Monday, November 24, 2014

Are you a Google Plus user?

Today I met this guy on the train. He was marketing on his smartphone. I hate people who are glued to smartphones all the time. After a while we were talking about Google+ and Facebook. He said he has some sucessful business pages on Facebook. I tried to convince him that G+ is the place to be. I don’t know if Facebook still works for you but for me it’s not. My Facebook pages are almost dead! Maybe I wasn't active like I once was or active enough to get my voice out.But now, with the same attention investment I get zero results. Well, he said his customers are not on G+, they are all on Facebook! But what about potential customers, I asked. Maybe they are already active on Google Plus, no? Considering FB has all but eliminated organic reach I think this guy should pack and move. The only good result I get from Facebook is on my actual profile page and that’s not the ideal place for branding. Then he said Google Plus isn't that good and that I should get informed. After that I let him be and plunged my eyes into my book...

I've been doing some readings about G+ just now because, true, I lacked strong arguments. Just a few lines here and there. Not everyone is writing wonders about Google Plus. But there are some positive implications of being present on G+ like fast indexation of content by Google or  easy interaction with other services. Also it's pretty easy to use, not so different from from other services. Most of all what's really important is how you use it and not if you use it or not... I think that the best practices at Google Plus are the same I knew already from my blogging experience.
  •  I think that rule number one to be successful in these services is to be present. There must be a routine. It's just like blogging. You are ther to interact with others. You don't need to post a lot, you need to meet what your readers expect from you. 
  • Then you must provide some kind of value to your readers. It can be a lot of different things. You must know the audience a little or you will fail. It can be funny and amusement stuff. I like people that create a good mood online with their posts. Or it can be informative stuff - I do apreciate people that can give me good advice or post something that adds to my knowledge. I sometimes don't know what to do. And I ask for help. Someone provides a good link to some good content or explains perfectly what I want to know. I thank the gods for the internet! My problem just got solved! Isn't that great? 
  • To make good and constructive comments and to provide honest feedback is of major importance also. You don't have to agree to everything. But we have to keep the good sense on. Sometimes people are rude just because they are online and faraway. It's common not to  respect the validity of others opinion. I usually don't like to get envolved in "live or die" discussions.  I try to be polite. I behave online as I behave in real life. I sometimes forget that I should always stay focused on the original topic. I get carried away and write a hundred words about cats when the post is all about dogs! I must not forget to +mention! This is the same as I did when in Twitter @mention or @name in Facebook. 
  • It's pretty bad to pass something off as your own work. Anything. Text, photos, illustrations.  Give credit where credit is due. I never understood why people re-posted my posts on Facebook instead of just clicking the button Share. It looks like everyone is trying to be the first there! It's a bit silly. I never felt like I was on a competition. But for some it looked like something important. Usually I thank the person who shared something if I liked it and am re-sharing it. I think I can do the same on Google Plus...
  • Then there's the spam. I'm always a bit afraid of doing too much promotion!I know the rule is to create good content that can attract people to me and what I do. Sometime's it's not easy to escape to tentation! But in the long run it will compensate to build a solid reputation online. If you get a good reputation you can sell anything! You can make a page on Google+. It’s similar to making a business Page on Facebook. Use your profile to market your business. Describe your products or service in it. Use natural descriptions and don't try to put a lot of keywords there. 
I still find Google terminology a bit awkward - in Facebook I Friend someone, in Twitter I Follow a person. In Google Plus we say to Circle/Uncircle someone! LOL! If I enjoy something I see on Facebook I Like it but on Google I just +1-ed or plus it! Doesn't it sound weird?! But, again, Likes were also a bit strange before they were turned into ordinary. I have no doubts: +1 is the new Like! 

Here's a list of my readings about Google Plus:

How to Optimize Google Plus Business Page

Twelve Things You Should Do on Your Personal Google+ Account Right Now
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