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Ask yourself: what does your audience really want?

Google Plus Business Page

Google Plus opened its doors for business pages yesterday. Far out, right?

Boom! I’m suddenly getting swamped with requests to follow new G+ business pages.

So let’s say you’re a business communicator. And you’re posting the exact same content to your Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus pages today.

Oh, uh! You’re being redundant.

Think about your audience. Let’s say I’m one of your most rabid brand fans. I follow you EVERYWHERE: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and now — Google Plus.

Now —  let’s also say I publicly ask the question: where you would like me to follow you? Take your pick. If your content at each venue is mostly the same — why should I follow you everywhere? Let’s take a look at three common yet unsatisfactory answer categories:

  • You tell me that if I was a real fan, I’d follow you at all three and put up with your tiresome repetition — because that’s what real fans do. I should suffer. Love means putting up with thoughtlessness and boredom. (Uh-oh. I just went from thinking you’re wonderful to thinking that you’re an abusive jerk.)
  • Or maybe you tell me that I should follow you wherever the heck I want. It doesn’t matter to you, it’s really all about me getting your messages in a way that I most enjoy. (Congratulations! You’ve just revealed that your whole “it’s personal” mantra is a load of manure. Social media is a mass marketing play to you.)
  • You apologize, explaining that your audience is significantly different at each venue, so you need to be redundant to reach as many people as you can. (Oops! Telling me ‘the audience is significantly different’ is saying that I’m insignificant! Also, think about it: if your audiences are indeed ‘significantly different’ — why not develop significantly different messaging to appeal to their different needs?)

Yes, none of these three responses defending redundancy seem quite correct. At this brief moment in history, you have an almost risk-free opportunity to experiment with audience messaging. Google Plus Business Pages are brand-spanking new. Instead of redundant posting, what might you do to deepen or extend engagement with your brand’s biggest fans?

  • Take some time out for audience identification. What’s different about each audience? How can you appeal to different needs and desires?
  • Take some time to think through your content strategy. Instead of repeating the exact same message to three unique audiences — what might you do differently to be more appealing to each?

How might you offer your biggest fans an enhanced experience with your brand or business?

PS – Yes, I’ve created a Google+ business page. But I’m not promoting it yet — not until I’ve completed an audience profile and developed a content plan. You?