Could Google+ fail in 2012?

by Urs E. Gattiker on 2011/12/11 · 45 comments 10,115 views

in social media diary

Some say Google+ fails to add anything you absolutely and desperately need. Does it solve a problem? People you connect with there might follow you on Twitter, Facebook and/or read your blog, so why worry about Google+, or LinkedIn for that matter?

Article source – Could Google+ fail in 2012?

Okay, you tell me that Google+ will change SEO to push down Facebook Pages, but I’m not so sure. I AM sure that you should subscribe and join more than 5,000 subscribers to our blog before your read on:

Below I summarize some issues I have discussed with various people on Facebook, Google+ and Xing and in person at our last Social Media Monitoring Apéro (grr, you missed it… make sure you join the next one in January 2012).
ComMetrics - CyTRAP Labs - participate in our poll - your vote counts - THANK you.

So what is there to like about Google+?

There are different things you probably know about Google+ (see 4 things to know about Google+), but here are three things I like:

1. Less spam than LinkedIn: One reason I either unsubscribed most of my LinkedIn group memberships is spam. Even the two exceptions I rarely read or participate in.

2. Circles – managing content sharing: This is a great tool, though I still don’t manage it well enough and tend to share with everybody (public).

3. Not a mass destination yet, so more geeky – love it. Virtually noise-free content and people actually discuss and reflect on the content. The comments I read about shared posts help me better understand things. Neat.

What I do not like

1. No great search features: Going to Google search is easier than trying to use the Google+ search for anything. Trust me, this still ain’t working right (see Google+ brand pages: Why SEO is dead).

2. Comments on shared posts are missing: So your friends shared your post and it shows up in Ripples (see below). Unfortunately, any comments left on shared posts don’t show up on the original. Too bad, because this prevents me from seeing what all those smart people have to contribute about my original post elsewhere. Instead I have to go and find it… who has the time?

3. Ripples are navel-gazing metrics: So far Ripples is more of a promise than useful service, because it does not provide me with a metric that measures for impact. Read Debra Askanase‘s great guest post, Google+ Ripples: The promise of shared intelligence.

ComMetrics - benchmark your social media efforts - use our tool.

I am sure there are other more quirky issues than the above. Why not share your notes in the comments? I love to hear your thoughts!

Bottom line – take-aways – what this means for you

Have a look on Google +, Xing, or Facebook for fascinating discussions of the pitfalls of Google+!

ComMetrics graph: Strategic networks are okay but if you are not social, will it work?

More resources on this topic

- Why Deutsche Bahn should use either Facebook or Google+ but not both – Victor Meise

Tips and cheats for improving your Google+ experience:

- How to download your Google+ data to your hard-drive,
- Italic or Bold text on Google +

So what does all this mean for you? Maybe 2012 will be the year when some of us realize we should get ourselves a real life and unplug from some of these social networks, including Facebook, Ning, Viadeo or XeeMe. Instead of checking your friend’s Facebook status updates or tweets on your smartphone, have a real conversation.

If we stop broadcasting ourselves and trying to build a reputation by re-tweeting stuff we have yet to read, then Google+ will be in real trouble (so will Facebook). Unfortunately, I am not sure if enough of us will feel that way, or if 2012 will be another year that showcases our narcissism. What do YOU think?

Tip: Search for more information about social media and more effective marketing, Google+, Facebook & Co from CyTRAP – ComMetrics (click to query).

I hope that PANKs (Professional Aunt, No Kids) will play Ludo (also known as Aggravation, Eile mit Weile (Switzerland), or Mensch ärgere dich nicht (Germany)) with their nieces or nephews, instead of checking the latest status updates on their iPhone.

Leave a comment or should I beg you to befriend us on Google+? Let’s follow my new motto for 2012 instead and meet to chat face to face over a drink. Just make sure you enjoy the upcoming holidays with real people – not in cyberspace. In case you do not want to join us, tweet it!

