One of the most anticipated social media events of this past year was the introduction of Google+. Surely I don’t need to sing the praises of Google, we all know how massive and innovative a corporation they have become. So when it was announced that the Googlers were rolling out their own social network, bigger and badder than Facebook, expectations were set pretty high. This was a can’t miss development for all marketers involved in social media marketing. And this makes sense. A lot of the features of Google+ are innovative and exciting. The different “circles” is a cool feature in which you share different content with different people. This definitely makes sense, you wouldn’t have the same conversation with family, friends or colleagues, so why should you share the same social content? The “hangout” feature also got a lot of buzz, allowing up to ten users to video chat together. Web marketers are also paying attention to Google+. Since Google has made their search engine more social (like adding the +1 button), it is expected that Google+ will have an impact on search engine optimization.
As a young male and an avid sports fan, I often need to make sports analogies in order to better communicate and comprehend a situation. Right now, Google+ is like a stud running back or elite quarterback coming out of college. This guy dominated the college game and was a top pick in the professional draft. People have very high expectations for him in the pros. But right now he’s just not performing. Why?
The most important feature of a social network is not there: the network. If no one is using it, what is the point? Mashable made an alarming discovery: the senior management of Google isn’t even using it. This is a gigantic red flag for me. Taken from the article, “Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have posted publicly on Google+ 22 times. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt doesn’t even have a Google+ account, nothing short of an embarrassment when company bonuses are tied to social media success.” There are many more great statistics shown in the article that are staggering. The Google executive team certainly isn’t leading by example.
Going back to my sports analogy, this is the equivalent of the coach of the pro team, not even giving the stud running back or quarterback a chance. He has not performed well so far and now he’s riding the bench. I don’t think we will be a scenario in which Google+ gets cut from the roster any time soon, but right now even the coach and general manager have very little faith in him.
It is too early to jump ship on Google+, the network is still in an introductory phase but these findings from Mashable are startling. I would not be surprised if Google+ is a major force in a couple years, but it doesn’t look like it’s happening any time too soon.