I Google +1 you very much!

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I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the Google +1 phenomenon, a new concept by Google.  It’s essentially the same as “liking” something when you give something a +1.  However I am always thinking…this sucks, I want to dislike this or in this case why can’t I give you a -1? lol  Alas, they want you to be nice and you can either say something nice by giving someone the +1 or not do anything at all.

So just today on twitter I came across this on the Huffington Post.  Having read a lot about it so far, this post really made a lot of sense and I feel puts it in “plain english” instead of making it seem like just one more social media network we have to use.

So what is Google +1?

David, the author of this Huffington Post article, explains it like this…

“This is called the Google Plus project because Google wants users to know that it is adding a social layer to ALL Google products (search, photos, YouTube, etc.) rather than creating a stand-alone social application like Facebook.”

Thus explaining the new +1 you should see everywhere. I don’t know about you but I have been +1 this and +1 that.  I want everything to do with Google and helping relevant content, especially mine and my clients content, show up better in search results.   In fact, this article alone has +80, that’s got to be good right?

Now I am definitely taking this matter lightly, I am adding the +1 option to my sites, blogs, etc.  I am giving things a +1 here and there, but as for the whole Facebook similar social networking site…I am not sold quite yet.  Yes, I love FaceBook, rather I hate to love it, just as much as you do.  I’m not ready to break up with it just because I want to become BFF’s with Google.  But I definitely have my eye on Google +1 and will see where it can take me from here.

What about you?  Have you jumped on board the Google +1 train?

Auto-Tweets, Are they bad for business?

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New updates, improvements and automations are announced daily regarding social media networks and their relationships with each other.  Most seem to be a huge blessing, a much needed improvement that has arrived to make your life easier.  Set them up and you’ll be on the fast track to growing your business with a lot less effort on your part, or will you?

The question at hand…Should you rush in to automating tweets?

I think it’s important to truly understand the purpose of Twitter, how it can work for you, and how it can work against you.

The most benefits to be had are gained by making connections, not just spamming as many followers as you possibly can.  Connections are made by actually “connecting” with others.

What do I mean exactly when I say connecting?  I mean being present, reading your followers tweets, commenting back, re-tweeting when they ask, when you see a tweet worthy of sharing with others, or when you want to help another blogger or business owner out by sharing their link, etc.

When I say “present” I don’t mean that you have to be on twitter 24/7 in order to read and respond to everything, I mean checking your twitter acct just as you would your phone’s voicemail or your email.

Why is this important?  Well after FaceBoook gave you the ability to autotweet your facebook status updates or fan page posts, people who had a twitter acct but rarely used it, they just became a whole lot more active on twitter!  The problem…They aren’t actually on twitter.

Imagine this, you ask your facebook fans “I’m bored, what should I do?” or you ask “Do you have any suggestions for my website or ideas for future blog posts?”  You wait, you see comments on your FB Page and you respond.

But what about twitter?  I bet you forgot that those same questions are being asked, pretty much broadcast, to all your twitter followers as well.  They don’t know that you’ve asked it on FaceBook, they think you’ve asked them, on twitter.  So they respond, maybe out of courtesy or perhaps out of genuine interest, they may even be a past, present or future customer of yours.  Sometimes they respond with a question, sometimes just with an idea or comment that you’d normally respond to with a “thank you.”  But you know what?  They’re talking to you and you aren’t listening.

So, wrapping this up…  I am not saying auto-tweets aren’t convenient and can’t work to your advantage, but I am saying that you should realize that you might be “accidentally” engaging customers and followers in a seemingly one-sided conversation on Twitter.  Let this article serve as your friendly reminder, check your twitter account regularly and make sure that you are diligently responding to your replies and messages.

I hope you found this post informative! Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Julie