TL:DR
@ComMetrics writes: Could Google+ fail in 2012? | Tweet This

  • http://twitter.com/rolftschochohei/status/145656887810064385 Rolf Tschochohei

    RT @ComMetrics: Could Google fail in 2012? #ComMetrics http://t.co/C4AlLyNr

  • http://twitter.com/birdbathbuzz/status/145660922789244928 Chris Isaac

    Could Google+ fail in 2012? http://t.co/Da7RJ45D

  • http://twitter.com/sellbybuild/status/145672250593509376 Mark Popp

    “@birdbathbuzz: Could Google+ fail in 2012? http://t.co/v9A6NVNe”

  • http://twitter.com/johnbates100/status/145690320686944256 John Bates

    Could Google+ fail in 2012? http://t.co/MPWXiYQj

  • http://twitter.com/carlgerber/status/145690318212308993 Carl Gerber

    Could Google+ fail in 2012? http://t.co/Oxl3B5Ow

  • http://twitter.com/reinventyrself/status/145690323136413697 Annabel Lauren

    Could Google+ fail in 2012? http://t.co/J3NlfCRO

  • http://twitter.com/socialmediacrux/status/145690325678166016 Jonathan Rex

    Could Google+ fail in 2012? http://t.co/3tdbJuU3

  • http://twitter.com/gocalco/status/145690721171673088 gocal.co (GO loCAL)

    RT @socialmediacrux: Could Google+ fail in 2012? http://t.co/Ejo1H5ul It's failing right NOW!

  • http://twitter.com/trophyguy/status/145698060905877504 trophyguy

    RT @socialmediacrux: Could Google+ fail in 2012? http://t.co/Ejo1H5ul It's failing right NOW!

  • http://twitter.com/curiouserdesign/status/145702777119715330 Amber Wilson

    Could Google+ fail in 2012? http://t.co/J3NlfCRO

  • http://twitter.com/wefdavos/status/145720001310113792 World Economic Forum

    #tips2follow – Could Google+ fail in 2012?: Apple decides to take on Google and Facebook, launc… http://t.co/ZJBavZUc – #metrics2watch

  • http://twitter.com/commetrics/status/145788104157052928 Urs E. Gattiker

    Could #Google Plus fail in 2012? http://t.co/2bj6FChm #metrics #trends2watch Your opion? pls leave comment

  • http://twitter.com/e_mhotep/status/145799230651510784 Kamal Bennani

    Could Google+ fail in 2012? | ComMetrics ~ http://t.co/iCBP3vLm

  • http://twitter.com/ezyblogger/status/145800210910679040 Roseli A. Bakar

    RT @E_mhotep: Could Google+ fail in 2012? | ComMetrics ~ http://t.co/6zyWV0kR

  • http://twitter.com/brasonja/status/145815594468511744 Boris Rasonja

    Could Google+ fail in 2012? | ComMetrics ~ http://t.co/UvtwhSNM via @E_mhotep RT @EzyBlogger

  • http://twitter.com/googlep_news/status/145816803401154560 GooglePlus News

    Could Google+ fail in 2012? http://t.co/E04MmCv6

  • http://twitter.com/yb2012/status/145819111920906240 Yannis Beltekas

    RT @brasonja: Could Google+ fail in 2012? | ComMetrics ~ http://t.co/yNLz3gju via @E_mhotep RT @ezyblogger

  • Karen Dietz

    Great post Urs.  I keep up with most of my friends via email, phone, and in person. None of my family is on FB or any other social network. I’m on NING networks where there’s hardly any activity to speak of so I mostly ignore them. I use Twitter for research, sharing, and quick conversations, and love G+ because of the richness of conversations that occur plus circles, hangouts, ripples, etc.  My desire is to complete drop FB (I have 100s of connections there) but I’m still evaluating what the impact would be to my business.  So we’ll see.

    I really like the chart you put together on the social networks and the notion of their merging or mixing together.  That would be a blessing!

    • http://info.cytrap.eu/articles/social-media-marketing-fur-den-kmu Urs E. Gattiker

      @9b83e3595f463e00bb7ac672c15a4c00:disqus thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on our blog here.

      Always great to have a  guest blogger  (your entry: Terms of the art: What every discipline needs)) come back and comment, merci.

      I am very interesting to hear that your family is not on Facebook. I am the only one on it as well even though the kids use social media and other things but they find Facebook a waste of time …. or maybe for the oldies only.

      Yes Google+ is really great for having rich conversations. Agreed. And Twitter is wonderful to share news and get intell.
      Same here, Ning has died for me and besides Xing and our group there I do not use it that much (great online address book though).

