That was my first question when I began to hear the buzz surrounding Google+, the new social network platform that’s reportedly aiming to kill Facebook.
If you check out my article on Simple Answers to 6 Basic Social Media Questions, you’ll note I suggest newbies concentrate on five basic places when they are getting their feet wet in a teeming sea of social media sites. [Start here: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and blogging.]
Google is such a huge influence on our online behavior that you have to wonder if the omnipresent search engine could be wrong. Will we soon “wave” goodbye to the latest Google “buzz”?
I read a lot of social media pundits who are devoting time and blog space to their experiments with Google+ and so I have to wonder if it’s time for me to follow suit . . . or wait.
That’s why I relied on my trusted adviser LinkedIn Answers to post the following:
Who’s using Google+ and why? Who should get on now and why? Who ought to wait?
The question obviously struck a chord. In less than two days, I have received 16 answers. Here are some of them:
Depends on your business industry and marketing model. Does every business need a Facebook page? Does a HVAC systems integrator need a Twitter account? Customer demand will lead businesses to the technology. If there are no customers using the feature, a business is not going to spend the time investing in it.
Your early adopters are going to be personal blogs and tech-savvy businesses first who need to adopt every piece of new marketing technology in its infancy because its niche customers are primarily early adopters already. –Matt Rygelski
I’m just starting to experiment with Google+ and like it so far. Of course, one reason I like it is that it’s still in the “early adopter, just us geeks here” phase. The main reason I like it is that it’s NOT FACEBOOK, and I detest Facebook.
If you’re not a geek, wait a bit until Google has worked out some of the kinks. If you are a geek and want to help with the beta testing, come on in.
Oh, and if you are a company or brand, your employees can join, but Google hasn’t finished setting up its brand pages yet, so you should wait.
It’s nice to be able to organize connections. The group video feature is a little buggy yet, but it’s free, whereas someone has to pay for Skype’s group video. The ability to decide which of your circles a chat post goes to is nice. And chat in as many characters as you want is also nice.
As with Twitter, I suspect it will take some time before people discover all the things they can use it for–the uses that the creators never imagined. There will always be people who have to wait until those uses appear to use a tool. And people for whom a tool is just not the right tool, because it doesn’t help them accomplish their goals. If you aren’t someone who likes playing with new tools for fun and can’t see a business application yet, then wait until you DO see a practical use. — Sallie Goetsch
There is very little there TBH…I got invited, signed up and 5 mins later had seen the whole thing and left.
That’s not to say it isn’t going to be good….just way to early to tell yet. If you haven’t seen it, you are not missing anything i assure you. — Scott Linklater
I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks and overall it’s very good, but I’d caution businesses or ‘collecetive entities’ in general from doing too much on the platform just yet. Google has said that branded pages will be available soon, and has taken steps to remove some early branded accounts that have sprung up. I’d reccomend signing up for personal use and exploring, possibly publishing some content there and beginning to build contacts, but I wouldn’t throw too much investment at it just yet – the platform will eveolve as more gmail users get involved, and it’s nly then that the usage norms will start to appear and make it a truly valuable channel.
I wrote an article on Econsultancy recently about this, if you’re interested, I’ve added a link below.
http://ecly.co/q5ErI9 – Matt Owen
Glad you asked this question, because I’m curious why I should blithely hand over even more personal information to Google. That Google is facing a major FTC investigation indicates a wait and see attitude to me. Overall, I think they’ve devolved from search engine to omniscience. — Elektrish Media
People who are involved in Marketing, Promotion, Social Media, Advertising, and Technology related fields should jump onto Google + immediately in order to establish their credibility in speaking about it, and other current trends, and also to become “experts” before anyone else.
This of course adds value to them as individuals and companies, and also means that they will be in a position to influence others about this product/technology.
Who should wait? Everyone else. There is no business or monetary value to being involved with Google+ yet for anyone who isn’t in the industries I stated above. They can wait to get involved with this.– Roberto Blake
I’m currently using Google+, but I don’t think it really compares to other social networking platforms (at least not yet). I think it will be much more innovative when a Google+ app is available for the iPhone or Blackberry. Right now I’m really only associating with business contacts, friends, and blogger connections. Some of it seems to be a bit of a spam; lots of Asian dialect and inappropriate pictures. I’m not too sold on the idea of switching over to it and haven’t used any of the functions yet (group chat/video), but I think once it’s available via mobile devices it might just be a game changer! — Molly Dixon
I think Google+ is worth watching because Google seems to have finally moved away from knee-jerk efforts at “social” to thinking through how “social” might work within the context of Google’s core business and the Google-sphere.
While it is far too early to tell how successful Google+ will be (or which elements will really take off), I like the concept of Circles, the serendipity of Sparks, and the potential of the Hangouts. Plus the fact that (hopefully shortly) there will be integration with Google Reader. — Daria Steigman