Throughout 2014 I have been telling myself and you lot that I really need to make the effort to take a proper look at other social media platforms. There are plenty of them out there now. But the real challenge is deciding on which ones suit my needs best. I use social media to connect with the window and door industry, keep up to date with what is going on in the industry, and of course promote this very site.

For those reasons, not all social media platforms are appropriate. Facebook for example I find quite juvenile. In my experience it has always invited childish sniping, spying and is used generally for non-business related content – which is fine but it doesn’t suit my needs.

Having a proper stab at Google+

I know LinkedIn is THE place for business social networking, and I promise that in 2015 I will get to grips with that much better. But I have decided to sink some of my efforts into Google+. It might not be the social network which is talked about most often, but I do see it as a more grown up, creative place where I can control what I see and when I see it.

Firstly, unlike Facebook, I can control completely what I see on my timeline. There are no adverts getting in my way. No silly features like the “Year In Review” which failed badly this week. And from early forays into the content there, the quality of the discussion in groups and communities is rather good, much better than Facebook.

For those who think Google+ isn’t that well populated, you need to take a look at some of the numbers in some of the communities on there. There are tons of people. And they’re all quite active. Not maybe as active as people on Twitter, but certainly more active than they are on Facebook. It’s well documented that there are quite a lot of spam and cruddy accounts populating Facebook, artificially inflating it’s user figures. I’m after engagement after all, the discussions in our industry are quite lively ones. I’m hoping for the same on Google+.

I’ve also found Google+ quite easy to get used to. I had an invite to the service when it launched and was invite only. Back then it was clunky, didn’t flow very well and was difficult to use. It switched me right off and I ignored it ever since. But on my return it looks totally different now. Much easier to navigate, simpler to use, easy to add to my circles and join communities. It’s a much nicer place to be – a big tick for me if I am going to start using it regularly.

I am going to be using Google+ to focus solely on the blog and industry side of things. Nothing personal is going on there. I sometimes use Twitter to engage with people on non-industry related matters, and for that platform that is fine. But after looking at Google+ and the type of content that goes on there, it needs to be focused. So, if you start adding me in your communities and circles on there, you can rest easy in the knowledge that there won’t be anything about what I’ve eaten, when I’ve been to the gym or anything about football!

Over the past few days I have started adding people and companies I know into my glazing community circle. If you are one of them, please be kind enough to add me back. I know how long it takes to build up an established profile on a social media account so any help with that would be much appreciated!

I’ll give it a good go at the start of this year and report back later on to let you know how I’m getting on.

Click here to view my Google+ profile