An Eye on Google +

blueyes-300x246Staying abreast of change with social media marketing can feel like a time-sucking sink hole to the average small business person.

A week doesn’t go by it seems some bright, new, shiny, social media object comes barreling at you with the siren call of more sales, followers and subscribers if only you’ll download, set up your profile, link to followers and post valuable content on a regular basis. Sigh……

If you’ve heard about Google +, you may be feeling that way.

But wait.  This  is something different.

Google +, officially launched on June 29, 2011, is rapidly gaining broad-based support in the online marketing world and beyond.  Social Media Examiner recently posted 34 Google+ Resources for your business: Advice from the ProsThirty fourarticles for a social media platform that was launched less than 3 months ago!

Big name marketing types like Mari Smith, Guy Kawasaki,  and John Janstch to name a few, are participating and writing about it.

Chris Brogan has all but abandoned Facebook and is posting primarily on Google+.  In Start Now on Google+, Chris says, “The reasons to love Google+ are that it’s clean, it’s fast, it’s useful, people are very engaged, and it’s got a strong boost to your search-ability."

In my view, Google + has one serious advantage over other popular SM tools: communicating is specific to groups of people rather than universal. You get to say what you want to who you want. Not to everyone.

Google+ conversations are just like real world conversations.  Groups of like-minded people talking about topics they’re all interested in.  It just makes sense.

Here’s a few additional reasons why Google + is different.

Google + is a copy.   Not exactly, but Google+ is a refinement of the most popular SM tools today. Google played the waiting game to watch where and how people were benefiting and also where they were struggling with Facebook, Twitter and the like. Then they built a better mousetrap – Google+. With all the bells and whistles and few of the annoyances that characterize the early players.

Google+ is rapidly growing, for all the right reasons.  While the pace of Google+ growth outstrips anything we’ve seen before, that’s not the real news.  The real news is that social media participants who get on Google+ adapt and adopt more quickly to find what works best for them.  Google+ users are by and large more focused than the bazillions on Facebook and Twitter users, and are segmenting conversations to enhance the value.

Google + is more functional than fun for the average business owner. Savvy social media users, especially busy small business people, participate on the basis of need rather than want. Google+ helps them answer these online queries:  Where are my customers?  What can I expect to gain by investing time here?  What are the best platforms for my needs?

Google + users are focused, especially in circles of colleagues, business acquaintances, clients and others. Because they are more intentional in their postings,  you waste less time reading   ‘what I"m eating today’ posts. You’re talking to a group of people who share your interest, so the conversation is bound to be more focused.

My participation on Google + has been limited so far.  The platform is still in beta form and only open by invitation. Still, I'm keeping an eye out for where Google + goes in the near future, and getting in the wagon to figure it out. I predict other platforms will adapt to the separate conversations standard sooner rather than later. I hope you’ll join in- you can right here.