Most people in my workshops have either not heard of Google+ or do nothing after signing up. They feel this way because like 850 million other people, they invested heavily in Facebook profiles Google’s new social network arrived. They lament, not another social network, another profile to update. Does anyone even remember Orkut?
Google+ launched in June 2011, 7 years after Facebook, and 8 years after LinkedIn opened their doors. What many South Africans may not know is that it’s the big G’s second attempt at social networking after the failure of Orkut launched in 2004. For me Google+ is not valuable because nobody cares enough to spend real time on it. When I post an update, I do not even look at who comments.
The value of a social network is proportional to the engagement from you and your network. So when you post and nobody responds, the value is low to almost nothing – there is no engagement without feedback or sharing. After listening to investor Roger McNamee during a Bloomberg (DStv channel 411) interviewed, it confirmed my original scepticism.
Before it launched to the public, you required a Google+ invitation to join. This was the same way Gmail launched, and it was a form of permission marketing (thanks Seth Godin) that worked for the email product. For Google+ it’s become more of a form of spamming people into creating profiles.
Bruce Mubayiwa, a LinkedIn consultant, thinks Google+ prospects could get more interesting as Google increases integration. He believes there are plans to weave in Google Analytics and this could increase usage of Google+ overall.
The key realisation is that managing multiple social networks is unproductive. In the 21st century time or attention is the most valuable resource, not gold or silver. Microsoft and Google face substantial challenges as global usage of the Web moves away from the Desktop to apps on smartphones and tablets. That means more and more Internet users bypass search engines because they engage from their Twitter or Facebook apps directly.
Google must do whatever it takes to catch-up with Facebook. People have agreed to give enormous amounts of personal information to Facebook. In return Facebook gives them an online social experience like no other. In contrast Google is not where you go to connect with your family or friends. You use it mostly to search for information, maybe send emails and get on with the favourite social network or shopping site.
John Wilson wrote a great little rebuttel for joining Konnects, a new business social network. He aptly calls it a poor LinkedIn clone. After ignoring previous requests I had to write about this because the person who invited me to join I hold in high esteem: Stan Relihan. In the past I have praised The Connections Show podcast hosted by Stan Relihan here because of the high quality of the guests interviewed and how succinct it is by comparison to other business podcasts.
So here’s the confusion: Stan has positioned himself as a leading evangalist for LinkedIn so this email is unwarrented and unsolicited. What we need is not more social networking websites but rather a better use of the existing ones. The same holds true for MySpace vs Facebook debate.
LinkedIn has recently upgraded it’s home page and functionality to be more inline with the competition like Facebook. However, I’ve never really perceived Facebook as direct competition for LinkedIn because they focus on different markets completely. As you may know Facebook is more of a student hangout and LinkedIn has always been a place for business people.
So recently Bill Gates created a profile on LinkedIn and also posted the following question on the fantastic LinkedIn Answers service: How can we do more to encourage young people to pursue careers in science and technology?
So far it has attracted over 3,500 answers and it’s still open and you can post your answer to his question directly on LinkedIn. There has since been a lot of debate because he also deleted his Facebook account after being bombarded by friend requests from fans. Whats amusing is how many questions have been posted about his question. A favourite of mine is: what is the best strategy to get invited to join Bill Gates’ network on Linkedin.
Anyway what does it means when one of the most powerful men in the business world makes such a public move. Think of chess where every move counts because Microsoft recently bought 1.6% of Facebook for US$240 million. LinkedIn is privately owned and there is speculation about Microsoft buying into LinkedIn. LinkedIn would be a much cheaper purchase and in my opinion a better one because of it’s business focus. Bill Gates has always been Microsoft’s best salesman and and his personal moves will always be associated with the their corporate strategy.
There’s so much more to say about this but for me the key here this move by Bill Gates confirms that LinkedIn is the best social networking website for business people.
