What’s the Matter with Google+?

6.11.2012 »
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Google+ has failed to capture critical mass, either with individuals or with brands. While Google has pushed it hard, and millions have set up profiles, few ever return and the site boasts little traffic—making it a tough sell to brands and companies even as they look for ways to leverage social media.

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Google promotes unique features like “circles,” which lets users create specific groups and designate what content they share with who, and “hangouts,” a sort of virtual chat room for specific topics, and talks of making search results more relevant to the individual by integrating Google+ profiles and interests into search results.  While this is an extremely powerful concept, enabling users to combine the personal aspects of Facebook and the professional aspects of LinkedIn and share with specific groups—a one-stop shop for managing your social media presence—it’s too technical for most users to care about.  In short, it’s too little, too late.

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Google+ faces a tremendous challenge with getting users to start over with a new platform, when they’ve spent significant time in setting up and maintaining Facebook profiles.

They’re heavily invested in this platform already, and the idea of setting up and then maintaining an entire additional profile on another social network is daunting—and ultimately not worth the effort to them. Google+ also offers significant features for professional users and companies, but again, they’re trying to fill a need that’s largely already been met through LinkedIn.

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No matter how Google spins it, it’s still the same information users have to enter and maintain. Some companies and brands have made valiant efforts to pioneer a successful presence on Google+, but as noted in a recent AdAge article, even these have put little effort into maintaining their presences.

At the end of the day, companies need to focus their social marketing on platforms where their target audience is.  And unfortunately for Google, that isn’t on Google+.  If Google had launched Google+ in, say, 2008, this would likely be a very different blog post. Where are you focusing your social media efforts? Are you investing your time where your audience is?  If you’d like to be sure you’re getting a positive return on your investment, contact us.

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