I have done a lot of writing about Facebook and Twitter, but there is a new player on the scene and I only recently “got it.” I have had a Google+ account since it first hit–or at least since I got my “exclusive” invite. I poked around with it and kept checking back, but it just sort of laid around doing nothing. I love Google, so I kept waiting and hoping something would happen. Then, I finally figured out how to make something happen.
Google+ is like the best of Facebook and Twitter rolled into one. There are Facebook-esque elements, and the posts and feeds will be familiar. But it also has hashtags and trending, and all of those Twitt-erian elements that give a more instant and engaging feel to the communication. Some people might criticize Google+ for “copying” these things but I think it has created a unique and useful blending of the strengths of it’s fore-bearers.
Google+ has a huge advantage over Facebook because it is new and less encumbered by old fears and habits. On Facebook, you can only do so much networking with all the suped up privacy. The best way for a writer to get the most out of Google+ is to go all-out public. You don’t talk about your more intimate thoughts and events in your life, save that for your personal Facebook Profile.
The result of everyone being public on Google+ is that they are also being professional, for the most part. This is an advantage it has over Twitter. Twitter is also public and there are plenty of people being professional there, but Google+ just oozes professional networking and has a lot less of the gibberish you tend to find on Twitter. Having a little more flexibility with posting (not limited to 140 characters for example) creates a lot richer communication. Things that end up seeming spammy on Twitter, come across as helpful posts on Google+.
So how do you make your Google+ account do something more than lay there, like a dead thing that you poke with a stick once in a while to check for signs of life? Simple. Start adding people! Start commenting on people’s posts. If you wait for all of your Facebook friends to jump ship over to Google+, you will never get anything out of it. Go on and make some new friends!
Google+ for writers is about networking with others in the writing and publishing industry. There are tons of people in the writing and publishing industry already on Google+. You can add them to your “following” circle in a snap, without waiting for their approval. All of their public posts will now show up in your feed, and you can comment on them and engage with these people. Once you start following and engaging, people will follow you back.
One day perhaps we will see the birth of the Googlomerate and everything will be pleasantly integrated, all in one place for our convenience. Until then I recommend writers use all three social media: Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for marketing and building their writer’s platform.
In my next post I will give you a couple tips I have picked up on networking with Google+.
©2012 Amanda June Hagarty. Go Do Some Twitter.