Social Networking Angst

So Many Social Networks

So Many Social Networks

So Google+ goes public, open to anyone that now wishes to sign-up. Many will, but many more will not.

Personally, I love the idea of Google+, so many of Google’s web based applications make sense, are easier to use and more often than not, user centric.

The problem I face, like many others, is one of time.

From a business perspective I need to focus my effort where I can maximise return. The top level choice of Social Networks currently includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.

Additionally there are secondary, but as important networks, dependant on your skill set and focus; YouTube, Instagram, Flickr and to a lesser extent Foursquare. Of course, there are further micro-networks and niche social spaces.

So Many Choices

This means we have to make choices. If you are engaging readily with early adopters and tech types you may be able to wander happily from space to space as new networks appear. If not, you have to stay where your audience is strongest. This point is probably the most important.

It doesn’t matter where you want to go and engage, it’s where your audience is that dictates where you should concentrate your time.

I categorise the platforms in the following way:

  • Facebook – mass market socialites, Mr. and Mrs. General Public
  • LinkedIn – business community, job seekers and prospecting SME’s
  • Twitter – networking fanatics, typically bloggers, writers or journalists using various mediums to promote their work
  • Google+ – early adopters, Tech savvy network addicts with few inhibitions

Of these main four Twitter still allows you to have some form of anonymity whilst being able to promote and engage. Which may explain some of it’s more “spammy” content.

The Lights Are On But Nobody’s Home

If your role is even remotely related to Social Media then you need to be aware of the additional platforms. At a minimum, understand their use case and be ready to take part should they become popular with your market sector.

Monitoring tools, such as HootSuite, do allow you to play in more than one space at a time, but be wary of posting the same content across networks. Research shows that posts made from outside the Facebook network using these Apps receive 70% fewer likes and comments. Each platform has it own subtleties that may not suit the language or terminology used in others. Hashtags used on Twitter, for example, can look out of place in a Facebook status update, and are a dead give away that you are not actually on the platform.

I just so want to go and play on Google+, you will find this evident in my sporadic updates and check-ins if you have Circled me. For now it remains my little “sand pit” that I will scratch around in from time to time, until I can build a business case to use it more often.

There is always an alternative:

Not Google+

 

How do you manage your time online?

About Sean Clark

Building successful online companies since 1999, we help you market your business online. Whether you need help with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Paid Search (PPC) or Social Media Marketing call us today on 01603 343477 for a free initial consultation.

Find Sean on:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+

  • Use the ones that make most sense to you and your audience (however you define that) – leave the rest. Suspect in a few years time facebook will look like one of those crumbling ruins on the edge of a village that everyone knows but can’t quite remember why it was built.

  • Where’s the “share this on Google+” button?

  • @HuwSayer:disqus In the right-hand column at the top of the post. oops usability!

  • @HuwSayer:disqus Possibly, especially if they keeping making updates to it just to keep up with Google & Twitter!