78
114
Gini Dietrich

10 Things to Consider As You Move to Google+

By: Gini Dietrich | July 5, 2011 | 
123

Something interesting is happening with Google+. We’re all freaking out because we can’t import our Facebook and Twitter friends (you can export Facebook friends into Gmail now, if you’re patient and have a tiny bit of tech savvy).

Here we’ve spent years (in most cases) building communities on something we don’t own and guess what? Our friends and fans aren’t moving to the newest platform with us. Or they are but we don’t know it because not only do we not have their email addresses, we don’t have their Gmail addresses.

This is why it’s so important to build community on a platform that you own. Sure, you need all the social tools and the content curation and the fun apps that make your stuff look cool, but they all should drive people back to something you own.

In this case: A database.

Following are 10 things to consider as you add the newest social network to your toolbox.

  1. Who are your customers, prospects, and referral network? You have to know this. And you should be building a database of everyone’s email addresses. You can do this through blog subscriptions, newsletters, and registered content. Yes, you need to have Twitter and Facebook and (now) Google+. But you have to be driving those people back to something you own, where you can collect their data. We don’t know yet what or if Google will be providing businesses, in terms of data on its customers, so best to collect it yourself now
  2. It’s hard work and you must be willing to do it. And this doesn’t mean just on the social platforms. It means with content and building community and engaging your audiences and stroking their egos by commenting on and sharing their content.
  3. Your content had better be good. If it’s not all good, publish only that which is. If that means you only publish a blog once a week or a white paper once a quarter, so be it. If you’re charging for content, price it accordingly, but make sure it’s better than anything else in the industry. Find different ways to share your content. Things such as an Instagram feed of photos from work, a Tumblr blog of those photos, a podcast series of two minute segments that help your audiences, or videos that show how your product works in the real world.
  4. Video. I mention video above, but there had better be tons. And it all needs to be on YouTube and then embedded on your blog and your website. We do this in the sidebar of Spin Sucks and on the home page of Arment Dietrich. It’s easily shared in about, oh, three seconds. Don’t worry about making it professional or snazzy (sorry, Tony Gnau!). Buy yourself an HD camera (I have a Flip, though they’re going to be extinct soon, and it cost me $150) and start shooting stuff. Even your phone will do.
  5. Access. As a consumer, how exciting is it when the CEO answers your email or allows you to voice your concerns? Steve Jobs (though not very good at it) does this and it blows people away. Granted, we’re not all Steve Jobs, but people want access. Maybe it’s once a week or once a month. Add the element of surprise and do something simple like answer the customer service line or return emails. It will go a lot further than any PR, advertising, or marketing campaign.
  6. Virality. I’m not saying you can plan to make something viral, but you never know what is going to go so you have to do a lot. What will spread (cough, a blog post about nothing, cough) is what you least expect so don’t be afraid to put something out there that isn’t perfect. People like to know that we’re all human.
  7. It’s not about the numbers. It’s about making the web work for you 24/7. It’s about monetizing new products and services via the social platforms. It doesn’t matter if you have 100 followers, or 100,000. If only 50 of those 100 or 100,000 buy, those are the 50 you need to engage. And let’s be real. Wouldn’t you rather have 50 percent of your followers to buy than less than one percent?
  8. The A-list sucks. You’re not a star. None of us are. Read Geoff Livingston’s guest post about this on Danny Brown’s blog. Think about it. Absorb it. And then do business just like you’ve always done…by treating your customers, prospects, and advocates like human beings whose opinions matter to you.
  9. Add in some personal. No one likes to talk to the person at a cocktail reception that can only talk about work. The same goes online. I built a Tumblr blog of the recipes I create. People love this. It’s automatically shared on Twitter and I get as many, if not more, comments on that stuff as I do all the business content I post. And I tweet maybe once a day; every other day most times.
  10. Grow from the bottom up. Just like in real life, we all have to start somewhere and that means the bottom, in most cases. You want to look like you’re all about your community; your customers, your prospects, your advocates, your influencers, your stakeholders, and your employees. If you look like you’re in it only for the money or you’re only using the social tools to push your message, no one will care and no one certainly will give you any access to them, including an email address.

And, above all else, make sure one of your goals is to build your database. Don’t abuse it. Don’t spam people. Have it in cases such as moving your community to a new platform. Or for an emergency such as Twitter or Facebook dying.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

117 comments
urvin
urvin

Thanks for sharing such informative post certainly keep these things in mind for ahead.

Just thought of sharing a webinar link on Website Conversion Best Practices for B2B Technology Firms, for details visit url pasted below and yes thanks again GINI for coming up with this post

,http://cms.edynamic.net/Driving-the-Conversion-Engine.aspx

mikefj40
mikefj40

@markivey #11 my kids are stuck on #FB. Another legacy system to maintain...

McLoopy
McLoopy

@RockTique do you have extra G+ invite...Pretty Please? (Anything is yours at #Starbucks from me) : )

1brikshort
1brikshort

Great advice for an uber-newbie like moi. Thanks!

