Australian companies successfully using Google+
Google Plus was slow to build up momentum when it first came onto the social media scene in 2011. At first seen mainly as a Facebook competitor, the site had a tough time convincing users that they needed another social network. But over the past two years, G+ has picked up some steam, with many businesses starting to see the value in having a presence on the site.
Here are just a few Australian companies who have made their G+ profiles successful >>>
National Australia Bank
NAB's G+ page features frequent updates, with each post signed with the initials of the social media team member who published it. Posts on the bank's page range from instructional articles on personal finance, tips for using your NAB accounts, and bank information.
Recently, when New South Wales was hit with devastating wildfires, NAB posted information on relief efforts, including relief the bank itself was offering. NAB also provides timely replies to comments made on its page, and has built a lively, engaged following thanks to this focus on real communication.
It's perhaps no surprise that a technology company "gets" social media, but Vodafone stands out with its fun, interactive page. Followers get regular updates on the company’s products and promotions, along with regular events.
One such event is the recent AppAid promotion, in which developers could apply to win a grant to build a mobile app for a charity.
The page features plenty of photos, along with the occasional video, and the company is prompt with replies to visitor comments. By being interactive, trendy, and responsive, Vodafone has built a healthy niche for itself on G+.
Australian Gourmet Traveller
Australian Gourmet Traveller, a food, wine, and travel magazine, offers a truly mouth-watering G+ page. Full of tasty food photos, recipes, restaurant news, and contests, the page is a haven for food lovers.
This page serves up links to the magazine's website, and offers teasers to articles. Examples of recent entries include a list of brand-new restaurants, a couple of restaurants who recently closed their doors, and a competition to win a trip to Europe.
By making their page visually appealing and sending visitors back to their main website, Australian Gourmet Traveller has turned their G+ profile into a great resource for both new and old readers.
Sydney Opera House
Without a physical product to sell, Sydney Opera House focuses on selling the experience of joining them for performances, workshops, and other events.
On their G+ page, you can find information about past and upcoming shows, live streams of concerts, and profiles of performers. They also offer descriptions of events taking place at the opera house, including the GRAPHIC festival and educational events.
These are just a few examples of Australian businesses successfully using Google Plus to promote their brands and products.
They have shown that, by educating, entertaining, and engaging with your followers, you can turn G+ into a powerful tool in your marketing kit.
About the author
Freelance blogger Angie Mansfield covers a variety of subjects for small business owners. From business growth to marketing to online business reputation, her work will give you tips to keep your business running smoothly.
Q&A: Professor Loredana Padurean, Asia School of Business
As someone who is creating Asia Pacific’s business leaders of the future, what do you believe are the essential skills leaders require?
In many ways, we need leaders who are Renaissance women/men or polymaths, as opposed to specialists of an industry or a field. A polymath is a person with profound knowledge, proficiency and expertise in multiple fields and today’s leaders have to be able to combine various ideas, look at problems in novel and useful ways, and develop a broad and yet still deep set of skills, talents, and knowledge.
You’ve coined ‘smart’ and ‘sharp’ as skills of the future. What are these?
They are replacements for ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills, a concept coined by a US Army doctor in 1972 who observed that his pupils had different skills: dealing with machinery required ‘hard’ skills, while dealing with people and paper were ‘soft’ skills. This concept has served us well since, but I find it too binary, not to mention the semantic implications of the words themselves.
Soft implies gentle, delicate, mild, quiet, tender, weak. However, there is nothing soft in navigating competing perspectives and cultures, handling and delivering critical feedback or dealing with office politics. Instead, I prefer to call these skills ‘smart’. Hard implies rigid, difficult, heavy, static. But how can we think of engineering or software development as static or rigid? I believe ‘sharp’ is more apt as such skills need constant updating or sharpening.
I think it’s time to reflect on these classifications, because we can drastically change someone’s perspective by how we choose to talk about and frame something.
How important are smart skills in leadership today?
Smart skills are more important than ever because we live in a world of extreme diversity: generational, ethical, value-based, gender, etc. Gone are the days when giving an order was an effective act of leadership. I personally work with people from five different continents and across five different generations, therefore as leaders, we need to know how to adapt, motivate, inspire and connect. We need to increase our investment in learning about them in action, especially as smart skills are more difficult to develop.
I believe that a successful leader today has to be both smart and sharp. Take cognitive readiness, one of my top 10 smart skills. In order to be cognitive ready, one has to master system dynamics, one of my top 10 sharp skills. Also, did you know that one of the primary reasons why digital transformation fails is not the absence of digital literacy, a sharp skill, but the need for more validation and adaptability, both smart skills. So, instead of thinking of these skills as binary, I prefer to think of them as the yin and yang; co-existing and complementing each other.
So, you can teach leaders smart skills then?
Yes, you can, via a combination of the classroom experience, plus an action component supported by deeply embedded reflection. At ASB we call this Action Learning, and we teach it both in the MBA and in the executive programs. For example, in teaching a leader emotional maturity as a smart skill, first they need to learn what it is, and then act on it, before reflecting on what we did and how we did it. And then to repeat it, but this time with more expertise and awareness. It’s not easy, but that’s why my favourite mantra is ‘the job is easy, the people are not’.
Discover Professor Padurean's successful skills for a digital transformation here