Google+’s system of sharing information is a refined (if not quite intuitive) and intelligent application of something we’ve been doing here at Democracy PR for some time: sharing the right information with the right people.
Whereas Facebook’s privacy settings are lax by default and continue to be until you adjust the settings, Google’s model of sharing permits us, encourages even, to share with the right people. Placing people into your private circles (no one but you is aware of which circle you put them into) allows you to define separate groups with whom you can share content. You may have circles for colleagues and friends (depending on how happy you are at work there may well be some crossover here!) or groups for distinct people; The boss, The wife and the kids maybe?
Share and Share a ‘Like’
Now, as an agency with real strength in social media we’re unsurprisingly well-versed in sharing carefully online. We’re all huge advocates of twitter in the office but unless we create two profiles, or more, it’s difficult to find one voice to manage all your followers. We introduced a hashtag, #dpr, to differentiate work and industry related tweets from all other stuff, be it reality t.v., rants about public transport or poor customer service, and nights out. While it doesn’t remedy the difficulties of managing a mix of followers it’s certainly a smarter way to manage the content on our twitter feed on the website.
The web is littered with stories of employees who have tweeted inappropriate messages due to a mix up between personal and professional profiles. Just as when a Red Cross social media specialist tweeted about getting drunk from the Red Cross account and the tweet exploded. Searching for the Red Cross Twitter account? You’ll likely see the negative story just as quickly as the twitter account on a Google search results page. To avoid any such confusion I am very careful about linking client accounts and my personal accounts to the same twitter client. I have opted to use twitter’s very own android app to manage clients and Hootsuite for my own tweeting!
Facebook is similar and potentially more problematic. Using the platform as we do in several guises for various clients it would be difficult to use our normal public profiles to manage various profesional brand pages, instead we create separate professional identities to manage them. I masquerade online as a professional billy no-mates, but one that has still got his job.
That Google+ immediately solves these issues is a huge boon and furthermore demonstrates that the search giant has privacy at its core; or as a cynic might claim, realises that privacy is the key to users and therefore revenue. I’ve been trialling circles for over three weeks now and i’m really taken by the service and enthusiastic about the introduction of business accounts.