Facebook and Google Plus
There have been a huge number of changes with this continually evolving Internet since I last posted an article and the biggest news is likely the introduction of Google Plus to the market. Currently Google Plus is still relatively new and doesn’t have all the buttons, bells and whistles that Facebook has to offer, but you know it’s only a matter of time before they introduce their evolved versions of Facebooks offerings.
Perhaps the most talked about current evolution with Google Plus is the introduction of circles to the vocabulary of the Social Networking group. Facebook has lists and groups and Google’s circles are some where in the middle. They are immensely more flexible than lists, but don’t have all the options of groups.
Circles are essentially just circles of friends, acquaintances or any type of group name you can come up with. These names are hidden from the members of them, so now you can group people you are interested in following in your main circles, people who you should follow, but have no reason to constantly read their updates (perhaps your boss or your ex?) in other circles and even have the flexibility to have people in multiple groups.
The most important part of the puzzle is that when you send out a status update, post an article or link or even a picture, YOU get to choose who and which circles get to see it. Want to send your hockey buddies and update about the upcoming new season? Send the message just to that circle. Want to send pics of your kids to family members and close friends, YOU choose who sees them and which circles get them. Starting to see the positives yet?
The idea is great and as more people move over to Google to complement their lost time already spent on Facebook, there will be new circles and groupings created daily and will likely help create even more of a surge in popularity of the network.
Google Plus and Marketing Your Business Online
Currently this isn’t an option. Unlike Facebook with it’t fan/business pages, Google Plus has nothing at the moment to compete in that arena. They are strictly adhering to a policy right now of only allowing individuals to create profiles as well.
This is really restricting business’s stampede onto the platform right now, but I am sure it will be just a matter of time before the gates are opened and there will be a flood of new places for business to market online. In the meantime, it’s amazing to see how many new business pages are showing up on Facebook.
Facebook’s Fanpages Are Still The Place For Small Business
Perhaps more disappointing is how many of them are being done poorly and it’s reflecting on the companies. There are a ton of resources available on the web for companies setting up their own site, yet in their rush just to get on board they are cutting corners.
My personal peeves about some of these pages are the illegible text in the tiny little profile picture and the lack of welcome pages. You have one shot when a new person arrives on your Facebook page for them to like you or leave you. Rarely do they come back later, so why leave a bad first impression?
Although I would love to post some of the bad sites, it probably wouldn’t make me any friends, so here are some I helped create as examples of perhaps a better way to show off who and what you are. Click on the image to see the actual page.
Aspen Crossing is a client just outside of Calgary who were looking for a page to increase the amount of people liking their page and to increase interaction.
The Welcome tab explains who they are, how to contact them and what they are about. It also asks visitors to like the page which then allows them to continue to send updates.
They were already quite good at updating, but this has created an environment where they can now stay in contact with more first time visitors as they commonly click the like button.
Bushy House is a bed and breakfast located in Southern Ontario in the Niagara-on-the-Lake region.
They were looking for a method to get exposed to more potential clients and what better way than a social network like Facebook. Now they are getting exposed to the friends of current clients who are exactly the right profile of their clientele.
Just to further complement this, they also started displaying QR codes at the B&B directing visitors directly to the Fanpage. Future plans are to use this to also encourage visitors to leave comments on the site about their stay which will lead to even more bookings.
Again, who and what they are, how to contact them and a call to action are all included on the page.
If you currently have a Facebook fanpage and it doesn’t tell people clearly who you are, what you do and how to contact you, you might want to get that fixed. So look around the internet to discover how you can do it yourself or you can contact me and I can typically get a new page up and configured for a new client in approximately a week, depending on the scope.