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, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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123 Comments on "10 Things to Consider As You Move to Google+"

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faybiz
4 years 11 months ago

Get something outside all of the above to manage your contact, maybe its gmail hotmail or something but twitter peers are often so different from FB which are probably going to be different from circles that you will need something resembling circles to make sense of it

PeterGault
PeterGault
4 years 11 months ago

@faybiz Agreed – Hopefully contact & content management will be integrated within google+ … Maybe Hootsuite or one of the other profile managers will get a steroid juice-up and get it incorporated.

TMNinja
TMNinja
4 years 11 months ago

I am amazed at all this Google+ talk… It seems to be on all the blogs right now.

Just one problem… most people still cannot get in.

Will the Google+ scarcity only drive the buzz? Or will it cause interest to fizzle out?

bsarich
bsarich
4 years 11 months ago

I just finished reading the A-list article before coming here…I agree with the points there, and you’re right…it’s all about the database!

RipcordLabs
RipcordLabs
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Great blog! We will certainly be retweeting that! 🙂

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@RipcordLabs Oh thanks!

wabbitoid
4 years 11 months ago

Thank you! I just want to add an extra “Amen” to #8, but your whole list is very important stuff that should never be overlooked. One fun tool that I can recommend for helping to keep your own database is Constant Contact – which can be backed up into a number of different formats every so often to be non-platform specific. Plus you get to send out e-mail to everyone once a month or so as a kind of side benefit. 🙂

DannyBrown
4 years 11 months ago

I guess it’s pretty much like anything – be where you need to be, and be there well.

Google Plus won’t be for some folks, much like Twitter isn’t, Facebook isn’t, YouTube isn’t, etc. If it’s useful and makes sense, go for it – if not, just as good an option. 🙂

NancyD68
4 years 11 months ago

I started from scratch on Twitter, so when I eventually get on Google + I will have to start from scratch there too. Oh well.

I just want to see how all of this shakes out. I am just keeping my eyes open and seeing how this all turns out.

ScottHepburn
ScottHepburn
4 years 11 months ago

The most important bit of info here is in the first four paragraphs: Own a database. We’ve become so addicted to social platforms — and to platform hopping (Oooh, shiny!) — that we’ve neglected one of the most valuable assets of any business: An email list.

TheJackB
4 years 11 months ago

<i>You’re not a star</i> My mother disagrees with you. She thinks I am amazing. But the point about the database is well said and even more important is to remember that if you don’t own it you are playing with fire.

Facebook shut down a friend’s page for reasons that were never clearly explained and countless hours of work were lost.

BoHussey
BoHussey
4 years 11 months ago

@ScottHepburn Actually have that article open on my desktop… thanks for the recommendation

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 11 months ago
@NancyD68 Get used to it Nancy. Because it is going to happen again and again. I think whomever can set up the right importing tool will make a lot of money. But also look at a new network as a fresh start. Uncluttered with waste. It is clean. You can decide who should be with you there. I bet plenty of Twitter connections you rarely engage with or see their tweets. Same for Facebook. I do think if the Telecoms are smart they will figure a way for us to connect with people across social networks without having to belong… Read more »
HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 11 months ago

@TMNinja I think timing is everything. Remember Facebook was College only for quite some time. I think the real problem with Google’s strategy is it needs to be a network the average Joe and Jane can use. Starting with only the smartest techies might not be best way to go. Quora tried that and who is really active there much these days.

If I was Google I would use a short testing period just to iron out the bugs then let her rip!

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 11 months ago

Don’t you make fun of my A List. I mean you are on it. So is @DannyBrown and @geoffliving just because I don’t publish it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. And now everyone is going to be badgering me for the list so they can ignore everyone on it. I mean there is really just a few people. @Gumby , @Sean McGinnis@waynegretzky

wabbitoid
4 years 11 months ago

@HowieSPM @NancyD68 The one thing I’d change about google plus? Make it more open source, more like an RSS feed. And I think something like that may be coming some day. There are a lot of players (telcoms esp) who would benefit from that!

