Google+ was launched in June of last year and was poised to be “the Facebook killer”. Naturally that didn’t happen and people are already sounding the death knell for Google+ due to slow adaptation and abandonment. But I’m not ready to give up on Google+ yet, as a marketer or as a user, and I’ll give you some reasons why.
I’d like to start by saying I don’t think it will kill or take over Facebook. It has permeated nearly every part of our society and it’s widely adopted by a lot of people.
Myspace almost had this level of critical mass, but it was seen as “cheesy” and more of a kids thing than something serious. Facebook doesn’t have that problem so they achieved a higher adoption than Myspace ever did. It would take a lot of factors for Google+ to beat Facebook, basically Facebook would have to mess up really bad, and consistently, and Google would have to blow us away with great features. I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
But here’s why I’m not giving up on Google+:
1. It’s Google
I would never say Google is too big to fail, but they do have some considerable clout and have the resources to build great products. While the public has been slow to embrace it they’re still using the gmail service and Facebook as two separate entities, and the idea of having just one is very appealing. So far Facebook has dominated social media and failed at an attempt at email, while Google has dominated email and failed at attempts at social media. Facebook might be winning but if I were a betting man, I’d bet on the incredibly innovative search giant before the popularity machine.
2. It’s integrated with all my Google Services
I use a lot of Google services frequently. I use Gmail and Google chat, and use my Android phone to use both. Analytics, Google Drive, Documents, etc. So Google+ is just a natural step for me, it’s very easy and convenient. The problem is there is hardly anyone there. But reading Google+ postings and putting up my own is easy to do from one place. Also my email contacts are ported in which is very convenient.
3. Its more fun to use
The first time I tried Linux, I remember it feeling a bit uncomfortable, because I was used to Windows. But then when I got the hang of it I ended up liking it a lot better. Now I only power into Windows when I absolutely need it because I like the “feel” of Linux. This is exactly how I am about Google+. I just like the interface and “feel” of it. It’s more readable, seems to be much faster and it hasn’t been taken over by stupid requests for *ville games and the like. Sharing information is easy, sparks is kinda cool and circles is a lot easier than the Facebook equivalent.
4. The crowd is a little smarter
Are there smart people on Facebook? Of course, but let’s face it everyone is on Facebook and not everyone is a Genius. I’ve noticed that the people who use Google+ seem to be a bit more hip, more intelligent and better behaved than the Facebook crowd. Even the professionals I follow for Programming and SEO seem to post a lot more stuff on Google+, and interact more. Maybe Facebook is just destined to become the same digital ghetto that myspace is, but i see a lot more stuff on there that I simply don’t see on Google+. Call me a jerk, elitist or whatever it’s just a better neighborhood.
5. There is an SEO Benefit coming for Google+ users
Now this part is pure speculation on my part, but I have a feeling Google Authorship is going to be a huge shift this year. The articles you write on your blog and elsewhere can be tied to your Google+ profile (and i recommend it)and this allows you to make sure that content on the net that you create is attributed to your identity. I have a theory that this identity is going to be used as a factor when ranking said articles. How many people follow you, vote up your content and how you respond to your audience will all be factored in to this part of the algorithm.
I don’t think Google will be boosting up your site just because you use Google+, but I think a well respected author with authority will certainly be seeing a boost from his or her content with this addition. Again all speculation but I’m sure I’m right.
I almost gave up on Google+ but I’ve recently come back to it, and really enjoy it. I try to update it regularly and hope to build a good audience I can chat with like i do on Twitter and Facebook. From a marketing point of view I think it would be somewhat tough to sell stuff on Google+, but of course it’s possible. A better goal for most people would probably be to shoot for improving their brand awareness and customer interactions with Google+.
As a casual user I don’t want to give it up because there is so much good info posted on it, I find great stuff every day. If you want, follow me or add me to a circle! See you there!