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Most LinkedIn members use their profile for professional branding purposes. The active LinkedIn members engage in business development and job search/placement activities. In contrast, initially many Google+ users used the features for personal interactions such as photo-sharing with family, hangout with family and friends. Also many G+ users don't realise that their personal posts are making it to the public webspace and that they should reset their visibility preferences of posts and "About" page. Those users detered others from engaging with them.
However, the demand and growth of Google+ has been phenomenal this year. Moreover, after LinkedIn deployed an unprecedented and Members-UNfriendly policy called Sitewide Automated Moderation (SWAM), thousands of professionals and small businesses are exploring and migrating to Google+. Those who are active in Google+, are more than ever separating their professional profile from their personal profile and are engaging at different levels.
If you are considering to put your efforts into only one channel that helps you manage your customers better and more effectively, then you must start by comparing the features of each channel. The following tables compares all the known features available (as of September 1, 2013) with a free LinkedIn Membership and a Google+ profile (which is free).
The features marked in "blue" are the ones that we consider as very user-Friendly. The features marked in "red" are the ones that we consider as user-UNfriendly.
|People||Circles, Pages, Communities||Connections|
|Companies||Circles, Pages, Communities||Company Pages|
|Posts||Text, Photos, Links, Videos, GIFs
||Text, Links and Image files
|No limit on text/character count
||Limit on number of characters in post
|Tag people and pages with @ and +
||Tag people and companies with @
|Add hashtag for global SEO||Does not contribute to SEO|
|Discussions||Communities: Private, Public with invite moderation, Public-Open||LinkedIn Groups: Private, Public with invite moderation, Public-Open|
Automatic sign-on with login to any other Google products
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Business relationships are not this intuitive (though I contend they should be), but let me ask you this (if you’re in a long-term relationship, think back to when you were single).
When you started dating, you had opportunities to begin and pursue relationships. How did you make the choice of which woman/man to pursue? Was it the best looking? The smartest? Maybe the most accessible or one you thought would say yes? And if you were lucky enough to have several people from which to choose, into which relationships did you invest your effort? Was it with the cutest partner? The one who seemed most likely to succeed? The one most likely to commit to you?
I’d be willing to bet you made these decisions based on some form of intuition. You probably agonized, analyzed and got lots of advice from your friends and family, but some sense of the “right” choice probably made itself apparent, and off you went.
Do you know why your customers renew their subscriptions or services? Do you know how to predict whether any given customer will renew? I suspect you probably have an answer something like, “Well, yes, but it could be better.”
So let’s make it better.
And let’s make better marketing investment decisions by doing so.
Here’s a scenario that will disturb most of you: You are happily in a long-term committed relationship. Then you meet someone interesting, attractive and with a personality similar to your current partner. You figure your current partner isn’t going anywhere, so you spend lots of time developing a new relationship with this new person. You spend time together, you spend money on gifts and activities, and you find you have common interests. You end up in a relationship with this new person. Are you still assuming your first partner hasn’t gone anywhere? I think we can all agree that’s a pretty bad assumption.
So why do we treat our customers this way?