There are few social media platforms that had higher hopes – and possibly been a bigger disappointment – than Google+. Some detractors state that the problem is with design, others argue that it’s the UX, and still others complain about the lack of seamlessness in integration, not among other Google-owned platforms, but when sharing on other mediums like Twitter and Facebook. However, this post poses the argument that none of these complaints have much of a leg to stand on. The real problem with Google+ is knowing where it fits on the social media marketing continuum.
Know Your Niche
Social media optimization is an important element for establishing a web presence, and each platform in the realm of social interaction has a distinct function: Twitter is great for disseminating breaking news blurbs, Facebook is useful for creating a sense of community, Pinterest is perfect for showcasing products and Google+ is a great tool for business networking.
A lot of the haters were people who expected that, because Google+ is considered a ‘social network,’ it should be a little more easy to socialize. However, some of the very things that make it less attractive for casual interaction are the elements that make is a useful tool for business networking:
* Separation of groups (circles) by relationship, which aids in marketing to specific groups. That makes it more likely that your posts are going to reach the people who will be most interested in seeing that information, while avoiding those who may be turned off by them.
* Integration with other Google platforms. While the perception is that it’s more difficult to coordinate Google+ posts with non-Google platforms, that’s simply untrue; most people stating this have read unfavorable reviews or simply haven’t taken the time to explore the medium. Using Google+ gives you advantages in search engine ranking and the ability to integrate video via Youtube in a meaningful way.
The integration with other Google platforms also benefits the fastest growing segment of consumers: the mobile crowd. Now, one sign-in allows you to integrate your email,. video, networks and mobile apps instead of remembering multiple passwords and accounts.
There’s also a general sense that Google doesn’t care about the opinion of its users, that their complaints have fallen on the deaf ears of a mega corporation. But if you haven’t taken a look at the medium lately, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Google+ has undergone an image makeover recently. It has t=oput two oif its biggest attractions, communities and collections, in a more prominent place. It has also improved its responsiveness to work across all mobile and web platforms to provide the same experience regardless of how you access the site.
The bottom line is, a social platform is only useful if you know how and when to use it effectively. No one medium should encompass your entire marketing strategy. Instead of getting angry at a platform for failure to conform to your demands, take what features work best in each environment and use them to retool your marketing and networking for greater effectiveness. In other words, work smarter, not harder.