Is Google+ a Social Media Best Practice?

If any of you read No. 7 in my Top 10 PR Rants of 2011, you’ll know that I’m struggling with the relevance of Google+ to PR folks. However, with the news this week that membership on Google+ is growing at an impressive rate, I’m stepping up my Google+ coverage in PR News.  On that end, we’re working on a story for the Jan. 9 issue that looks at specific Google+ brand pages, with insights and best practices from page administrators. For the 10,000-foot view, I spoke with Jonathan Kopp, partner & global director at Ketchum Digital, who says that while Google+ is still nascent, it has moved into the position of a best practice. And why shouldn’t it be a best practice? “If brand is syndicating across platforms, adding one more to the mix is not onerous,” says Kopp.  “If you’d be doubling your social media resources, that would be one thing. But adding one platform is a no-brainer.”
While the numbers of people are still small compared to Facebook, Kopp says the upsides are obvious and the cost of entry minimal. Just what are a few upsides? Search relevance and rank, for one; and two, the linkages created across properties and profiles through Google+ makes it a frictionless platform. “It greases the skids for distribution,” says Kopp. But it’s still too early to tell how prominent a platform Google+ will become. However, you’ll be able to get additional insights at our Digital PR Summit on Feb. 16 in San Francisco, where PepsiCo’s Joshua Nafman will fill you in on their Google+ effort, complete with tips on building your own Google+ community. Perhaps after Joshua’s presentation, I’ll be sold on Google+.

–Scott Van Camp

What’s Your One Thing?

They say one is the loneliest number, and in some ways I subscribe to this notion.  We live in a society where you often feel bad for just having one thing going for you, for just offering one service or for (imagine the horror) vacationing alone.  For the media,the end of year sirens lure  journalists to come up with outrageous Top  Top 10 Lists (rarely Top 1 Lists) and the self-help gurus implore you to declare your New Year’s Resolutions in the plural sense.  What’s so wrong with coming up with ONE THING you plan to master, one product you plan to sell, one person you plan to befriend this year? I thought about this over the weekend when I stumbled upon The Pickle Guys on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  These guys have been selling nothing but pickles and pickled products for nearly a century: sour pickles, tomatilloes, pickled tomatoes, by the gallon, half gallon or whatever is your fancy.  So unique was the concept to me and my friends that we took photos of ourselves eating pickles amid the backdrop of the pickle guy serving other customers.  We spent $20 on pickles that might have tasted just as good and cost half as much from the A&P, but it didn’t matter.  As we made our way to other parts of  Manhattan we started noticing other one-trick ponies, like Just Bulbs, The Sock Man and Cartridge World. These are retailers really niching the niche – focusing on one thing and doing it well.  As we seek to build out our social networks, adding more friends on Facebook, more circles on Google+, more followers on Twitter, it behooves us to remember that focusing on one thing/one business goal/one product/one new year’s resolution  can be a delicious pursuit too.

Diane Schwartz

On Twitter: dianeschwartz



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