Google+ and Journalists - Is it Really Necessary?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Facebook is arguably the king of social media these days. If there is anyone who can threaten to steal the crown away, it would have to be Google. The new Google+ may be capable of committing social media regicide.

Google+ is a Facebook clone in some ways, and for that reason there will be many who steer clear of it. What is the point in having another Facebook account?

The reaction to Google+ has been positive from the Journalism community. There are tools and benefits of Google+ that are helpful for a journalist. As of the second of August, there were more than 140 journalists with confirmed Google+ accounts. That is a large number, considering it is still exclusive to people who get an invite from someone.

How are journalists using Google+ so far? A recent Mashable article provided five different ways that journalists have been using this new tool: Talking about Google+, Hosting Audience Hangouts, Engaging Readers, Analyzing News Coverage, and Showing Personality.

The early comparisons between conversations on Facebook and Google+ are already rolling in. During that same Mashable article, they mentioned starting an identical discussion on both platforms

about a study that claims 34% of iPhone users think they have 4G. The posts were published at roughly the same time and had similar prompts, posing questions about the study’s results. On Facebook, there were 57 likes and 40 comments, while the Google+ post had 183 +1′s and 116 comments.
There are other benefits to be found from having a Google+ account that makes it unique. The ability to have content be public or private helps to have a personal account that also allows for personal branding. You control who gets to see your posts through the use of circles. A journalist no longer needs to have a personal account and a professional account in order to maintain their proper identities.

Google+ is also part of the Search Engine Google, which makes it so your posts are searchable, thus driving in more readers without any extra effort spent. Whether you choose to share news and blog posts, or market books and Web sites, your information is easier to find.

More information on how journalists can benefit from a Google+ account can be found here.

A journalist at any level in their career can see immediate benefits from using Google+. There are many more articles about the benefits than were included in this blog. Over the course of the next two years, it will be as essential to have a Google+ account as any other social media platform. I'm ready for that future. Are you?

Photo Courtesy of Jon Lee Clark's Flickr via Creative Commons.


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