Sparks will be a fabulous asset.
Google+ Search Power
The beauty of Google has always been its search power. Google+ just amps it up! It’s amazing to me how strong the search function is. Type in a person’s name or business or keyword to drill down! For example, I tried typing “Vancouver” and instantly all Vancouver people with Google+ profiles appeared! Cool! Now I can follow everyone in Vancouver or within any other search. Powerful.
I also reconfigured my own profile to include some keywords to increase my rank on “Vancouver” “Langley” “Fraser Valley” and “Social Media”. I LOVE that! Now I’ll be found! (Very similar to LinkedIn in this regard.)
It’s going to be fun to watch all the 3rd party applications jump all over themselves to incorporate Google+ too! I see a Hootsuite add-on in my very near future 😉
Finally, the way I see it is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube will all still be around and used for different objectives. Google+ in my opinion will serve as my more professional conversation space, while Facebook will remain primarily friends and family and lighter content. Twitter is still my number one relationship builder and tends to be more conversational and LinkedIn is where we’ll store our connections. Don’t buy into the hype of “death to Facebook!” Get serious.
Where it will get interesting is how brands begin to leverage Google+. How will they market and engage? My ability to turn off and tune out has never been stronger so Brands will have to be uber creative in order to stay in my stream.
Want to dive deeper into the possibilities with Google? Visit Chris Brogan’ s Blog: The Google Plus 50 (http://www.chrisbrogan.com/googleplus50/)