Courtesy and social media

Politeness is an important issue when using social networks for commercial purposes. For example, many users really appreciate little acknowledgements. If you don’t watch your manners, it is quite possible they will think less positively about the business you are trying to promote. Google has recently decided to alter Google+ to permit the thanking of individuals who have +1’d something.

At SEO Consult, we take every care with the campaigns we manage. We recognise how critical courtesy can be during the course of a continuous campaign and that the time taken to say please or thank you is minimal compared with the positive outcome in terms of reputation management.

Google+ has come a long way since its inception. When it arrived on the scene, there were a few doubts about it, largely thanks to the fact that Google Buzz was not a success. Although there are still some who sneer at it, the level of popularity attained means that it is no longer prudent to ignore it completely. In the past, articles were often written comparing it with Facebook in terms of user numbers, whereas now many articles are composed in relation to how best to use it.

Of course, it is still necessary for social media services to bear in mind the differences in market share between Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Facebook obviously has a massive lead. However, particular segments of specific target audiences can be found in diverse online places. Hence many social media optimisation campaigns cannot afford to neglect Google+.

Google+ tries to learn from examples provided by other social networks. Distinguishing between what works and what doesn’t work is of significant importance. Nonetheless, it is far from simple. For instance, enabling users of Google+ to give thanks seems to echo some of the user etiquette on Twitter. The problem is that if someone thanks without manipulating their circles properly, privacy issues may arise. One of the perceived advantages of using Google+ has been its relative respect for privacy but its architects might need to tweak the Thank you system if they wish to preserve this. On the other hand, users could simply become more adept at using the system.

The Thank you innovation might seem like a small addition to Google+ but it is another indicator that Google is determined for the social network to succeed. The way that Google introduced ‘Search, plus Your World’ demonstrated this determination. Google knows that Facebook is not going to be caught by Google+ in the foreseeable future but they are not going to let matters rest the way they are. This in turn will provoke further innovations from Facebook.

While the competitiveness of the social networks means that they may not be courteous to one another, consultants must never mimic their habits. A casual attitude is not one to cultivate and a competitive mind-set should never erode good manners. It can creep up on tired individuals, so care must be taken in every single interaction. Excessive politeness can jar against user sensibilities so subtlety is also needed.

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