The last two weeks have brought us big social network news stories.
First, there was Google +, a new competitor for Facebook. Normally, the introduction of a new social media would not be news. Facebook Rivals come (and go) every day. With Facebook closing in on a billion users, it would seem almost impossible to ever beat them. Unless, of course, you have real deep pockets, and a big name, like Google. Google + offers a few features that Facebook does not, yet. Facebook is scrambling to catch up. Google + offers “circles” of friends, sort of sub-groups of friends so you can share the exciting news that your 1 year old learned a new word today with family members only, and not with your clients or co-workers. Google + also easily allows group video chats. This part is really cool, and holds big potential for social marketing. The big problem with Google + right now is that they are not allowing businesses to set up accounts. It appears one day they will, so stay tuned. You’ll need to join the day they do. (We will automatically sign up our Social Media clients when this happens.)
Facebook, meanwhile, announced last week that they too had a sort of circle of friends thing going on, and that they had partnered with Skype to provide easy, instant video chat. Unlike Google +’s group video, Facebook’s video is one to one only, for now.
Social Media video chat has some interesting potential for Internet Marketing. One of your fans visiting your site might want to hold a live video chat with you, a sales person, or someone else at your business. This would be almost as if they dropped by the store to see you in person. This face-to-face communications could be very powerful. With a little skill, you should be able to flash up photos or charts onto their video screen. Before you make a hair appointment and fix your make up, keep in mind this is probably a year or two away from actually happening, but it will happen, eventually.