Tinu
4 years 11 months ago

Yes. Give me the fortune, keep the fame, like BlackStar says. It’s hard work building a tiny little cult, but if you’re good to them and they’re good to you, it’s worth it. Fame does Not translate into dollars, and the exchange rate is Miserably poor. Google+ has the strength of being built for the people you’re Really close to in some way. I don’t know that I’d abandon one for the other. But it can never be over-estimated that the database is king. How would Facebook and Twitter have gained virility without the scores of mobile or email notifications?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@PeterGault @faybiz Yes, I thought that’s what I said. But it should be an outside customer relationship management software. We still use Outlook, but we’re going to outgrow it very soon.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@HowieSPM @TMNinja I think they’re going to open it up in the next few days. They’re really ironing out bugs quickly. I’m still on the fence about it, but the reason I blogged about it is because you’re essentially having to start from scratch…unless you have a database you can import.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@bsarich It makes me crazy that people want to have Facebook pages instead of websites or YouTube channels instead of incorporating video into a website or blog. WHY would you give everything to a platform you don’t own?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@wabbitoid Totally agree with the Constant Contact recommendation. I’m a big fan!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@DannyBrown And my favorite word of late? FOCUS!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@wabbitoid @HowieSPM @NancyD68 And start building your list of fans, friends, and followers so when something new is launched you can import easily.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@ScottHepburn I hope people read this the same way you did. It IS the most important part. Even if you never email the list, at least you’ll have it to import to the next shiny new tool.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@TheJackB Well, I think you’re amazing, too. But two of us a star doesn’t make.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@HowieSPM Oh I’ll make fun of your A list if it includes @DannyBrown and geoffliving !

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@Tinu I’m with you…I’d rather have the fortune!

faybiz
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich @PeterGault you said it your way, we said it our way… outlook? that dinosaur? well are you using 365?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@ScottHepburn Long time no see!

ScottHepburn
ScottHepburn
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Yeah, I pop up once in a while 😉 Trying to tweak my biz plan so I don’t keep selling limited hours. I need to scale up!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@faybiz @PeterGault I have no idea!

TheJackB
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Actually I disagree. Do you remember the old EF Hutton commercials

http://youtu.be/SX7ZEotoFh0

So all we need to do is create our own version of EF Hutton and we are golden. 🙂

steveelaine
steveelaine
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich thanks for posting Gini. Ps your name autocorrects on my Android to hobo.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@TheJackB HAHAHAHA! OK! Let’s do it!

NancyD68
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich @HowieSPM @DannyBrown geoffliving When I grow up I want to be an A-lister like everyone else…

Evyfindstheway
Evyfindstheway
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Are you? That is so much work integrating contacts from different networks. Is #G+ Circle really worth network migration?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@ScottHepburn I know that feeling.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@steveelaine Hobo?! Come on! Can’t I get something creative?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@Evyfindstheway I can’t decide yet. I haven’t created any circles because I don’t know how I want to organize. It’s A LOT of work.

steveelaine
steveelaine
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich means nothing in the UK!

trackback

[…] 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 + […]

FranchiseKing
4 years 11 months ago

Gini,

You’re right; we all must own it.

We have to exert some control.

After all, it’s our stuff.

The Franchise King®

Evyfindstheway
Evyfindstheway
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich I also saw your comment Google + or -. I have strangers adding me to their circles as well. Did you figure that out? #G+

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@steveelaine It means homeless person here

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@Evyfindstheway It’s like Twitter. They can add you. You don’t have to add them back.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@FranchiseKing Right on!

Evyfindstheway
Evyfindstheway
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Thank you Gini. Good luck to both of us figuring Google+ out. I wonder how long it takes to reach the same amount of #FB users

PhilipTater
PhilipTater
4 years 11 months ago

@heidicohen Thanks for the RT, it will be interesting to follow Google+ and its emergence in an increasingly crowded space

ScottHepburn
ScottHepburn
4 years 11 months ago
@ginidietrich Social (and now Google Plus, especially) could have a big impact on SPAM and opt-in compliance. Right now, my GMail account is set up to add every person I interact with via email to my Contacts. Most social networks already allow you to automatically search for existing email contacts on their network and add them. As networks rise and fall, come and go, the importance of “The List” becomes more and more important. The ability to export/import your contacts into the latest social site is what keeps your network intact. But my portable contact list lacks two key features:… Read more »
steveelaine
steveelaine
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich I know that! 😉

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