Ready . . . Set . . . Google+

In the last few days, Google announced to users that on March 1, 2012, they are “getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read.” It is good for each google account user to take a look at the privacy changes. If you didn’t get the email from them to your google account – here is the link they provided:
http://www.google.com/policies

So you have taken the plunge, ready to play on Google+. Much like other social sites, Google+ is designed for you to be able to share more information in a easy format. You set up your “Circles” of friends, and you are on your way. Not so fast . . .

You will want to take a look at your privacy settings on your Google+ account. The default settings might not provide much security for you.
This summer when I “tried on” Google+ for the first time, there weren’t many settings to keep privacy secure. I liked that I could select which sections to share information, but I found that I was still getting added to other peoples “Circles” that I didn’t know, and got tagged to photos and posts that I was not aware of. Honestly, having the Google+ account has been fun to play with and explore, but I don’t plan to use it for much – if any – communications with people I know at this time. Things may change down the road, but I feel there are still many things that need to be adjusted and would rather keep up with my friends on Facebook, LinkedIn connections and Twitter contacts than try to take on yet another social “connections” site. This is partially the reason for the inactivity on MySpace. I imagine a lot of you are dealing with the same issues.

So, in case you decide to play in Google+, be sure to modify the settings I have highlighted for you below. Understand your privacy & don’t just let anyone connect to you or your kids – monitor them appropriately.

FIRST – Decide how you want to be connected. Under options, you can modify all of your settings or find links to privacy sections. Look for the wheel at the top right hand side next to your picture:

SECOND – You can select how your notifications, posts , pictures, video and communications are listed on your Google+ profile.

THIRD – Customize “Your circles” by choosing who you want to “share” information with.

FOURTH – Customize your Photo and Video options. I highly recommend you unselect “Show photo geo location information in newly uploaded albums and photos. Your geo location will provide the longitude and latitude for the location the picture was taken. This not only is a violation of privacy, but bascially provides information about frequently places you may go to potential online abusers.

Google also announced you could “Circle” a series of celebs and and teen-friendly brands. This is in effort to promote the social site to teens & young adults.

Again, be aware of what your kids are looking at and monitor the content to ensure they are safe. Here is the link for that if you are interested:

Hollie Clere, The Social Media Advisor is a social media manager, trainer and author in the LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog and social media world. Click here for her Social Media Links

Why are companies not found on LinkedIn or Facebook?

We have been working with multiple companies developing social media profiles lately. In the efforts of building a branding and consistent character basis for companies, we have seen more and more that there are too many companies without a presence on LinkedIn. Not talking about an individual profile – which is very concerning that over 3.5 million users are on the site, but yet millions more haven’t ventured into building a profile is overwhelming. To start there, if you don’t have a presence on this site as an individual, you are telling the world that either you don’t want to be connected to, you aren’t savvy with the Internet, or you would rather spamming sites publish information about you instead. One of the most beautiful things about LinkedIn is the searchability factor through google. 4 out of 5 customers will search LinkedIn for their potential vendor representative (or potential new hire) to gain character perspective and knowledge about this person. If you don’t choose to put information about your history that you want people to see, they will find out information about you on sites that pay a lot of money to Google to post personal things such as pictures of your home, family members & so on (an example of this is 123people & there are many other sites out there who “phish” for your information & post it freely online). Should you ever find something like this – you can contact the publisher for it to be removed. Know that the most important piece of us mentioning this – is the fact that THE INFORMATION YOU WANT POSTED ON THE INTERNET – SHOULD BE THE INFORMATION THAT YOU CHOOSE TO BE POSTED – NOT WHAT SOMEONE ELSE DECIDES FOR YOU!

This holds true about information for your company. If you don’t have a website – how will your customers know what you offer & if you are a real business person? Same with social media. If you are not “out there” and “current” how will people know how to do business with you, connect with you, follow you and want to maintain relationship with you????

With that being said, as a business owner you have thought about a few things:

(1) what is my logo?
(2) what is my brand?
(3) where will I market?
(4) how will I market?
(5) who will I market to?
(6) build a website

Will all of these things in place, there is still a laundry list of things that need to happen as well.

FACTS:
(1) If you have a website, it will have either detailed – or not as detailed – information about your products/services
(2) You may be choosing some print marketing or mailers for your potential or existing customers

These are important – but what should go in hand with this?

***SOCIAL MEDIA***

If you have a personal presence on Facebook, you should NOT be marketing your company on your “personal” page, rather you should have a business page where people can “like” your company and follow your updates.

If you have a personal profile on LinkedIn, you need to be sure your company profile is established as well so people can easily find you through your company or your personal profile. Individuals can also “like” your company page for updates. You should also have recommendations of your work that your customers, vendors or staff can post about you – this is a great character building piece and can also encourage a history of your experience.

A newer feature of LinkedIn is posting products & services. The great thing about this is you can get recommendations for these products or services right on the company page – a great marketing tool.

My challenge for you – If you have a personal presence on FaceBook or LinkedIn – then create a company profile for them both. It will increase visibility, credibility & ownership of your brand.


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