Anyone reading this article likely has had many successes and many failures in social media. When Twitter was first released most of us had no clue what was going on other than Ashton Kutcher was trying to get one million followers. As time went by most people recognized they could use Twitter as a marketing tool. About this same time Facebook was already being used by major businesses to reach out to customers that were unattainable prior to social media. Now we have companies like Instagram, FourSquare, Pinterest and even Google who are looking to get a piece of the social media pie. With billions of dollars being spent on social media products it stands to reason that any marketer should be online polishing their skills. Before doing so they need to create their own definition of social media success.
Building Relationships IS Social Media
Most people who have made money on the Internet in the past decade can remember when you simply had to generate some content, get a link or two and sit back in your corner and count the $100 bills rolling in. This is simply not the case anymore. Google has repeatedly changed their algorithm to punish websites that are over optimized. This means if you went out and got 25 links for the word “Atlanta Eye Doctor” you may be penalized for doing too much. Whether this is right or wrong is an argument for another time. The fact of the matter is Google saw people gaming the system to rank high within search. Google wants the most relevant, engaging and timely content to be on the front page. After several algorithm changes they realized that only human beings can determine what is relevant, engaging and timely. Insert social media.
When social media first became popular internet marketers found a way to abuse the system. I think we can all remember the debt consolidation tweets every five seconds on Twitter. They probably still happen but there is absolutely no point in even doing this after Google realized what was going on. Instead of getting 50 retweets from robots it would be a very wise decision to build one relationship with a human being. Hopefully said human will retweet your content if they find it useful. Trust me when I say one human is better than 50 robots when it comes to internet marketing. Twitter and Facebook were, notice I said were, great for helping human beings interact. Unfortunately, Facebook and Twitter have become a game just like the over optimization game I mentioned about the Atlanta Eye Doctor previously.
Why I Love Google+
Businesses and small business owners are buying retweets and likes. They are giving away prizes to simply get new fans on Facebook. To make it even more challenging Facebook is now charging to show up to fans of these pages. How is this not a game? Enter Google+. Google has something no one else in the history of corporate America has. They have all the questions and concerns from the majority of the population. If you have a concern about Facebook privacy what is the first thing you do? Google it, right? If you want to know how to contact Samsung because your Galaxy S3 broke, what do you do? Google it, right? With all of this information Google has the ability to create the (almost) perfect social product. Once again, enter Google+.
Google+ is not a community in which people sign on and immediately gain influence. In fact, many of the popular names in social media struggle with Google+. I think there is one specific reason for this – it takes a lot of effort. As I said, you cannot simply go onto Google+ and get lots of engagement; unless you try! The easiest way to do this is to build relationships. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Google+ is not where you go to find people you know, it is a place to go to find people who you want to know. Google built an entire layer of Google+ based on this – Google+ Communities.
This leads me to my point about social media success. If you truly want to be successful it takes effort and building relationships. Unfortunately, many relationships on Facebook and Twitter are superficial and fake. I am not saying there aren’t superficial relationships on Google+ but, from my experience, they are few and far between. The successful people you meet on Google+ are actively engaging because they are interested in you or your service. People on Facebook are often engaging with you because they want something in return.
If you are willing to put the time and effort into building solid relationships on any social network you will have success. I personally find it much easier on Google+ because it takes effort and I truly believe life is about effort and want to. If you want something badly enough it takes a lot of effort. Social media is no different so get out there and build those relationships. You can start by connecting with me on Google+ and I promise I will respond. Here is my profile.