Why Google Plus means B2B marketers need split personalities
I used to know where I stood with B2B social media: LinkedIn was definitely business. Twitter was definitely business... well mostly. For me anyway. And Facebook was social (apart from our fan page, anyway). So not exactly clear, but at least I understood it.
Now I've bitten the bullet and joined Google plus... or actually I haven't. I was already logged in to Google Analytics using a work account registered in a colleague's name, and before I knew it, I had created a profile with their email address but my details... All very confusing and a little annoying for all concerned. To top it all, I then tried to create my own account and it said 'come back later'... the nerve of those Google people... don't they know how important I am?!
But the problem I have is that, like many companies, we use various Google services at work - Analytics, Youtube, Feedburner. Previously Google's socially focused services have been limited, so I haven't needed to create a 'work' identity. Google Plus, however, is an overwhelmingly social service, and it links together all my other activities - whether I like it or not! But I don't want my personal life and preferences to be displayed in a work context.
So it seems the only solution is two personas - one for work one for social. I've been debating doing this for Facebook for some time, but to be honest couldn't quite be bothered with the hassle. Now it seems that I have no choice.
This is a little frustrating, but I guess was inevitable. To be honest, I don't need more complication regarding my use of social media. It's already a little overwhelming - I can't remember the last time I logged into Quora.
But here's the irony: social media was one of the tools that was supposed to breaking down the barriers between work time and leisure (or B2B and B2C). If we're all going to have two personas, then all it's doing is putting up barriers, and accentuating the divide. Vive la difference?! Or perhaps we're all just going to accept a 'let-it-all-hang-out' approach to social media, and keep everything open. I can't see it somehow... I would welcome your thoughts.