by Nathan S
There’s a lot of buzz going on about the fate of Google’s social network, Google+. Ask four marketers about it, and chances are good that you will get four very different answers (and, “What’s Google+?” is probably going to be one of the four). However, of all of the different ideas floating out there, I think the one which captures my imagination is a simple metaphor: Google+ is a slow-moving train.
Now that you have that image in your mind (thanks, Tamara, for the visual aid!), I’ll explain. Google+ is not going to overtake Facebook overnight. In fact, it might not overtake Facebook at all.
Instead, one possibility is that the two will ultimately co-exist, much like freight trucks and cargo trains co-exist today. Both have their distinct uses. If Facebook is a freight truck, going down the information superhighway and delivering content from businesses directly to the storefront, then I expect Google+ will ultimately be the cargo train, moving content from one business to another. Or, rather, from one marketer to another.
Why do I say this? Why can’t Google+ overtake Facebook? Quite simply, the features which Google+ boast for the average user are almost identical to those of Facebook. Those few features which were stand-out (namely, the “Circles”) have been successfully imitated by Facebook, and thus there is very little which sells the average user on Google+. There are plenty of small things which Google+ does better, but nothing really that stellar.
Unless you’re a marketer, that is.
For the marketer, Google+ will offer unparalleled ease of integration, making SEO and online marketing much easier. Moreover, this ease of use will make Google+ very popular amongst marketers, and thus will make the social media site a sort of “hub” for such marketers. As such, the social part will be a great way to communicate new ideas about marketing.
So does that mean Google+ will be for “marketers only?” I think we need to consider what that phrase means. Anybody can benefit from knowing a bit about marketing: Much of success in life depends on one’s ability to market themselves or their business. As such, I think Google+ has a chance at being a popular auxiliary social media network—a way for the marketer, the job hunter, and the would-be artist to learn more about how to effectively get their name known by a large number of people in the most positive way possible. That’s what marketing’s all about, right? What do you think?