When it comes to food and college students there will forever be a great debate that rages on:  quantity vs. quality.  Do you get the burrito that doesn’t taste very good but is huge and cheap or go find some real food that is a little pricier but tastes delicious.  For me personally, I always go with the burrito.  Occasionally, a small miracle occurs where the stars align and a glimmer of hope appears in the form of a meal that is delicious, affordable, and in large quantities.  This rare phenomenon has occurred in the social media world.

Cheap Burritos

I wish I had a dollar for all the spammy direct mail messages that I have received on Twitter.  Twitter is a giant sea of garbage with the occasional glimpse of something worthwhile.  If you want to find any pearls you have to hold your breath and dive head first into the trash.  Facebook provides a little better playing field where you don’t have as much trash to swim through but they sure don’t make it easy to connect with people.  Good luck trying to search and connect with your target audience effectively.  Sure there are cool tools that allow targeting for posts and Facebook ads that you can send to a specific target group.  But then what?  You just wait and hope people like your page.  Facebook is like going to a mall where there are no maps telling you where anything is and you’re not allowed to go in any stores.  All you can do is walk around aimlessly and window shop.  Everyone yelling “LIKE ME!” or “look at THIS!”

The Rare Phenomenon

As much as I would rather not have Google take over the world, they probably will.  At least they will if they continue to take what everyone else does and make it better.  I’m talking about Google+ and more specifically Google+ Communities.  Finally, there is a platform where it’s easy to find and engage in quality conversations without all the garbage.  No more window shopping! I want to go inside and actually try on the clothes and ask questions!  So what’s the difference?  Why exactly is it better and how could there not be garbage like everything else?  Hopefully, I can answer these questions with my own experience this week.

I wrote the post below for the Big Leap Google+ page.  It certainly isn’t the most interesting post but I’ve seen worse.  I thought it was a good article.  I even tagged the author in it so I could give him credit.  I thought to myself this is an alright post.  I joined a community called, “Google Plus for Small Business” and posted it to the community.  I figured this community probably has small business owners and they might like to read this article.

kicked out

They kicked me out of the community!  At least this post anyway.  Isn’t that fantastic?  Notice the strikethrough on top of the post.  That means either the owner of the community or one of the moderators didn’t think it was good enough and gave me the boot.  How awesome is that?

People are sick and tired of swimming through all the garbage and now they have a way to enforce it.  Google+ is not just a news feed with people screaming at you.  It’s full of thriving communities with engaging conversations. Unlike Facebook, it’s easy to search for a community you are interested in and then engage people within that community.  It’s that simple!  I’ve noticed that people love to answer honest questions and give their opinions.  Here’s another post I did to the same community only two days later.

Untitled

Within a day it has 6 comments with helpful advice referring me to specific people who I could learn from.  See how effective this is?

I hope that these examples help you see the subtle differences between Google+ and other platforms.  Obviously there will still be garbage.  That will never go away when it comes to social media.  If you find a garbage community, don’t join it.  However, I hope you can see how Google+ has ‘taken out the trash’ so to speak.  Everyone is searching to connect with genuine people on social media.  You may be searching for potential clients for your business or just a hobby that you are interested in.  Either way Google+ is the best way to make it happen.  In short, Google+ is a giant delicious burrito, and it’s free.  Enjoy.

Jamie Bates