If you frequent blogs, you’ve maybe noticed a box like this (pictured left) in the sidebar titled “Google Friend Connect”, asking you to “Join this Site”. If you are like me, you skipped over it for months, hurrying on to articles and other business at hand.
Luckily, one day I took the time to explore Google Friend Connect and learned that it is much more than a friendly application. I’ve discovered a few great ways to use Google Friend Connect for business that I’d like to share with you.
- Social marketing is all about meeting people where they like to be, adapting to the tools they prefer. Many people love this tool and choose to follow blogs by joining via Google Friend Connect. In fact, I’ve been asked hundreds of times to follow someone using this tool. As soon as I added it to my site, people started to join. While my preference is still via email/feedburner, I make the extra effort to join using Google Friend Connect. It is just one more option in building community, and hey, that’s what makes social media so great.
- Google Friend Connect makes a great tracking mechanism. I frequent hundreds of blogs, some of which I bookmark. However, when I’m out visiting blogs and investing time in my blogging relationships, I like to stay focused. Each time I see a Google Friend Connect option, I click on the “Join this site” button. I am quickly added and my picture displays. It acts as a visual cue for me if I come across this site again. I know I’ve been there before, as I’ve left a bread crumb trail-of sorts.
- When I’m looking for other blogs to follow or people in niche areas, I use “Google Friend Connect” to view profiles and blogs that others are following. This tool provides a nice one page of info on each blogger, and I can quickly see what blogs they follow.
- It keeps emails organized so I don’t have to. I don’t want to keep track of people’s emails whom I may or may not want to contact in the future. However, on many occassions I have wanted to personally email a fellow blogger. Google Friend Connect has their email on file, which I can quickly access.
- This tool also relies on gravatar pictures, which I love. I often see people I recognize who’ve joined a blog before I arrive. Seeing their picture and recognizing them plays into my trust factor and influences my decision to join too.
Take a minute or two to check out Google Friend Connect and see if it’s right for you. If you use it in other ways, please share with me. I’d love to hear your strategies.