Weighing In: What’s the Buzz about? Riding the wave that is Google...

Weighing In: What’s the Buzz about? Riding the wave that is Google Plus…

Google Plus

It’s almost ridiculous that I even fire up my WordPress window and try to talk about Google Plus. This topic has been discussed too much since the first invite went out last week. In truth, it’s hard not to want to talk about it and even harder to stop using it. My Facebook time has already been cut dramatically and I’m glad I’ve got some auto Tweets going or Twitter would be dead to me. If you’ve been living under a rock or not a total nerd, you might not have heard of Google Plus. That’s okay. Google Plus is Google’s answer to Facebook and Twitter. I’m not going to go into the basics here; there are a ton of resources that can help you out with that.

I was privileged to get my invite last week and I’ve been ecstatic over its possibilities since then. What are some things I think you’ll really like about Google Plus? What are some things that Marketers need to be watchful for? Should everyone just cancel their Facebook account? Let’s try to get some answers to these questions…

Circles

Circles are a great way to organize your “friends”. It’s an extremely powerful organizational tool. Think about your world a minute. There are groups of people that you tell different things to. I’m sure my social media friends aren’t interested in my daughter’s pooping habits. I’m sure my IRL friends aren’t interested in that cool Multifamily technology. In the Facebook world when you post a status about something everyone your friends with gets to see it. Circles allow you to post your content to only certain circles or certain people. You can also filter what you want to read and from whom at any given time. Content curation is powerful stuff. What I find funny is that separating people by using lists is possible in Facebook too. How many of you out there actually use it? What circles brings to the table versus Facebook’s implementation is posting to certain circles or only certain people.

Sparks

Sparks are nothing but Google Reader feeds which are relevant to your interests. For instance you can be interested in yellow puppies. Type yellow puppies into the Sparks search bar and it will bring you stories related to yellow puppies. It will then consider yellow puppies an “interest” and anytime you want to read the latest just click your interest link. Very cool, convenient,and sure to get better as time goes on.

Hangouts

For those familiar with Twitter hashchats then you already understand the concept behind a hangout. If you aren’t then think of a hangout as a great big chat room, created by you, and attended only by those you want. It even allows for video conferencing simultaneously for up to 10 people. Anyone getting the sneaky suspicion that Twitter is the one that needs to be alarmed here? I do.

What I love about Google Plus is that it has the possibility to be everything to everyone. Love Twitter? It offers enough of the same features with some improvements that there will be reasons to leave. Is it better than Facebook? In terms of usability it isn’t much different. One thing Google Plus lacks is 500 million users. That leads into some issues:

Businesses have no presence here.

According to Searchengineland business page are coming. For now it’s pretty difficult to get Google Plus to work for companies. It’s coming though and I’m really curious how they will implement it.

Circles will hurt Marketing efforts.

Because people will be able to filter out content they don’t want, it will be harder to get your brand in front of eyeballs. This means you’ll need relevant content that you know people will want to read. Most of you are probably doing that now but filtering out your message will be a lot easier.

So what are the things to keep an eye on with Google Plus going forward?

Google’s search engine and application platforms.

Integration has already begun. Announced today was the rebranding of Picasa and Blogger under the Google name. Calendar received a graphical overhaul the day AFTER the invites went out. Google Reader is already integrated within it, photos, profiles, chat, voice, and their video chat. This is just for starters. What I love about this is Google has the ability to start from scratch and build the type of platform they want. Facebook started with an idea and has grown from that but has had to add layers upon layers. Sometimes those layers haven’t been implemented well. Since Google can see the forest through the trees it has figured out how to leverage its assets and create a better platform.

SEO and search engine rankings?

Will Google Plus have an impact on it? It remains to be seen. If it does it will explode…book it.

Is it better than Facebook?

In terms of numbers don’t be ridiculous, of course not but I really like the potential of this thing. Will it change the social media landscape? Yes I believe it will…. what do you think? Want an invite? Message me. Have something else you’d like to say? Comment.

  • SGreenough

    Interesting stuff…..seems like big things are a foot with the rebranding of Picasa and Blogger. I’m looking forward to watching Google evolve this platform.

  • Bsitko

    @SGreenough I am too Sara. I’m pretty pumped up about Google Plus. Have you had time to play around with it yet?

  • http://www.themarketingspot.com/ JayEhret

    Brian, I understand your enthusiasm over Google+, but do you think your excitement is largely influenced by who you are: a marketing and technology blogger? Google+ looks like a pretty package, but will the gen pop be as enthusiastic as you?

  • http://www.themarketingspot.com/ JayEhret

    I realized I just typed in Brian, then I realized I don’t really know your first name. :) Do I?

  • SGreenough

    @Bsitko @SGreenough Yes – I have “played around” a bit. I’m intrigued….

  • Bsitko

    @JayEhret Ha Jay. It’s Bill. No problem I knew who you meant. Perhaps you’re right. There’s nothing in Google’s shiny package that, for instance, will make my wife switch from Facebook… yet. What are the things that will make people switch (if at all)? As a marketing guy yourself how enthusiastic are you about it?

  • http://www.themarketingspot.com/ JayEhret

    @Bsitko I’m not really, because Google did not create + for the right reasons. They created it to be a Facebook killer. And Google has such a horrible track record when it comes to social. I may like the package, but that’s not enough to make everyone switch off Facebook.

    Here’s my post on the subject: http://themarketingspot.com/2011/07/google-brand-failure.html

  • Bsitko

    @JayEhret I will say I don’t agree with you Jay (as I’m sure you figured). Google Plus (unlike the other turds) is designed to be the capstone of Google’s products. That’s unlike Buzz and Wave. Sure they failed but they were too complicated. The POTENTIAL is there for success this time.

  • http://www.themarketingspot.com/ JayEhret

    @Bsitko I’m going to stick a plate of crow in the freezer that one of can eat a year from now. :)

  • Bsitko

    @JayEhret DEAL!