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Which Social Media Platforms Should You Choose?

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Interviewer:     So Nial there seems to be more and more social media platforms available to us every day, more and more people sort of buying for our attention and I worry, I kind of, personally I feel like I should be on all of them so as soon as you see the next big thing, you jump and you join, start an account and tend not to do a whole lot with it.  So what would you say for people that are either strapped for cash, time or attention, if they had just one what social media platform would you go there?

Interviewee:     The big thing really is and the great, obviously the massive benefit of social media is actually is not so much cost, it is costing time rather than costing finance because you can access Twitter, you can use Facebook, you can use Google+, LinkedIn and so on, you can use pretty much all of these tools for free.  I mean, obviously there are certain options that you can upgrade to and you can buy into premium accounts and so on and, it’s a good question because a lot of people say you know well I am very comfortable with using Facebook so I am not going to jump across to LinkedIn or I’m happy with LinkedIn but I don’t want to go anywhere near Google+ and so on.  Let’s face facts, each of the channels has a different medium, it’s a different medium for a different purpose, it reaches a slightly different audience in a different way, so it is about understanding how these differ.  It is a good question in fact because it reflects very much an experience I had over the past 12 months, I mean I’d spend a lot of time using Facebook, I’ve spent a lot of time working with Facebook with advertising and campaigns for clients, and it’s an environment I feel quite familiar with and quite comfortable with but it has changed massively, you know, Facebook has changed massively in the past couple of years.  The wakeup call, it was a big wakeup call, it was a big jab with a sharp stick that I had sort of a year ago somebody said to me Nial, you know, you are prolific on Facebook, you’re using Twitter, LinkedIn, you are not using Google+ why not?  And at the time my answer for that was very, very straight forward, I simply perceived that as yet another platform, a whole new system to use, a whole new system to learn and I think for me the resistance was, it’s going to take me time to learn, it’ll become familiar and of course the big thing is it is going to take me time to build another community.  Six months after this prompt, the penny started to drop for me and I realised that actually Google+ was a completely different beast altogether and I should think you know and there are quite a few people realise I have become a bit of an evangelist, I don’t for any moment profess to be you know prolific on Google+ I am learning a lot more about it, I am using it a lot more and I think there are a couple of really key reasons why it is important.  One is the nature of engagement, you know, if you are looking to use social media from a business point of view, you really need to be talking to people who are a bit more serious, who are likely to engage, whereas Facebook you can achieve it through Facebook.  Facebook is a lot of fun, it’s more social, it’s more personal and let’s face it you know, you’ve got your time line is generally letting people taking pictures of their dinner, walking their dog and their family things which is nice, it is like getting to know the person.  If it’s a message you are trying to sell, you want to be getting that message to people that are listening and are going to engage with you and certainly in my experience people on Google+ and this is possibly to do with the fact that it is a little bit more geeky, a bit more techy, certainly people who are the early adopters of Google+ fit, are people who sort of fit in that category, it is becoming a bit more broad, a bit more main stream now but those people tend to engage, they listen, they read, they read content and so on.  The other reason why it is fundamentally important to be using something like Google+ and for somebody who has not touched any social media at all this will, you know if I am going to pick any of them where would I start I would probably suggest they use Google+ to start with because it doesn’t take too long to get your head around it but one of the biggest key reasons of it is that it’s not just simply about communicating directly with an audience that is already existing, when you are posting content into Google+ you are posting directly into Google and that provides a huge, huge benefit in the fact that every post you create is then embedded into Google’s search engine to allow people to find that as long as you have it set up correctly, there are certain things you have to do with all the author tags and relationship authors and so on where you can ensure that Google recognises you and that will help with things like search traffic and so on.  And in fact something that has come up on the radar recently is that a lot of people are now recognising that SEO Search Engine Optimisation is kind of drifting away and it’s rapidly being replaced by SMO which is Social Media Optimisation.  It’s about people learning to optimise how they use social media.  So I would suggest that Google+ would be the place to start and there’s quite a few reasons for that and it is a lot easier than people expect.

Interviewer:     So do you see Google+ as a direct line to getting into the Google search engine very, very lucratively?

Interviewee:     Absolutely, absolutely, I mean I’ve explained this to clients and a couple of months ago I had a client who was quite resistant of the idea I said look let me just do a live demonstration you know we were on Skype call we created a post, we had a page set up, we created a post, we pinged it through.  We then took the headline from the post and some content from the post, we ran a straight, clean Google search just through the Google search bar, less than five minutes later and his post came up number one.

Interviewer:     That’s phenomenal.

Interviewee:     In an organic search on Google’s front page, on Google’s first page.  You’d never achieve that, you know to even achieve that through your own blog it would take a huge amount of time and effort to get it to that stage.

Interviewer:     With Google spiders and whatever else.

Interviewee:     Absolutely but with Google+ it is, it’s literally is indexed instantly, it’s there so it’s got huge amounts of value and most people are missing out on that.

Interviewer:     Thank you

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