      Urs @ComMetrics:twitter

  • http://twitter.com/commetrics/status/145911100049850369 Urs E. Gattiker

    @kdietz thanks for your comment – great stuff: http://t.co/mN2GFEMf #ComMetrics #measure #Google

  • http://www.communityorganizer20.com/ Debra Askanase

    Thoughtful piece, indeed. One thing I feel strongly about, which may or may not be implied by your post here is that “real life” networks strengthen online relationships and vice-versa. I have met many colleagues with whom I’ve conversed online, only to find when I meet them at a conference, the tie is even stronger. When we’re back to only-only social network conversations, the commitment to the conversations is stronger after we’ve met.

    That said, Google+ is one of the very best social networks I’ve yet encountered for creating and nurturing relationships, and Karen alludes to this in her comment, below. (The conversation is richer on G+, and that is another blog post to consider.) I’m interested in convergence, as you allude to in your graphic and wondering if G+ is it. It seems to be the place where all of my networks are beginning to converge. Just the other day a colleague commented on an update, and a personal friend commented “wow – you two know each other?” and proceeded to tell me that my friend and the colleague used to room together in college. This doesn’t happen on Facebook, or on Linkedin.

    Unlike Karen and Urs, most of my family is on Facebook, including the grandmothers in our family. However, none of my family is on G+.

    Lastly, I couldn’t agree more with Urs about the frustration you express not being able to easily see comments on shared posts. Often a great conversation threads off in the shared post that would inform the original conversation.

    Keep us all thinking, Urs!

    • http://info.cytrap.eu/articles/social-media-marketing-fur-den-kmu Urs E. Gattiker

      Dear @askdebra:disqus Thanks so much for your comment here:
      “…”real life” networks strengthen online relationships and vice-versa. I have met many colleagues with whom I’ve conversed online, only to find when I meet them at a conference, the tie is even stronger. When we’re back to only-only social network conversations, the commitment to the conversations is stronger after we’ve met. ”

      The above I find a really important point that you are making. Hence, besides private and work-related networks mixing it is also that offline meetings can strengthen online networks. It is easier to write and exchange ideas with a person one has shared dinner with :-). So true.

      “…G+ is it. It seems to be the place where all of my networks are beginning to converge. Just the other day a colleague commented on an update, and a personal friend commented “wow – you two know each other?” and proceeded to tell me that my friend and the colleague used to room together in college. This doesn’t happen on Facebook, or on Linkedin.”

      The above has not happened to me so far.  My networks do not seem to converge.  Most of my clients are not on Google Plus and some have tried out Facebook or Twitter. However, these are the minority and Google Plus … nobody it looks like.

      I also find your point about Facebook very interesting but it also suggests two things:

      1 – Oldies use Facebook to stay in touch with school pals, friends that moved as well as far away family.
      2 – Youngsters – some in North American – text on their mobile and have all these as updates on their Facebook wall – a nightmare to keep up for me.

      In Europe it is a bit different though.  The family is usually not that far away so meet in person (just go down the street). 
      Also, since BlackBerry allowed users to send free text messages (SMS) to other Balckberry users (all you need is their PIN) teenagers prefer to use this tool (e.g., UK). As well, these days everybody has such an App like Kik Messenger installed that allows the sending of free SMS between iPhone, Android & BlackBerry as long as both parties have the free App installed.  All this makes using texting to update the Facebook wall less popular in Europe than the US (at least when I look at the few teenagers I know).

      Thanks again for your thoughtful comment Debra.

      PS.  With all this networking and the coming holidays, let us not forget:  Digital detox: Confessions of a social media addict

  • Pingback: Debra Askanase

  • http://twitter.com/david10023/status/146072799990124544 David10023

    Could Google+ fail in 2012? http://t.co/KnOlA9iy

  • Pingback: Keidra

  • http://twitter.com/commetrics/status/146136432170385408 Urs E. Gattiker

    Must read: insights from @askdebra why #Google Plus could fail in #2012 and what #Facebook has… http://t.co/lmktmfg7

