The way social channels are being used has shifted from interaction to distributing your message. Becoming more selfless can make you the source.
The past week or so has seen the rumours of the demise of Google+ (if you take TechCrunch and the Financial Times at face value) which means we cannot put all our eggs in the Google basket and become compliant to how they tell us to behave.
There have been some powerful people who have been removed from the offices of Google+ recently and to many people is a social network that feels like entering an old people’s home, where there is a room of people watching the same TV channel but no-one is saying anything or getting up to ask if anyone would like a cup of tea. Then again the value that can be accrued via authorship attribution, collaboration and the ability to distribute to an audience, is a powerful tool, where the crux of this particular article in imbedded.
Whilst some parts of the media are predicting a limited future for Google+ what it also shows is that as businesses we need to change our relationship with social channels to one that is focused on distribution of content and using media spaces to deliver and become influential as the source of ideas and provide us with reach to audiences we may never had the opportunity to build a dialogue (such as the introduction of the new LinkeIn blogging platform since February this year). We don’t have to be at the whim of Google, we just have to be creative, transparent and connect with an audience who are open to what we have to say and our point of view.
We All Go To The Source
Lets take a leaf out of Google’s book when it comes to being regarded as the source. When we visit Google’s homepage we see no content, just the rectangular box to enter what we are searching for. Google then comes back to us within seconds and lets us know the sites that we might be what we’re looking for. Every time we want to know something, we always go straight to the source. What is stopping your business from being regarded as the source within your marketplace?
Some of the key ingredients are to become more open and more honest. If we share what we’ve learnt and become more widely regarded as teachers and not a conduit for delivering a product or service, we can become a valuable source of information that is here to help others and point people in the direction they are thinking of heading.
Abundance is everywhere and the social channels we use becomes much more powerful when used as a distribution method for content that points directly to a place of origin (such as your website), rather than using as a platform to state how busy your week has been or a wise quote from Ghandi. Lets not underestimate the power of being social without patronising people.
It’s Not About What We Will Do For Others
A mindset that is focused on being helpful with the content we produce is more about what you will do for me, not what will we do for others. The social channels that we choose to distribute needs to be consistent with the message that we’re looking to portray.
When I first started my blog, as with most blogs, the whole journey starts with looking to find your feet and the voice that you’re looking to share with others. The earlier articles were more focused on pretty generic topics to areas that affect a business, such as ‘how to prepare a better presentation’ or the more mundane ‘what is a brand’ post. Over time, the focus has become more focused on how businesses can stand for something by telling a better story and the methods to look to build an audience and become more influential to the audience that we wish to serve.
We don’t need to be subservient to the likes of Google, when we have the confidence to be honest and work the social channels that we choose to become recognised within (hey… even Twitter is a search engine). What we need to understand is what makes the big corporations accepted as a source and then for ourselves to be able to direct content to an audience who are then guided to the places that we control (our website, our blogs, our email subscription).
Whether the future has Google+ still within the social hemisphere is anyone’s guess, but if we don’t focus 100% on building our audience on the spaces where ownership isn’t ours (take a bow LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+) but more as a distribution medium with traffic to a relevant source can change a mindset where influence becomes the reason why others are drawn to you.