Forget the Tools: Taking the Sheen off Google Plus

by | Aug 12, 2011

When Google + first launched, I was intrigued and skeptical to say the least… Given Google’s past social media “fails” and an influx of mediocre social media sites and apps, I really was unsure about how it would factor into the social media landscape.

Frankly, I’m still trying to figure that out! I guess its now my turn to take a stab at it and discuss the Google + phenomenon.

Now that Google+ has been out for over a month, it seems that we can start to take a step back from the hysteria and objectively examine the network’s impact on the world of social media (and potentially our businesses). While Google has released a great looking product that many have fallen in love with, I don’t know if it will drastically change the social media landscape in the long haul.

Google’s biggest contribution may be that it forces our other networks (i.e. Facebook, Linkedin, & Twitter) to go back to the drawing board and revisit the innovative mindset that brought them to mass-adoption in such a short amount of time.

I think we can all agree that Facebook has gotten complacent and at times, has forgotten their user’s best interests. With the emergence of a “competitor,” they cannot overlook the importance of innovation for their network.

New Horizon

This will result in; regardless of the network we choose, a new opportunity for us to further test the landscape and realize the full potential of going “social.” But that’s the thing, it doesn’t matter what tool we use to get there – tools pale in comparison to ideologies.

When it comes to business, companies have historically been cautious about being early adopters and rightfully so. But this new era has changed that mindset. Companies are now looking for the newest ways to take advantage of the new shiny toy, in hopes that they build their reach, engagement, and revenue.

Stay Away from the Light

That being said, businesses and individuals cannot be blinded by the light. Shiny “toys” are great, but must be tested before money or resources are invested or you jump ship from your previous network (personally or business).

The early adopters quickly move to new networks, but the trickle effect to main stream take time. You can test the waters, but for any company to ditch Facebook; like many have adamantly expressed, is not the best idea. Frankly, the vast majority of your personal network won’t jump ship, and neither should you.

Keep harvesting your network and community and you will be able to engage with them regardless of the platform. The best communities will follow you and your brand to the latest, greatest platform.

Social is about being Social

Ultimately, especially from a business point of view, it’s not about the tools that we use, but more the gateway of opportunity that they present. To quote my friend and thought leader, Jay Baer

“It’s not about having social, it’s about being social.”

Point being, these tools allow us to spread the message we want or to communicate with our community, but unless we understand the mindset that exploits the benefits of all of these social tools, they are irrelevant to our business goals and intentions.

Who knows, Google+ could in fact be the Facebook killer and rule new media. We can predict all we want, but things change and evolve beyond our control. One thing is certain though… Google+ does not change the way we communicate. To succeed and drive results, our communication must remain transparent and social – A gateway to a worldwide community.

All in all though, Google + is a big player in social and will be interesting to see how it progresses from here on out.

I’m curious – How have you taken to Google +? Do you see it changing the way you communicate on a business or personal level?

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Photo credit: Justonescarf <—- Check out his Social Media Posters!

 

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