Many self-published authors who already worry about spending too much time on long-established social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have been putting off the task of getting to grips with the newer Google+. American novelist Seeley James makes a strong case for why you should jump right it.
How I Learned to Quit Worrying and Love Google+
For months, I thought Google+ represented the worst features of Twitter and Facebook. Then Guy Kawasaki’s “What the Plus” made a big splash. So I spent a little more time there – but still wasn’t committed.
One day I had a problem with a book cover. I hated it but couldn’t articulate why to the artist. I noticed a sub-group within a writer’s forum and posted the cover there. Twelve specific and articulate answers from graphic artists later, I said to myself, “Self, we need to spend more time on G+!” Then Joanna Penn announced she was leaving Facebook for G+ and that sealed the deal for me.
What’s the difference?
I posted the same question on both platforms asking about the difference.
On G+, I posted in a writer’s forum only where I’m brand new and unknown. I received 19 unique replies, 2 agreements, and 2 jokes (G+ isn’t run by Satan, and F**k LOL-cats). Most interesting among them was this one: Facebook connects you to the people you already know. Google+ connects you to the people you always wished you knew.
On Facebook, where I posted to all 1,124 of my closest friends, the post garnered 7 unique replies and 11 agreements or abstentions. Most interesting was that 6 of the Facebook posts named reasons G+ was better than FB and only 1 vague endorsement of FB: Nothing on Google + is not offered on FB and IMHO Google+ sometime annoys me by forcing me to post there. (referring to users forced into G+ when signing up at YouTube, etc.)
Here is a quick, consolidated list of G+ attributes from both posts:
- G+ multiplies your SEO (click here for more info) *
- Cleaner layout, no ads (yet?), no Farmville, fewer cat-gifs
- Finer control over sharing: 3 options on FB (public, friends, friends except acquaintances) while G+ allows multiple categories of Circles (friends), as well as Communities (forums/groups) and Community Categories (topics within forums)
- Control over your news feed by viewing only specific Circles and Communities
- You can Circle (follow) anyone like Twitter but you can create many circles for various types of posts such as: good family circle, obnoxious cousins circle, business monsters, business mentors, etc.
- Better integration of photos & videos with segmentation by Circle (family videos aren’t shown to business circles, etc)
- And then there’s this:
For more information about converting from Facebook, read this: http://vspages.com/google-plus-vs-facebook-4791/ For a prediction of why G+ will eventually overtake Facebook (maybe), read this: http://socialmediatoday.com/expresswriters/2249226/google-plus-overtake-facebook-prediction-or-fiction
Facebook has more forums/groups with large memberships. I’ve relied on ALLi’s Facebook group many times and have never been disappointed. But the other forums? Not. The biggest problem? Finding your specific question on a specific topic an hour after you post. Everything flows by popularity, thus kicking wallflowers and obscure questions to the curb (or kerb for wrong-side drivers).
Google+ has Communities and within those Communities there are Categories. One such community is Writer’s Discussion Group. See the left sidebar for Categories by clicking here. This simple addition makes asking a question and getting an answer from interested parties infinitely simpler.
Instant messaging on Facebook works well. But on G+ it works infinitely better – or so I’m told. I’ve not used either very often because I find IMs annoying.
But the big difference here is the integration of video, segmentation of groups on the fly, and the inclusion of GoogleDocs. The biggest benefit is device-independent video chats. (Indeed. Video calls creep me out too, but get used to it – I’ve already gotten a cleavage-call from a mom who inadvertently FaceTimed me while placing her phone in her purse’s shoulder strap holster. She swears it was accidental.)
Google Plus is a business-friendly platform that you can control with finer detail than Twitter or Facebook. The fact that it’s populated by former-Facebook users who aren’t going back tells you it’s a great tool. * Many thanks to ALLi member Jim Giammatteo for sending me this one. I did some research and discovered I’d been reaping unknown benefits from my recent move to G+.