What is Social Media?

Entries in Twitter (3)


Is GOOGLE+ the missing link?

Do Need a GOOGLE+ invite? request one from tbarkan@socialstrat.orgyou feel that Facebook is just too social?

Do you struggle to use LinkedIn effectively?

Hate the idea of “tweeting” every fleeting thought?

You might just find the new GOOGLE+ is the missing link you didn’t realize you were missing!

GOOGLE+ is the newly unveiled social application that fills a very unique and important niche in the social media landscape that is currently dominated by the big 3 of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Even in its just released Beta version, GOOGLE+ has gotten a lot of things right. In GOOGLE fashion, it has made its solution simple, clean and intuitive. I think GOOGLE+ is going to be very attractive, even to social media skeptics that are put off by Facebook’s hyper social/casual interface, LinkedIn’s increasing narrow application and Twitter’s flotsam of never ending status updates (I mean who can really “follow” 1,000+ contacts?).

Circles of Influence

GOOGLE+ is an incredibly easy and intuitive way to organize connections and contacts by allocating them to “Circles” like family, friends, business contacts or any category you care to define for your various classes of contacts and connections. The way that GOOGLE+ has provided this feature is both natural and easy to apply and is visually easy to organize.

Let’s Huddle and Hangout!

One of the most powerful features of the new GOOGLE+ is the ability to collaborate with multiple colleagues, right from within the circles you have created. For example, you might have a “finance team” circle that needs to work on your annual budget. Using GOOGLE+ it becomes incredibly easy to share documents, use live chat or to hold a video conference with up to 10 simultaneous participants. Whatever the purpose, the point is that real collaboration is very easy and spontaneous, even if the participants are using different devices (PC, Android and Apple for example).

Sparks of Interest

Making use of GOOGLE’s powerful search engine, you have the ability to follow any topic or item you choose. You also have the ability to share the interesting links you find with individual circles or with all of your contacts. This is an easy way to keep track of ongoing topics that you want to monitor right from your GOOGLE+ profile page and includes links to web pages, blogs, videos or any other media you can find on the web.  

The bottom line…

GOOGLE+ seems to span the gap between being too social and public (Facebook and Twitter) and having too narrow a use (LinkedIn and LinkedIn Groups). For someone like myself who tends to use social media for professional and business purposes, GOOGLE+ let’s me feel comfortable to use it for professional purposes while managing more social contacts.

For associations that have established Facebook pages and LinkedIn groups, there is no feature yet in GOOGLE+ to establish a corporate page. However, as a collaboration and communication tool, it looks to be a great solution for internal teams, committees, task forces, member special interest groups or any other application where a defined group of like minded people want a really easy to use tool to share information, collaborate  and communicate in real time.

GOOGLE+ is worth a look, even by the most ardent social media skeptics!


Need a GOOGLE+ invite? Just send me a request at tbarkan@socialstrat.org!



Twitter...Bla, Bla, Bla!


The more I speak with association managers, marketing and communications professionals, senior executives and CEO’s, one message is absolutely clear. They feel bombarded by the hype around social media and frankly are getting sick and tired of hearing about it!

At a recent meeting of about 100 communications and marketing specialists (the kinds of people that are embracing social media) more than 95% of them have used TWITTER and 100% of those have determined that it held little to no value, or worse, was a time suck.

An Executive Director of an important trade association summed it up best when she felt that social media hype was exerting a tremendous amount of” peer pressure to embrace social media” but that it was difficult at best to see where the value is. Her view was echoed by colleagues and they wanted to know, where is the measureable ROI in social media?

These frustrations are both normal and unfortunate. Social Media has a great deal to offer organizations of every size and type, but the heavy focus on social media technology features, rather than the business strategy of how and why to use social media, is the problem.

What good is it to know that ‘Beyonce’ has half a million followers on TWITTER? What lessons are learned for a professional membership organization that Susan Boyle’s combined YouTube hits now number over 100 million? Or that Facebook has 330 million users?

It is like saying that China has 1.4 billion people so therefore it makes sense to do business in China. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, but you do not decide just because of the impressive numbers.

Some organizations are starting to wade through the hype and make real, measureable use of social media. These organizations have several things in common:

  • They have identified a specific use or objective for their social media activities
  • They have determine how they are going to measure success and they start that measurement right from the beginning
  • They have developed a strategy and a business plan that includes designating sufficient human resources to implement and manage their plans.

In other words, they are treating social media as they would any other important business project, not like it is a hobby.


The Social CEO!

The relationship between a “CEO” and social media is an interesting one. For the CEO, social media raises two very important questions:

-          What does social media mean for me personally?

-          What does social media mean for my organization?

In both cases, it is becoming increasingly important that CEO’s of organizations large and small have an answer for these two questions.

The spectrum of social media understanding on the part of CEO’s runs from those that are skeptical of social media, do not use it and consider it a distraction at best; to those that are social media ‘rock stars” that have their own personal blogs and Twitter followers.

For staff within an organization, where your CEO falls on this spectrum will have a huge impact on your organization’s ability to effectively implement and leverage social media.

At a very minimum, a CEO today needs to understand at least enough about social media, what it is and what it is capable of, to make an informed decision about how his/her organization should be engaged with social media tools, campaigns and the allocation of resources.

Not every CEO will or should become a social media fanatic. However, because social media is now a major force in how people collaborate, make buying decisions, get their news and form decisions, it would be foolish to dismiss social media as a “distraction” or waste of time.

Many CEO’s today face a real challenge. Social media is so filled with hype and jargon that many senior level managers are not sure how or where to start. Uncertain about what is hype and what is actionable information. Not clear on how to drive or to measure ROI.

So the next time you feel like your CEO “doesn’t get it”, remember that answering the questions (what does it mean to me personally, what does it mean for my organization?) are at the forefront of a typical CEO’s mind when it comes to social media.

It is in everyone’s interest to get solid answers to these two questions!


Do you know of a CEO that would like to network with peers to better understand social media?

Join TheSocialCEO on LinkedIn (CEO only networking group)