Just one month ago, I would not have written this post. Because I needed a fourth social networking time suck like I needed another stray cat to show up at my door. (We have already adopted two.)
But then Guy Kawasaki sent me a copy of his new digital book, What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us (you can get it here, for just $2.99). Now Guy is the creator of the wildly popular content aggregation site alltop.com and just about the most knowledgeable guy I know in social media, so I was interested in what he had to say.
Mostly because, frankly, I was having a hard time wrapping my brain around this new platform.
I will now say that, having read this book—and understanding Google+ better—I am open to exploring it in greater detail. And if that means cutting back on my Facebook presence to carve out the time, that’s what I’ll do.
Are Twitter, Facebook and Google+ really all that different?
In his book, Guy offers this simple breakdown:
Twitter is for real-time perspectives. It’s great for getting or sending immediate perspectives on news and events.
Facebook is for people. It’s a way to learn what’s going on in the lives of people you already know.
Google+ is for passions. It lets you share your passions with people you don’t know who share those same interests.
But what’s in it for bloggers?
If you have a blog, one of your main challenges is getting people there to consume your fantastic content. If your goal is to get more readers and subscribers for your blog, Google + can help you:
find new readers in a more focused way
While the status updates on Facebook tend to be a little bit of everything—and sometimes too many jokes, inspirational quotes and funny pet videos—Google+ operates on the principle of circles, groups of people you can find who share various interests with you. For example, I might have a broad circle I call “writers” and other circles more that are specific: women’s fiction writers, memoirists, editors, literary agents, etc.
This means that you can build groups and share just the information relevant to them. And while the topic of one blog post may not be helpful to the friends in one circle, it might be a perfect fit for another one—so you can push a message out to the most appropriate people or circles.
expand your reach and build deeper relationships
Some of the people you interact with on Google+ will not be in your Facebook community, so there you go, some new contacts. And if you connect with some of your blog’s readers there, you get to talk to them on a more personal level, thus getting to know them better and deepening the relationship.
leverage your blog as a living, breathing laboratory
You have heard me talk about blog as lab before. You want to keep writing the content that connects best with your readers. But sometimes the number of comments you get on a post doesn’t tell you if you’ve hit the mark with that particular piece of content. If you have Google Analytics installed for your blog (you do, don’t you?), you can get lots of helpful information on the level of social sharing of your blog posts on Google+, so you can refine and retool your content accordingly.
I’m still in the playing around stages with Google+, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on this new platform.
Oh, and a cool thing happened to me last week. A kind friend and reader of the Cat’s Eye blog, told me last week that he nominated me for the first-time ever Top 10 Blogs for Bloggers competition! Unlike the Top 10 Blogs for Writers award, this one focuses specifically on blogs that offer blogging advice. (I know, it can get kind of confusing.) But I thought I might as well let you, the rest of my loyal Cat’s Eye community, know about it, too.
Absolutely no pressure, but if you feel I’ve provided value to you as a blogger this past year, I’d be tickled to death with your vote of confidence. It’s easy. Just leave the name of my blog, the URL and your reason for nominating Cat’s Eye here, in the comments section. Or not. It’s totally up to you.
So, how about you? If you have jumped into the Google+ waters, how’s that working for you? If not, are you considering it?