I decided to jump in the Google Plus (G+) waters fairly early. Based upon Google’s two recent failures in the social space, Buzz and Wave, this was a relatively risky use of my time to learn and grow with the service through its beta and limited invitation period. It’s been a good decision as I don’t see G+ going away anytime soon. As a matter of fact, I see it doing nothing but growing over the next 12 months.
Google Plus and Blogging
As a blogger, I use existing tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in two primary ways. First, I share my new posts so those who have chosen to follow me know when it’s time to head over to the blog for new content. Second, I engage in conversations about both my content and that of others. So, I utilize the social media networks for promotion and audience curation when I’m wearing my blogger hat.
I’m using G+ in exactly the same way. Right now, it’s actually my best performing social network. While I believe that will remain the case in the long run, I think there will be some downs before the permanent uptick. See, right now G+ population is heavily skewed to include social media savvy folks. As we pass the 10 million user mark (I heard that happened today), that’s going to start changing.
Until the audience composition changes here are the G+ advantages I see: Lots of meaningful engagement with the 100+ people I’ve already connected with. Because the G+ population is by and large socially savvy, I ask questions about social media topics and get answers that help me improve and get closer to “doing it right.” These folks also like to share and are loving trying out the new +1 button in G+.
Sure every blogger would love all the engagement about their blog posts to appear in the comments that follow the post. However, reality is that your readers are going to comment where it’s easiest and most convenient for them to comment. That means you need to be willing to spend time where your customers (readers) spend time. It’s either that or lose on engagement with your most loyal readers, who are the ones that help grow your audience most.
The Argument for Google Plus Now
Back in 1995-96, shortly after the release of Windows95, we had to make a decision at then startup ColorMetrix. We had to decide if we would develop our first product in Windows 3.11 or Windows95. You’d think the obvious answer would be Windows95, but remember that at the time corporate America had yet to take Windows95 seriously. We decided the future was in Windows95 and took a leap of faith. Because of that decision to be an early mover, we can still sell you a version of ColorMetrix that closely resembles and is a cousin of that software developed 16 years ago.
We stand today at a similar crossroads. I feel the tides of social media shifting. Google is not going to lay another rotten egg (remember Wave and Buzz). Instead this time it’s going to be a golden egg. I see a strategy emerging that integrates G+ with all things Google, including the Android operating system. Imagine every Android phone being delivered fully G+ enabled.
Social media is changing. All the hype around G+ is not just Buzz, it’s a Wave you want to catch.
Make sure to read Shelby Sapusek’s take as well – How do you incorporate Google Plus in your blogging strategy – Shelby Says