Social networks can play a critical role in the early development of any budding business; this is something of which we are quite keenly aware here at Mana Punk HQ. Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are often the means by which we gain new players and book appointments for those interested in demonstration games. This puts such social networks solidly within our standard marketing toolbox due to the vital role they can play on a daily basis.
Keeping all of this in mind, certain social networks started off promising but are now spiraling into disuse because of esoteric policies and restrictions; the primary example of this problem is Google+. The launch of G+ was initially viewed as a powerful coup in the realm of social networks, putting an interesting new set of tools at the hands of those that adopted it. Features such as Hangouts and Circles were seen as much-needed changes in the social networking arena. Fast forward to current time and G+ has seen a considerable drop off in its usage numbers as a steady ebb of its user base quickly forgets of its’ existence. The lack of simple methods for injecting external news feeds into a business or product page within G+ has turned into an active method of dissuading users from the network itself; this is something that has directly resulted in the Mana Punk Media Team abandoning the social network all together. We simply do not have the staffing numbers required to dedicate a specific person towards the upkeep and maintain of another social network that will not let us automate our news feeds into it. We just do not have the “bandwidth” as it were, so we must adapt and prioritize elsewhere.
Elsewhere being Facebook or Twitter, to be precise.
Facebook is the prime example of a social network that not only allows automation of website news posting to product pages within it, but actually embraces this prospect and attempts to streamline it as much as possible. Facebook logins can also be used as a viable method for smaller businesses and websites wanting to tap into a preexisting user base with minimal initial setup. It dovetails nicely with the WordPress back-end that we use here at Mana Punk to manage our website and forums, and streamlined a great deal of media and marketing communications as well seeing as most of our retail partners (with 8th Dimension Comics & Games being a prime example of this) also have a presence on Facebook. Combine this with the Event features recently rolled out and things mesh even smoother than before.
G+ and the policies it has put into place have unfortunately done more than any other biased media outlet or over funded competitor could have hoped for: doom itself to a future of dwindling obscurity.