In a social world already dominated by Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, is it really necessary to add another platform – Google+?
According to Chris Brogan, featured monthly columnist at Entrepreneur Magazine and author of the upcoming book Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything, it’s extremely necessary.
There’s been a lot of talk about the new social platform from the search engine giant – from the 40 million users who joined while the site was still in a limited field trial to the naysayer bloggers who claim that those 40 million people signed up, created a profile and never came back to the site which has “become a ghost town.”
Not so, says Brogan: “Do you really want to count that pony out of the race when they put 40 million users on the platform in a few months?”
“I was on Twitter in October of 2006. That’s what they did on Twitter in October of ’06. Everyone showed up, made an account, went, ‘this is stupid’ and left,” Brogan says. “Then, years later, there is not a radio or TV show out there that doesn’t have a Twitter account that they are not always pushing you to follow.”
Brogan says that the launch of Google+ has been different than those social networks that have launched in the past. People are rebelling against learning a new site, they’re fatigued about starting something new when they’ve already had to learn and decide how they’re going to interact with the other social networks they’ve already joined.
He says that he gets “a little snarky” when he encounters that mindset and talks about other products and networks that used to be the “it” thing but have fallen by the wayside.
“I start to say things like, ‘well, you know what then? Why don’t we go hang out in my chat-room on AOL and talk about that a little,” he says. “’I will bring you back to my MySpace page and I will see if you can join my Top 8.’ … Technology tramps on, it doesn’t matter if we don’t like it or not, it’s just that way. And how many ways can you watch it go by before you realize, I really need to get on one of these ways.”
Google+ is one of those things that you can’t let pass you by, he says, if only for the search statistics alone.
“69 percent or so of people looking for your business on the web use Google to look for it,” he says. “0 percent of any other work that you put into Facebook shows up on Google. None of the work you put under Twitter shows up on Google. If you are a business and you are looking to get seen, I guess I’d go with the one that’s being indexed by Google.”
The site is also more useful to segment your audience than most of its competitor social networking sites because of what Google+ calls “circles.”
Circles are another way of categorizing those people that you follow on G+. You can set anyone up in any circle that you choose – be it “my business team,” “family,” “friends” or even “enemies” – and that categorization is only visible to you. Once you set people up in circles you can choose which circles you are going to send specific status updates to.
“If I circle only people in my business team and I send them a message, what happens is that message, if I choose to send it to only that group, it can only be viewed by that group,” Brogan says. “And so that means I can have private communication amongst my team.”
It’s a much simpler control of information, he says.
You can also make circles for business people that you’re trying to promote something to, and also groups for family and friends so that you don’t bother them with business promotions, but do communicate with them about personal matters.
But isn’t Google+ just for tech nerds?
Not at all, according to Brogan. People are doing all sorts of things on the platform – there are farmers sharing pictures of crops and animals, educators pushing information to their classes, long-haul truck drivers sharing their insights and ideas and even one person using the Hangout feature – which allows for video chats with up to 10 participants – hosting a game show where contestants on the Hangout must complete fun tasks in front of the computer such as balancing seven apples on top of each other.
Google+ is for everyone and it’s only going to get bigger. Will you let it pass you by?
This article is based on Chris Brogan’s interview on the Expert Access Radio Hour. LISTEN to the complete interview with Chris Brogan on Expert Access Radio.
For more information, go to Chris Brogan’s website.