My Google+ Quandary

John Hope-Johnstone

A few weeks ago I was pondering Google + and where it was going to fit into my HPR Social Media Seminars and into my own social media world. I have no intention of abandoning my over 4,000 followers on my facebook business page and I don’t want to just repeat content from one platform onto another. I was trying to figure out how I could add value to Google + and my new friends on that platform. Usually a glass of wine or two helps but in this case I was stumped.

Then, a small unpretentious epiphany shone through the darkness…. why not ask my new G+ friends how they felt about Google + and the difference between it and facebook. WOW! Think of that, a marketing guy actually going to ask fellow consumers what they think, how original.

Well, some of the responses spelled out the obvious differences: Facebook still has the lion’s share and will be hard to beat as it comes up to nearly a billion possibly in 2012. However, Google has the advantage of “integration” with a huge arsenal of available tools to integrate with the social media platform such as: Google News, Entertainment, YouTube, Gmail and its Android platform and more. These will help create a fluid social experience on Google+.

It also has two failures behind it with Google Wave and Google Buzz. I say “failures” but like all good failures they were learning steps that Google had to take to finally get them to Google +.

Two responses from my new Google + friends were just what I was really hoping for. They speak about the present difference in the psychographics of the Google+ user over facebook. This, of course, will change over time.

Here is my original question as posted on Google+: 

“Hi my G+ friends, I have a question that needs your expertise. My firm teaches Internet and Social Media Marketing for brand promotion purposes to medium to large organizations. Personally I am floundering with Google +, which I like a lot, trying to determine how to differentiate my social media message on Google + vs Facebook. Any ideas?”

Here are the two answers that helped me a great deal in my quest:

From Dennis Rivera:

On G+, you have tech-savvy individuals and a ton of creative types looking to share, connect, and build a large community of individuals based on content or interest. So, regardless of whether or not you went to high school with someone, you’re connecting with the person because he or she is interested in the same things that you are. Businesses who think that they will have a single business-related presence on G+ will probably not do so well here. They will need multiple personal accounts, where employees are genuinely building connections with their audiences, relying on the intangible more than the tangible. I think that the Google employees on here are a perfect example of how businesses need to use the network. They are people first: interacting, sharing, being genuine, but at the same time, they are building brand loyalty.

This is a little scattered, but it’s midnight and I’m tired. I guess the general message to businesses is: The G+ community wants engagement.
Cater to the community and you will win.

From John Norris:

Maybe it’s just the folks I’m following, but Google+ seems to be a bit like Quora, some very knowledgeable folks in here at the moment. The communications the platform lends itself to seem to be more dialogs, and constructive ones at that.  Can’t quite put my finger on it, sort of a vibe I’m getting. Businesses will need to up their game to do well in Google+ at this time.

Thanks Dennis and John for your responses. They helped me a great deal.

Thanks to you for reading this post. I invite you to comment and add your thoughts about the use of Google+ and also subscribe to the e-newsletter if you haven’t already. If you have, great to see you again.

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