What’s the Fuss About Google Plus?

So, Google Plus is supposed to be the big threat to Facebook, just as Google Buzz was to have been…something. In the frenzy to become early adopters of the latest social media trend, webmasters are coding the little +1 buttons on their sites, which turn blue when a user clicks them to give the content a boost. The trick to achieving success with this, of course, is making sure there are other Plus users out there to click the button.

Users of Google Plus may also adjust their accounts to cross-post to other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, yet there doesn’t seem to be a way to do the opposite. You can push Facebook notifications to Twitter and vice versa, but Google either does not or doesn’t plan to accommodate receiving notices. You can, however, upload photos and videos to your Plus activity stream and sort people you follow into different and unlimited groups, or “circles.”

Seems the notions of circles works more cleanly than Facebook’s grouping system, which requires users to sift through a drop down menu to find the stream of friends they wish to read. Plus chat functionality is also available as a carryover from GMail. What’s not to love?

More importantly, thinking as social media marketer, what’s the fuss? Is Google Plus worth an aggressive push now or is there the risk of waning interest like with Buzz? If you have established presences with Facebook and Twitter under your business name, you may think the addition of Plus can boost your brand. It is entirely possible, too. However, nurturing your Plus profile and connections will take time from your current social media strategy. If there is the chance Plus will fizzle out after the initial novelty wears off, how much of your energy was spent that should have been somewhere else marketing your business?

Then again, Plus could take off and give Facebook a run for the money.

As you approach a new social media outlet for potential marketing success, it is good to note specifically how others are using it. If you find within your circles people have not updated their activity streams in weeks, it could mean your circles of influence are experiencing social media overload, or find the structure is not to their liking. Addition of +1 buttons to promote your content can provide a good idea of whether or not people find your content worthy of sharing – remember to have other social buttons available as well. A gradual entry into Plus may yield good results for your company’s visibility in the long run.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and Facebook marketing services.

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