Brands, Agencies and businesses of all types are starting to wake up to the fact that Google+ is an essential part of their "Social Strategy" . Unfortunately many of them are using it wrong.
You see, many Brands, Agencies and businesses have been taught to "Do Social" by using things called "Social Media Management Tools". They use these tools to post content to a variety of social media sites and often manage multiple accounts.
This is all fine and dandy and with care can be a good way of managing the huge headache of juggling all those essential "hot" social media sites covered on the Tech Blogs. However, if not used with care this strategy can sometimes backfire.
This is what I saw at the top of my Google+ feed this morning:
The Brand in question "PhoneArena" (sorry to to pick on them, but....) is using a Social Media Tool called Hootsuite. You can tell this because it says "Hootsuite" on the Posts (doh) and because the Links in the posts are "shortened" using Hootsuite's own "URL shortener" Ow.ly. A shortened URL is often used in Social Media because (a) it can give you tracking and measurement stats and (b) it helps you fit your posts into the character constraints imposed by services like Twitter.
So... What's wrong with this picture?
There's quite a few things wrong here, namely:
Google+ isn't Twitter.
Surprise, surprise! Google+ is a different place to Twitter. You aren't limited to 140 characters and people can actually comment on your posts. You can post all kinds of rich media and it looks great. Make use of the features and go big! Twitter-type posts look out of place and lame in comparison.
Notice how all the posts are timed at 9.24? That's right, they all turned up at once. Posts are like buses (you can only take one at a time.). It can look kind of spammy if you're not careful.
If someone following your posts on Google+ continually gets this kind of posting from you, they're going to eventually assume (probably correctly) that you don't actually care about Google+ and (by extension) your followers on there. When they start to think that, then they'll start paying attention to those that do get it and that might just be your competitor.
For a website like PhoneArena, they're missing a golden opportunity by not engaging properly with Google+. Google+ is packed to the rafters with people who love to read about tech news, especially gadgets like phones. The same could be said for other brands who are following a similar strategy (see below).
If you're doing this (and many are) then it's time to change. Don't miss out on the opportunities that Google+ offers and start making use of all the great features available.
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