I’m going to start out saying that I think Guy Kawasaki is actually on point with what he says about social media.
The original article is Guy Kawasaki: Google+ Is The Mac Of Social Networks.
The headline is a little confusing, but Guy is saying that he loves Google+. In fact, Guy is professing that people should be using the service instead of the more popular Twitter and Facebook. Those are big words coming from one of the biggest names in online business.
What I don’t want to have happen is for people to get attached to a new social network. We just talked about this yesterday. Social networks seem to come and go. The history is short – about ten years – but the history shows that the networks come and go and often the changes happen really fast and before you know it you’re out of luck if you have a large following.
Think back to MySpace. How much value are businesses getting from having a million friends on MySpace? It’s hard to believe now but there were tons of people working to get friends on MySpace for their companies. The same things are happening on Facebook and now on Google+.
Social Media Starts With Your Own Website and Blog
We’ve talked about this all the time here on the GBW blog. You can focus on building an audience and adding content to social media sites, but when those sites go under you’re out of luck. And really the audience you build and the content you share on those sites belongs to the site. Anything you publish on Facebook or Twitter or Google+ belongs to those companies. You just kind of get access to it.
The way we see things at GBW is that it’s much better to focus on social media by thinking of your website (or you blog) as your main focus. You want to publish the most content to your own website. From there you want to use social media outlets to attract the audiences that exist there and bring them back to your website. You want to use social media to build your own audience.
There are a billion people on Facebook. There are millions of people on Google+ and you can use that to build your own audience.
Instead, what you see are people using their own websites to build audiences for the social media sites. It’s kind of crazy. Don’t you want people to come to your website so they can read your content, learn about your brand, trust your brand and eventually make a purchase? Why send people away from your site just to boost your followers on Google+ or your likes on Facebook?
I don’t get it and I think Guy Kawasaki actually thinks the same way.
Here are a few excerpts from the article linked above.
The way I use Twitter is I have this website, Holy Kaw!, where we publish stories designed to elicit the reaction “holy cow!” We have people constantly writing up stories that have a link to the source. Those things become tweets from @guykawasaki. If you look at my feed, you’ll see a few dozen posts a day, so it looks like I am very active on Twitter. But all of those are coming because of how I use Holy Kaw!
Kawasaki: The Google+ economy–I think probably all of the social media economy–is based on links. It’s not that you have original posts but you have found something to tell people to go read. Basically, that’s all I do all day on Google+. As a journalist, you should appreciate that’s very different from having to write 500 or 1,000 words a day.
So what is Guy doing with all this activity on the social media sites?
He’s sharing content.
Guy understands what these social sites are used for. He’s looking to build his own audiences on his various websites. He’s using social media to build an audience of people that will follow his updates, but really he wants to get people back to his own content. Or Guy is looking to become an interesting person on Google+ by sharing interesting information. He’s a curator in a sense. He wants people to follow him on Google+ so he can eventually get them back to his website properties so they opt-in and he can make money.
There is nothing wrong with that.
I just want people to realize what social media is all about. Guy Kawasaki is touting Google+, but really he means you should use all social sites, whichever is popular at the moment, to build your own audience that centers around your website (or blog).