Chris Brogan, New York Times bestselling co-author of Trust Agents and a featured monthly columnist at Entrepreneur Magazine was our featured guest on Expert Access Radio. Chris has a book coming out called Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything.
Chris shared his ideas on Google+. What it is and how you can use it in your business.
Steve Kayser: What exactly is Google+ so even I can understand it?
Chris Brogan: Google+ is a new social network created by Google. You can get to it really easily by just going to www.plus.google.com. It allows you to share text, photos, videos, location data and information like that. It’s not unlike Facebook in a lot of ways. You can post content, you can add people to different groups and see what they are talking about.
But there are a lot of things that I like about Google+. For example, the fact that it’s run by the number-one search engine and the number-two search engine in the world—Google and YouTube—so that means that they index all the information in there where people don’t get. So, for example, content you put up on Google+ shows up into search results really fast on Google whereas what you put into Facebook or Twitter doesn’t. That’s the first thing to take away—to realize that there is a business value to being there as well.
Steve Kayser: It’s like having home-court advantage.
EVER GO “BING” THAT?
Chris Brogan: It is, I mean because like I say, Google is the number-one search engine in the world. As much as Microsoft has spent to promote Bing, it’s just not there yet and some folks love it. But no one ever says, “Hey Bing that for me would you?”
Steve Kayser: That’s true. Chris is right, number one and number two, YouTube and Google, but they also have Gmail and Blogger. You put those four together … that’s a powerful force. Google may win the social-media battle by simple accretion or osmosis.
IT’S NOT ALL THAT?
Chris Brogan: Absolutely. People are on there now and it’s really funny. The sort of early adopter set has showed up and they are saying,
“Well I don’t know if it’s all that; there’s only 40 million users on it.”
“Yes, there are only 40 million users on it since they opened the door to a very limited field trial in July. You want to count that horse out of the race? They put 40 million users on the platform in a few months.”
Then they say,
“Well, no one comes back; they start their account and they leave.”
“Well you know what? I was on Twitter in October of 2006, and that’s what they did on Twitter. Everyone showed up, made an account, saw it and said ‘What? This is stupid,’ and left. Now there is not a radio, business or TV show out there that doesn’t have a Twitter account that they are always pushing you to follow.”
DISCOURAGE. DISPLACE. DISRUPT.
Steve Kayser: Some of the issues that come up when I talk to people about Google+ is what I call the three Ds: Discourage. Displace. Disrupt. It’s means you have to learn a new system, a new social network. I already know Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Buzz, FriendFeed etc. So discouragement sets in. I thought,
“Oh no, I have to learn another system? What the Hades?”
Then I tried Google+ and realized it was too good not to learn—not to use. It’s a game-changer. But it puts you in a position where you have to displace either your friends or your business connections to use it. Then you have to disrupt your whole system of doing things. How do you get past the three Ds?
Chris Brogan: I always try the new thing and usually everyone goes,
“Hey look, it’s a new thing! Let’s try it.”
Everyone rushes over to it and they talk about it for about eight days and then it’s gone or it sticks. For example, Pownce was this kind of Twitter competitor. Everyone rushed to try it because Kevin Rose from Digg had created it and everyone thought”this will be great.” They tried it, then … “It was okay but we didn’t need it.” Or Jaiku—everyone wanted that. Google bought it, shut the doors on it and said, “Ah, we will figure something out later.”
So this is the first time though that everyone has just been,
“I don’t want this, you know I just got my Facebook looking the way I wanted it. I just got things just set up just now and you come and you make this Google+ crap.”
People have been so fatigued about coming over to Google+ that I get a little snarky about it. I start to say things like,
“You know what then, why don’t we hang out in my chat room on AOL and talk about that a little. I will bring you back to my MySpace page and I will see if you can join my Top 8. And by the way, why don’t you call me in your StarTAC phone and we’ll talk about it some more.”
Technology tramps on. It doesn’t matter if we don’t like it or not, it’s just that way. And how many great apps ad platforms can you watch go by before you realize, I really need to get on one of these winners.
Twitter came out in ’06 and no one was buying it. In ’07, no one cared. In ’08, people started kind of looking at it and then somewhere along the line, there is the great line, and the great line is when Ashton Kutcher and Oprah decided to join, and for some reason, the whole world went, “oh my God; we need this thing.” I have no idea why they are the tipping point. That’s terrifying. That’s really the third or fourth sign of the apocalypse.
TO BE FOUND OR NOT TO BE FOUND
Sixty nine percent or so of people looking for your business on the web use Google to do it.
ZERO of any work that you put into Facebook shows up on Google.
ZERO of any of the work you put under Twitter shows up in Google.
If you are a business and you are looking to get found, it seems logical and reasonable to go with the one that’s being indexed by Google. That’s one reason to be on Google+.
MEANWHILE BACK ON THE GOOGLE+ FARM …
There is a website, for example, called www.findpeopleonplus.com where you can go in and look at demographic information. Down the left-hand side of it you’ll find truck drivers—long-haul truck drivers. I talked to a whole bunch of small business owners … like a person who owns a tire company. There are a lot of farmers on it which I found interesting. Farmers show a lot of photos by the way, that’s their thing. They like to share photos of how their crops are looking or animals and stuff.
What I’m finding is, if you think it’s just a bleeding-edge tech-nerd site, it’s not. I’m following a long-haul truck driver who was raised around the Ohio area but who now lives down in Florida. He is a 60-something-year-old super Christian guy who is so active on Google+. This is not Robert Scoble out in California. This is not Guy Kawasaki, whom you’ve had on this show; this is just a regular guy. This speaks to the fact that this is going to be a pretty neat and effective platform.
LISTEN to the complete interview with Chris Brogan on Expert Access Radio.
For more information, go to Chris Brogan’s website.