My first few days in Google+ showed me that there are plenty of interesting people yet to meet.
I was also pleasantly surprised by seeing how the tool spurred creativity and new executions for people I was already connected with in other social networks.
It didn't happen across the board; in fact, the more practiced the social networkers, the more repurposed and unspontaneous the updates... which led me to think about the challenge many marketers face with truly understanding the difference between re-imagining and re-purposing content.
Indeed, Google+ looks and feels a lot like a combination of Facebook for posts length and commenting system and Twitter for ease of list- ahem circle-building and sharing.
As I noted a couple of days ago, however, there are many Googlers active in the new network -- and I'm sure many more behind them -- who are responding to people and trouble shooting features and potential bugs in real time.
The deal Google struck with Twitter to carry real time search results has expired. I observed only a couple of days ago that Google+ was addressing some useful features missing from other networks... and now it looks like it may have earned enough direction and momentum to start building social sharing in its own platform on top of its search data.
Which is where re-imagining content comes in for your business.
New meaning to re-search
One of the challenges in content strategy I listed for this year is the new tags which indicate to Google what content is original to the site. Google will soon prefer the original sources in the display of search results.
If user experience is not on top of your list. If it doesn't matter to you that people would start bypassing your updates when they are the same in all social networks, you should pay attention to how re-search is getting a whole new meaning with the combination of social.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
How do you do that? One of the best ways is to think about each concept as a slide in a deck, a bite-sized piece of information. When you put one idea in each slide, you then start seeing how you can combine different ideas to communicate something differently.
Now think about the context of one social network vs. another, and how people like to share and get information in that medium. In fact, you can create many new pieces of content from the same idea. For example, say you have the results of a research study you did. You could develop:
- a visual slide deck of the executive summary of your research
- individual blog posts around each data point
- questions and answers pages after discussing the results with your subject matter experts
- a Twitter conversation about the main focus of the research to repackage and post
- data that can be used to support an advice article
- and so on
I see reimagining as answering a design question -- how would you design a new experience with those core ideas?