Jane | Problogging Success
Jane | Problogging Success

That's a wonderful reminder just at the time when a big tech thing is booming up. sure we need to put the right checks to our "rush" and "excitement". Thanks.

KyleAkerman
KyleAkerman

You couldn't come up with 2 more bullet points so this could go up at 12Most?

But seriously, this list is spot on. I totally agree about the need for video content. I just bought the Kodak version of the flip and am trying to get up to speed on editing and sharing techniques.

And regarding #1, I still can't believe how many small businesses I encounter that do not do a good job growing and managing their email database.

lauraclick
lauraclick

Glad I took a quick break from my "social media vacation" to read this! Great reminder, Gini. With the advent of Google+, this is just another reminder that we have keep our own house in order in case the one we're storing everything in burns to the ground. You're right - this is a time consuming endeavor, but well worth it!

EllenClark
EllenClark

Great post. I agree you need a database of your own. As an executive recruiter (www.clarksearch.com) I have had my own database of names since 1997. I have over 50k names with almost all emails to match. I am on twitter, Facebook and since Friday Google+. I like that I can start afresh with building my circles in google+. Now I have a place for work contacts. But I won't be putting in all my database connections. I will use googleplus just for close business acquaintances

John Fitzgerald
John Fitzgerald

Great post.

If anyone is looking for a Flip camera alternative, try this one: http://www.amazon.com/Kodak-Pocket-Video-Camera-Black/dp/B002HOPUPC

The Zi8 is similar to Flip but it has a mic input jack so you can get great sounding audio with a lapel or handheld mic (you can get a good one for $20-$40). I haven't used the Zi8 yet but I've heard nothing but good things and there are enough YouTube demonstrations that prove the audio quality is outstanding.

ParkRidgeDDS
ParkRidgeDDS

Spectacular...concise and informative...thank you!!!

sourcePOV
sourcePOV

Great feedbck, Gini, thanks. Learned some of this the hard way early, w/ NING and WTHASHTAG.

And yet, I think many of us are very heavily invested in our Twitter networks .. without a net.

I know it's early, but would you say Google is simply trying to have a bigger stake in social by replicating the Facebook experience, or are they trying something fundamentally different? Circles doesn't sound that different from FB friends .. or Twitter lists ..

markivey
markivey

@mikefj40 right, how can such a crappy platform get a zillion subscribers (of course, AOL once ruled the roost too)

RockTique
RockTique

@McLoopy Let me know when you get an invite from me, I haven't tried sending any yet...going to give it a shot in a minute!

remarkablogger
remarkablogger

@lubinteamrealty You should always have backups of databases, especially your email list! All good services offer export features. :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@EllenClark I wonder how your boundaries will grow with G+ as you use it? It's interesting to hear how you already see a business application. In that sense, this is really fun!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@ParkRidgeDDS People are going to start thinking my mom is sending you checks to be nice to me. Is she?!?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@sourcePOV It's definitely a cross between Facebook and Twitter right now. I think if people begin using Sparks and Hangouts, the experience will be new and exciting. And they haven't yet integrated their other services such as Reader, Gmail, and Places, which could give them a pretty significant edge. They keep saying it's in beta and to be patient so only time will tell.

mikefj40
mikefj40

@markivey my kid's social graph is a boat anchor that keeps them on FB. Us boomers are more mobile :-)

VilmaBonilla
VilmaBonilla

@mayhemstudios had some homemade chicken quesadillas for dinner and thought about you but was too hungry to take pics. So good! #foodporn

ParkRidgeDDS
ParkRidgeDDS

@ginidietrich ...Damn..we thought we had pulled one over on you...on to Plan B...*sigh*...proud member of MUTHERS (Moms United To Honor Eachothers Respective Sweeties )

sourcePOV
sourcePOV

@ginidietrich @sourcePOV Ok, I'll take a look at Sparks & Hangouts .. when I get a G+ ID, that is :) Just hope this doesn't go the way of Google Wave.

markivey
markivey

@mikefj40 agree, they could learn so much from us if they only realized what they're missing

wordsdonewrite
wordsdonewrite

@ginidietrich I'm still tinkering. Trying to find the sweet spot that allows me to use it differently than Twitter & FB. #SayNoToRedundancy

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@sourcePOV It's beginning to grow on me, I have to admit. I'm doing a few tests with it and, so far, it's pretty good for driving new blog traffic.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] 10 Things to Consider As You Move to Google + — Gini Dietrich.  Gini’s advice in this post is, in my humble opinion, spot on. Garbage in breeds garbage out, and Gini offers cautions as to how you as a user should consider your own approach to Google + [...]

  2. [...] Is there a way (as Gini Deitrich says) to “make us more efficient with technology” and replace both email and IM?  [...]

  3. [...] 10 Things to Consider As You Move to Google+ (spinsucks.com) [...]

  4. [...] is released. But once this initial hype died down, users critiqued aspects of G+, in terms of its accessibility and usability, and the high cost of switching over to another social networking [...]

  5. [...] Sure, you need all the social tools and the content curation and the fun apps that make your stuff look cool, but they all should drive people back to something you own [...]