By Louis Eksteen

Using Google+ and LinkedIn will make you a better marketer

For many marketers Google+ and LinkedIn still barely register. Who uses Google+ anyway? LinkedIn is just about looking for a new job, right? Wrong. Although it’s taken time for these “secondary” social media platforms to become established, they now are. But why should you use Google+ and LinkedIn?

Google+ delivers a quality audience

Early adopters, especially those who see themselves as the digerati, or specifically the wannabe-digerati started using Google+ as soon as it appeared. With Google+ the search giant successfully created a fully integrated social network for all its platforms (such as GMail, YouTube, Apps, Picasa and others). This means searching via Google optimises Google+ searches too. (You will soon be able to start signing in to other accounts using Google+, just like you use Facebook or Twitter sign-ins.)

Socially Google+ is thus the network for cool(ish) professionals. It’s happening more frequently that quality breaking news finds its way onto Google+ quicker than onto other, larger networks. The trend is also Google’s friend, as Google+ is slowly showing promising growth.

Some of the best Google+ side-effects take time and effort to implement. Google Author Rank is a major innovation for creators of quality original online content. (It’s also a clever ploy to get writers into the fold.)

These days marketers should not only make sure they can be found by Google in the most effective way, they should also build and protect the brands they manage in a Google+-appropriate manner. After all, what are we if not easily found?

LinkedIn is now the best source for quality professional content

When LinkedIn launched its excellent iPhone and iPad apps just over a year ago, it marked a significant new milestone in the professional social network’s evolution into a media company. Quietly, under the radar, it has developed into a useful content sharing platform.

As with all platforms, if you set it up properly and share valuable personal information, LinkedIn will automatically select content you will find useful. The golden rule is to edit your own personal profile with your professional interests in mind. This includes the groups you belong to, your skills, connections, education and other items.

Consistent with best practice LinkedIn has updated how it delivers information to you, customised for each device you access it from.  The desktop version is business-like and highly functional in the traditional LinkedIn way. Its iPhone app is fast, simply and half-content driven and half-functional orientated. But the iPad app is almost like a shared content magazine product.

The social world is no longer limited to Facebook and Twitter

Try Google+ (Hangouts are fab and Communities are getting off the ground) and see your Author Rank grow. Tell LinkedIn what you’re interested in and experience quality content links coming back to you.

This year will mark the ascendence of professional social networking. It will happen in the same kind of way Oscargate catapulted Twitter into the consciousness of the South African population at large.