When it comes to social sharing, Google+ does not make it easy for Google+ business users to reach their target audience. in fact, we could learn from Google+ how NOT to set up social sharing. But why does usability matter?
Because bad usability frustrates your audience and makes it less likely they're going to take the next step you want them to take.
Learning from Google's Mistake
But let's take a positive approach and see what we can learn from Facebook and Google+ about easy social sharing by looking at what Facebook does right, some of the time, and what Google+ does to make it less likely readers will share your content on Google+.
Facebook Does It Right, Sometimes
Facebook lets you share content correctly sometimes and gets it wrong sometimes. This actually depends on which application a site uses on their website to allow readers to share on Facebook. But at least there is a good, easy option.
"Like" or "Share" and Share to Where?
What we're talking about is when you click a Like or Share button, whether the button gives you the option to share on your business page, or only to your personal timeline.
If you're creating content for business people, it's likely your readers are businesses who have Facebook Pages for their businesses. And that's where you want your content to be shared - where it will be seen by their customers' eyeballs. Not on the business owners' personal timelines.
The other way Facebook let's you share is the Facebook "Like" button. Unfortunately, this usually only shows on your personal Facebook Timeline, but let your readers post the content to their Facebook Business Page. Which is not good.
Every Hurdle Costs You Shares
Ideally, sharing content should be easy because the harder you make it for your readers to share your content, the less likely they are to do it.
The workaround is to copy and paste the URL to to the correct page, but this means asking readers to open Facebook, go to their business Page and paste in the link. Some people aren't going to take the time to do it and it's going to cost you the publisher valuable shares.
Google+ Only Shares to Personal Page, Not Business Google+ Page
We've never seen an option that allows you to share content directly to a Google+ Page, only to the Google+ personal account.
If you're using social media to do business networking online this is a real drawback. The lack of a Google+ Page sharing option means having to:
- Go to your Google+ personal page
- Click Manage Page button at top (when it appears)
- Paste in the link to the content you want to share
Many Google+ Interfaces Challenges
There are a lot interface challenges that keep us from using Google+ more. But with so many people's disillusionment with Facebook it's probably only a matter of time until Google+ rolls out a redesign.
Can You Streamline Elsewhere?
This topic gives us a good opportunity to think about interface challenges on our websites or marketing materials where we can make changes to make it easier for readers and shoppers to share or take other actions.
Some common examples where improvement might be made:
- Content readability - How much text is there is there compared to photos and bullet points? Is the material simply written?
- Calls to action - Are they clear and visible and not crowded with too many other options?
- Forms and checkouts - The fewer clicks, the more likely to to be completed
- Layout - Is information where people expect it
- Relevance - Are you writing about and sharing in relevant ways?
The list could go on...
Ideas? Disagreements? Questions? Let us know below!
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