The debate around whether or not brands should be on Google+, or should be waiting, or shouldn’t be there at all, seems to have cooled down. Is it because everyone has made up their minds? I don’t think so. Mainly I see – what we likely all see a lot of in the marketing/sales world – a lot of indecision.
The breakdown in most businesses is the ability for the messaging to sell someone on a product. I recently sat through a webinar hosted by Marketing Profs on Sales Messaging That Closes The Deal. The speaker, Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Corporate Visions, spoke about the differentiating factor that pushes people to stop continuing down the path of status quo and move toward a new, more enlightened path that provides opportunity and success. This is no easy feat. And while I do agree that Google+ has some superior tools it has yet to succeed in proving why what I’m currently doing is not as good as using a new or additional tool in Google+.
Google+ has a lot of quality products. Personally, I use circles and hangouts on a semi-regular basis. ICUC introduced weekly ‘Office Hours’ this year, initiating an open forum for employees to say hello, bring up concerns or discuss work-related issues with upper management. In terms of sharing content and that content being more visible in search – Google+ is the cats pyjamas.
However, you can’t help but overhear the naysayers – especially if you spend a lot of time researching and reading online, as so many of us do these days. Google+ has not been widely adopted in the sense that it may have a large number of users, but how many of them are actually active? I’m also still not sold on the right audience for my clients or my clients customers being on Google+.
I don’t think that Google has any intention of Google+ being the new Facebook. Love it or hate it, Facebook is not going anywhere and it seems to be growing in numbers and capabilities every day. What I do think is that Google has a plan for Google+. It is not meant to be used solely as a social network. Google is fast becoming a suite of services, and with recent and upcoming updates, acquisitions and product launches, Google does not appear to be slowing down.
So where does this leave us? Truthfully, I think it brings us back to the very beginning. Google+ has a list of pros I like, and a list of cons I don’t. And when I am not sold on a product 100%, I typically don’t buy into it. Will I continue using some of its tools? Yes, absolutely, when it suits me. But for now, as far as my suggestions go, do I think you need to be on Google+? Maybe – that’s honestly the best answer I can give.
Obviously there are a lot of variables and factors that go into deciding if any social channel is appropriate for your business or brand. And with your social strategist, or solutions provider you will better be able to see if this particular solution makes sense for you. What I would love to hear is some clear messaging about why I should change what I’m currently doing and invest in something new.