Now whenever I am giving a social media talk, I gloss a bit over Google+ for a few reasons:
1) Relatively few people care about it right now. Not sure if you’ve ever had a limited amount of time to get through a topic and a lot to cover but when there is cool information that no one cares about yet, you need to kind of gloss over it. Almost all the questions at any social media talk I give are about Facebook so it seems silly to give a lot of lip service to Google+ in those settings at this point in time.
2) It’s a small base of users. 300 million users is a lot… but not when compared to Facebook (1.1 billion).
3) There have been a specific group of early adopters. Enthusiastic users tend to be dudes, 30-50 years old, in the tech industry. Compare this with the social network Pinterest, female dominated and driving lots of purchasing and you’ll see why people are comparatively less excited about Google+.
So after those super thoughtful reasons above, why would you care about Google+? Here are a few reasons I think Google+ deserves your second look.
Google+ is very tied into Google.
(Sorry if that was ridiculously obvious. Allow me to elaborate.) SEOMoz every year comes up with factors that are correlated with a website doing well in search. Here’s how Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ shares effected search rank, respectively:
If you want to geek out, this graph and more here: http://moz.com/blog/ranking-factors-2013
So as you see, sharing things on Google+ means good things for your site… and who better to share those than you?
Sharing specific things for specific groups of people.
Sometimes I find a great link to share… and it falls somewhere between being something I can share with more than one person but something that I don’t want to share with everyone. Google+ allows you to put people in ‘Circles’. So for example I can share a link about fonts with my ‘Web Designer’ circle and this article I’m writing here with my ‘Social Media’ circle. Friends can be in multiple circles which makes things handy.
Google+ is growing fast.
Google+ has experienced fast growth. (This and other charts are here: http://socialmediatoday.com/augieray1/1613711/real-data-facebook-vs-google-and-other-social-networks-interactive-infographic)
When a network is growing this quickly, it means that it might be a good place to grow your brand… before your competitors catch on.
Doing more research into the network and what you’d do with it will tell you if Google+ is right for you and your business… but one thing everyone with a blog should know is about Google Authorship as a way to increase your blog’s followers. (Click here to learn more!)
So would I gloss over Google+ if it were up to me? Of course not. But while technology moves fast, people move slow…. so it might take awhile before I get asked to do a seminar about Google+, even though it’s a network I value enough to spend some time on.