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There’s a notable difference between the outlook of those in the internet marketing industry and those who aren’t. This difference became very noticeable to us when Google Plus came out. It seemed that everyone was talking about Google’s new social platform. G+ news, opinions and how-to’s were everywhere.
Yet, while doing some research, we found out something interesting – at least to us. Google Plus wasn’t everywhere. In the first week, only 6 million results came up for the term. A month later, there approximate search volume is only 2.7 million.
If you think that’s a lot, compare that to:
- Facebook: 3 billion searches per month
- Google: 618 million per month
- Twitter: 124 million per month
In fact, what we realized is that G+ was just everywhere we were looking. Most people weren’t talking about it – just the many, many people we follow, engage with and read… who happen to be in our industry. This knowledge was somewhat of a surprise, and somewhat of a wake up call.
The Circle of “I”
It’s easy to get caught up in the circle of “I” and personal perception. You’re inundated with your chosen industry, which becomes your entire day. When you “know” something, you begin to assume that everyone else knows it, too. You throw out names, talking about people you know – “So-and-so said…” -, not realizing that the individual you’re talking to may have absolutely no idea who “so-and-so” is.
Realizing, once again, that we’d fallen into our own circle of “I”, is what brought about this post. It’s an important distinction to understand – how marketers vs. non-marketers look at the world of Google, the Internet and so on…
How much do you and your company depend on Google?
Google is only as dependable as I can make it. Sure, I use it as a search engine – who doesn’t anymore? Oh, right, those strange people still on Bing and Yahoo for whatever reason…
The point is Google is a product. This product allows me to offer a service. As long as I can continue offering that service, Google is a viable business product. I use Google because it behooves me to know and understand what I’m giving my clients; I need to know how it works – to the best of my ability – so I can give my clients what they need most: results.
The answer, for most, is the same – I live, breathe, eat, and sleep Google. Not a day goes by when I don’t pull up the Google search engine and demand that the little man hiding behind the logo answer each and every question.
I want results and I expect to get them. If I’m asking how the moon was made of green cheese, Google’s going to tell me – or at least point where to go to find out.
So, because we as a modern culture have come to swear by Google, do we automatically love all the other applications that are associated with it?
The newest cousin to America’s favorite search engine is Google+, a Facebook-like website that’s meant to be used for one thing, and one thing only – socialization. After all, Myspace was eventually made obsolete by Facebook, so, a company as big as Google should be able to turn around and accomplish the same thing, right? Maybe, but maybe not…only time will tell.
Absolutely not – you can’t automagically love everything Google does. What you can do is cautiously embrace it. Google + is one of those things that we cautiously embrace; it has the potential of being a fantastic opportunity for networking and marketing. Not only will we not ignore it, we can’t ignore it.
Simply put, if we don’t keep abreast of the newest, brightest, shiniest object out there, we could quickly be left behind in the dust of those who did.
Google Plus is much like the season premiere of an up and coming reality television show. We all want to know what it’s about, so we tune in, but not all of us are going to keep watching after the first episode. So far, this seems to be the case with Google’s latest networking creation.
When it was first introduced, like Gmail, in order to join you needed a super-secret clubhouse invite that only the cool kids could provide you with – an automatic selling point for the nerdier folk. After awhile, though, it was kind of like, hmm, okay, well, back to Facebook it is!
What does Google+ have that Facebook doesn’t?
That’s still up in the air. There seems to be stronger interaction of G+, for one. Two, there are a lot of people unhappy with Facebook that have just been waiting for some place else to move to. The last FB privacy scandal really did them in as a network for many individuals.
However, at the core of it all, what does Google + have that Facebook doesn’t? The fact that it’s not Facebook.
Why should we spend all this time and energy creating ourselves a new profile, and locating all of our friends and clients on a website that’s, in theory, exactly the same as the one we’re already on? Seems like a waste of time, if you ask me.
Google Plus From the Non-Marketer’s Point of View
“I’m not sure if G+ is all that. It really is a lot like Facebook, and I don’t know if it’s worth the trouble of switching.
However, if you look a little closer, you’ll see some varying degrees of separation between Google Plus and the already-existing and ever so popular social networking sites. For instance, Google+ has what are called “Circles,” where you can separate your social life from your business life altogether.
Don’t want your boss or clients to know what kind of company you kept last Saturday night? Then split ‘em up! It’s much easier than making an entirely different profile for both business and for pleasure, and having to maintain multiple web pages on one site. After all, you’re just one person!
Also, you can video chat with others in what’s called a “Hangout.” If you’re typing skills aren’t up to speed with the wheels that are frantically turning in your head, then offer your clients the option for a videoconference instead of a typed-out instant message.
Another perk to Google Plus that also assists with communication is the option for group chats, where you and your clients, or you and your friends and family can all message one another at the same time, instead of having to relay he-said/she-saids to one another via separate screens. We all know how that tends to work out!
So, all in all, Google Plus is much like Facebook, but a wee bit techier. So far, I’ve yet to meet many people who use this site as their main place to conduct both business and social relations, but as it was with Myspace and Facebook, all good things come with time. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Google+ was the next big Brad Pitt for social media and networking gurus, once everyone hops on board. ”
The Future of Google’s “Facebook”
None of this means that social networking fans are going to live, breathe, eat, and sleep Google+ the way they have the Google search engine, Gmail, and Facebook. Using the search engine doesn’t mean whole-hearted embracing of other Google products. Not being able to see the future of the network (if you read a lot of marketer’s blogs, you’ll see the industry rides the fence) makes it hard to prepare from a business sense.
The main take away from this article isn’t how people view Google Plus, or Google itself, for that matter. The take away is that people think differently about internet marketing, networking and so on, depending on their personal lives. This is a valuable lesson to keep in mind the next time you’re working on copy for your site, or considering a new campaign. It’s just not the same – and if you can pinpoint the major differences, you’ll be a head of the game.