By the number of comments on my last post, “Google+ Social Network – Part of Your Business Strategy?”, I can see that love it or hate it, people are talking about Google Plus. Some bloggers are getting passionate about this topic and if you’re on any of the popular social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, you can’t avoid seeing post after post about it. What is it about Google+ that has everyone talking?
|When it comes to Google+, would you consider yourself an “early adopter”, have plans to be a “fast follower” or are you part of the “resistance party” (or maybe somewhere in between). Here are my thoughts but I’m really more interested in hearing from you!
Early Adopters (or what “Beta” really means to you)
Any of us who have been around for a while, know what an early adopter is. Being around in the days of “DOS”, (IBM’s disk-operating-system – precursor to Windows –Remember the old C:> screen prompt?) myself, being a beta software tester can be a bit like being a crash test dummy. (Okay, that’s a little dramatic but you get the idea.) Before software is released to the public, it goes through three release phases: Pre-Alpha, Alpha and Beta. As I’m writing this post, Google+ is still in the beta phase. So, if you choose to join now, be prepared for what could be a bumpy ride.
Fast Followers (not quite ready to be on the “cutting edge”)
There are lots of people who are cautiously watching and waiting for the dust to settle before joining this new social networking site. After all, there is a bigger picture. It may make sense for you to wait to join and it may make sense for you to never join. The decision needs to be part of your overall marketing strategy.
What are your marketing tactics now? What’s working for you? Do you know where your referral traffic is coming from? Do you use the Social Interaction Tracking feature of Google Analytics? (I confess to not having installed this yet but it’s high on my “to-do” list!)
The Resistance Party (not joining – not now – not ever)
I don’t know if there even is a resistance party but I do know that some people are insisting that Google+ is trying to be a replacement for Facebook and they are refusing to defect. (Some people are really getting emotional about this!) Whatever their reasons, I sincerely hope that everyone is looking at the big picture and weighing their options.
Factors to Weigh in to Your Decision to Join or Not Join
What are your thoughts? If you’ve already joined, what was your main motivation? Is it meeting your expectations or is it too early to tell? What do you see as the biggest potential?
Personally, I’m in the process of weaning out social networking sites that have not met my expectations. I’m redirecting the time I spent there to Google+. I’m tweaking my profile on Google Plus (because it scores well for SEO) and I’m listening to what the social “experts” are saying and doing. I’m also defining my “circles” and starting to share. (Hard to believe but some of those “experts” are actually open to including some of us lesser known bloggers in their circles too – making this a good time to join.)
If you are a member or thinking about joining, be aware that this is beta and if you’re worried about privacy, keep in mind that Google Plus is very public but there are things that you can do to tweak the settings. Check out Kimberly Castleberry’s post “How To Make A Private Google+ Circle” for starters. So, what do you think?