Jacobs Media's Digital and Social Strategist Lori Lewis has been test driving the new Google+. now this looks interesting...
The Google+ launch went so well last week with various tech and social types (including me) that many are already claiming they’ve given up Facebook. Now, while Google’s roadmap is ambitious enough to create something big over time, both you and Google know winning over the loyalty of 750 million current Facebook users will take some time.
People have been building digital relationships on Facebook for years, yet one thing Facebook missed out on is the one feature that Google+ launched with overwhelming praise.
It’s called “Circles” and here’s why it's cool and different:
The basic concept of “Circles” isn’t anything new. Facebook and Twitter both offer the ability to “group” or “list” people but it’s not as easy as it should be.
First of all, many have a hard time simply defining their digital relationships and if the technology to do so is also hard, we don’t use it. Whether it’s in person or online, not every relationship is equal. It has always felt rude to me that people could see what groups or lists they are in or on.
What if someone has a deeper affinity toward you as a thought leader but you call them a “random” in a Facebook group or on a Twitter list? That whole “publicly classifying people” feature can easily chip away at the excitement of what you thought was a real social connection.
Google+ is more thoughtful with this sensitive area of “defining” digital relationships. Creating the "Circles" is seamless and better yet, nobody can see which ones they are in, or not in. With Google+ you’re not pressured to define these “digital relationships” publicly.
The screen shot you see here is not public. It’s just what I see on my Google+ "Circles" page.
I once read somewhere, “We shouldn’t use Facebook for the sake of social networking, but because it adds value to our relations, weak or strong.”
We can only add value to our relations if we are paying attention to the response data we get from social networking. But the only way we’re going to get authentic response data is to create customized conversations people actually care about.
Google+ could be the first social network to facilitate this without having to go to a few different places to do so. One click and your message will be sent to those who really wants to see it.
Right now we push out contests and deals with no differentiation between these fans but each fan has their own reason why you are their favorite radio station.
One reason could be as simple as every time they hear Led Zeppelin a favorite memory is brought back to life. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a “Led Zeppelin Circle" on Google+ and even if it’s only 50 people, the creative is limitless about how you could spur moments and deepen the ties bonding the station and the fan.
Google+ Circles is a reminder of the importance to build trust on these social sites. To try and refrain from inundating our audience’s “live stream” with meaningless messages, but rather give them something that hits the mark.
However, in order for any of this to work we must toss out the notion that this is “doing” social and make it more of a commitment to “be social” with a servant’s heart.
And we need to start thinking about personalized, custom relationships between stations and fans.
Google+ "Circles" is a big step in the right direction.