Writer Rant: Learning Yet Another Social Media Site
Welcome to Writer Rants–where every Friday a writer just lets loose on whatever the heck is bugging them this week. Enjoy.
I already use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. I won’t use Twitter, because it’s bite-sized and I’d have to do the same type of networking I have to do for the other three. I want to spend my time writing, not socializing online . . . so now it’s Google+? What’s so great about it?
As reluctant as I am to take on a new one, I do like what I’ve seen so far, except for a few things that confused me. Google is hooked up to You Tube and wants to include the comments I make on You Tube videos on my Google account. Really? What if I don’t want them there? What if they’re personal? How do I separate the personal from the professional?
And what are “circles” for God’s sake? Well, ok. You create links with people you know, then organize them together into groups, so you can have acquaintance groups, a family group, and various work contacts in groups. Does that imply that you can choose which posts go to which groups? Hold on, I’ll try it . . . yep! To post privately, you go the circle or community first and post there.
So how does Google+ differ from other social media sites? Here’s how I understand it so far:
- It’s the future of Google. It integrates with everything. What you post on your homepage goes out all over.
- Whatever you post is assigned (by Google) a keyword with hashtag. That hashtag links you with others who display the same hashtagged keyword, i.e. with others interested in the same topic. That’s how people find you.
- If you interact with them, have conversations, it increases your ranking in Google searches.
- To proactively find people you want to interact with, who are interested in the same topics you are passionate about, conduct a #search. Share your excitement with them. This makes Google+ fun, as well as effective.
- For absolute privacy for an ongoing group conversation (like family), create a “community” by invitation only. Everyone you invite can post there anytime.
- Posting photographs, especially your own, is especially attractive and will net you comments and “followers” who want to link with you in circles. This also increases your ranking.
- DON’T use sales pitches and don’t use stock photography. Both of those are major turnoffs to people and will lower your rankings.
- Opportunities are especially good for writers and photographers – writers because they’re great at wording ideas and choosing keywords (in titles, etc), photographers because they’re great with images.
- Now is the time to build your activity on Google+. They have a ton of tools to help businesses thrive. By the end of 2014 they will be too saturated for new presences to stand out.
Now I’m much more excited about the possibilities for using Google+ to promote my writing, whether it’s a ghostwriting service or blog writing or articles under my own name. Will you join me in a crowd-sourcing writers circle?
Susette H like many writers, is struggling with the time it takes to market her work. She would rather write, but then . . . if no one sees it? Google+ looks fun and she’s appreciating Writer Access’s urgings to utilize it.