The Connections Show is a weekly podcast hosted by Stan Relihan, one of Australia’s most connected LinkedIn users, and a professional recruiter based in Sydney. This is one of the most practically useful business podcasts I’ve discovered on the Web. And it’s a real surprise that it comes from Australia, not America like most of the other podcasts I subscribe to using Apple iTunes. So far there’s been 23 shows and I listen to them religiously. One of the motivations is that it’s only 20 minutes long. This allows you to digest the information quickly and easily in this attention deficient age we all live in.
Some of the shows that stand out for me are the following:
- Conversations with a LION – Christian Mayaud
- A Taste of LinkedIn Intelligence – Scott Allen
- Talking with the Queen of LinkedIn Q&A – Sheliah Etheridge
- Secrets of Successful Selling – Craig Elias
- King of Yahoo! Groups – Vincent Wright
There is a great need for short, high quality podcasts like this one, which is also exceptionally well targeted to a growing niche. Stan Relihan, the host of this podcast does a good job most of time in getting the best from the guests. Every now and then there is a disconnect between the topics discussed and LinkedIn or business networking. And this could create problems for future shows if it continues to be a weekly. That would require over 50 guests, some of which deservingly could feature a 2nd time like the above mentioned people.
So I recommend you subscribe to The Connections Show or at least listen to a few shows directly from the Podcast Network, where it’s hosted. You may also be interested in my new business social networking workshops in South Africa, where I teach how to use online networking tools to increase your sales, grow your revenue and boost your profile in your industry.
LinkedIn is a very popular business social networking website. The primary aim of LinkedIn is to help you connect with other professionals directly within our own country and worldwide. It now have over 9 million registered users. South Africa currently has 24800 users and I’ve just entered the top 5. This is up from #8 which I’ve been for the last few months. My goal is to reach number 1 before end of 2007.
LinkedIn in allows you to create a Public Profile with a unique URL. My own LinkedIn URL is currently ranked number 7 on my the Google SERPs for my name. This is one of the ways you can ensure that when people search for you – they find you – and more specifically they find the information about you, that you want them to find. Your LinkedIn profile becomes like a live online resume with endorsements which keeps growing.
LinkedIn recently launched a Q&A service which allows you to post questions to the entire network. My own questions were answered by several different people within days. And this is amazing when you consider the value or how much you would have to pay these experts to gain their insight. Why bother answering other people’s questions you may ask? Well it boosts your profile inside the LinkedIn network and therefore brings more opportunities to you. It really comes down to a different mindset that understands how value is created i.e. By giving more, you receive more. And you need to give first before expecting anything in return. And the less you expect, the more you are surprised by does end up coming your way.
You may be interested in my half-day workshop on online social networking for entrepreneurs, consultants, contractors and anyone who’s freelancing. If you work in recruitment industry LinkedIn is something that you should really pay attention to because its completely changing the way executive search and talent management is taking place.
Tonight, Monday 29 January at 7pm I will be interviewed on Radio 2000 (99.7FM) by Allon Raiz with my friend Brian Carl Brown discussing LinkedIn and Social Networking for Entrepreneurs. This is just one of many recent interviews I’ve done in the month of January. So the year is getting off to rockin’ start. This a must for entrepreneurs, small business owners, sales and marketing, event managers, recruitment consultants; and all those who’s job it is to create new partnerships and build relationships quickly as well as people who would like to improve their referability.
Other recent interviews include:
3 January: RSG discussing Online Dating / SMS Flirting (Afrikaans 😉
19 January: Cape Talk / KFM news segment discussing Online, SMS, Corporate Dating
20 January: Al Ansaar Radio (Durban) discussing Online Safety on Mobile Phones, Chat Rooms and MXit.
Coming up: Online dating feature in March edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. And Identity Theft feature in April edition.
More breaking news: I’ve been invited to write a regular column on Biz-Community, the largest portal for advertising, media, marketing news in South Africa. My friend Mike Stopforth, a Web 2.0 blogger is already a regular contributor to BizCommunity.
Checkout the details of my Social Networking Success Workshop here.