  • Pingback: Kevin Martone

  • http://twitter.com/kanter/status/146284955905949696 Beth Kanter

    @ComMetrics writes: Why could Google Plus fail in 2012? http://t.co/ugFFh8eb

  • http://twitter.com/jerryscanyours/status/146502134005895168 Jerry van Leeuwen

    Could #Google+ fail in 2012? http://t.co/VM8gnmgg

  • Pingback: Shuey Fogel

  • http://twitter.com/elaine0802/status/146744596729307136 Elaine Hekman

    Could #Google+ fail in 2012? http://t.co/VM8gnmgg

  • Stan Albers, IFB Löwenmut

    Hi, here my three cents as promised. Bit late, but anyhow.
    Google+’s difference compared with Facebook for me seems to be that
    Google+ is less informal, less “friends”-ideology here, more
    information as it seems. Less informal, more information – do others agree on
    that?
    Further on I do have the feeling that the Google+-people get
    over all the pictures and make them more bright and saturated, they just look
    good here. Once you set overboard all your worries about privacy etc., the
    Google services, being as integrated as they are, of course function smoothly.
    I still struggle with the circles concept a little bit, but time
    will heal that. Is it true that Google shows less advertising than Facebook
    does, or did I configure that myself and I don´t remember? Anyhow, I love the
    big grey-white empty fields with Google+ in comparison to advertisements of all
    sorts with Facebook.
    By the way: the XING surface gives one a true head-ache! No idea
    what the XING people still want to do with their platform … I could not
    believe in it anymore, it is going steadily down the drain as far as I can see.

    • http://info.cytrap.eu/articles/social-media-marketing-fur-den-kmu Urs E. Gattiker

      Dear @1e2a9d6ba5f25a44b98efc121b057c77:disqus Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Yes I agree, Facebook is more informal and sharing with friends than probably Google + ever will be …. 
      For now I enjoy not just the images, sometimes I feel I see too many of those bright ones on Google +. I love to get comments similar to our blog here that add some value to the discussion.  In turn, I feel as if I am learning by sharing my insights with others and getting feedback.

      Of course, we cannot forget that Google Plus is already affecting the search ranings now as I discussed here:
      Google+ will change SEO to push down Facebook Pages

      From a consumer’s point of view I find it better to have several networks so I do have a choice. Most important, the competition will help improve everybody’s online experience by forcing these companies to improve in order to keep their users happy.

      Thanks for sharing. Urs @ComMetrics:twitter 

  • http://twitter.com/AldoGnocchi Aldo Gnocchi

    I’m not so sure if it’s a good idea to be everywhere. In my opinion it makes sense to have less, but therefor very focused and active social networks.

    At the time most companies are active on Twitter and Facebook. On Google+ you can set up a business page, but the possibilities are not enormous. If you are in a sector with very technic affine people, Google+ might be the place to be. But if you want to reach people from mass markets, Facebook might still be the first choice.

    I agree that a company should also take into consideration to have a presence on Google+. But then they need enough resources to also take care of this presence. Some companies are everywhere, but do not care about their pages. This is why I think less is more.

    Personally I also use most of the social media platforms, but I have to admit, that beside my work I do not have enough time to make connections on all (relevant or not) platforms. So I need to focus on the most important – which can differentiate from person to person and company to company.

    To come back to the initial question:
    I don’t think that Google+ will be just a temporary apparition. Google+ will stay for a longer period of time.

    This social network will have to convince people and get their trust. As soon as people are convinced, they will also move to Google+. But in my opinion Google+ will not squeeze Facebook out of the market. Maybe we will find another audience on G+ than on FB. G+ could be a complement to Facebook and Twitter.

    As soon as it’s possible to build or implement individual applications into G+ business pages, this service will gain in attractiveness for businesses. There are still quite a lot of things (ex. multiple admin rights, etc.) to be optimized for that companies will want to use G+.

    Let’s see how things develop.

    • http://info.cytrap.eu/articles/social-media-marketing-fur-den-kmu Urs E. Gattiker

      Dear @twitter-26943860:disqus  thanks for jumping in here. This is a very interesting and thoughtful post and I had to think hard before I made an attempt to reply. 
      But reply I did (see further below) and while I agree…. :-) 

      Aldo Gnocchi wrote: 
      I’m not so sure if it’s a good idea to be everywhere. In my opinion it makes sense to have less, but therefor very focused and active social networks. 
        
      At the time most companies are active on Twitter and Facebook. On Google+ you can set up a business page, but the possibilities are not enormous. If you are in a sector with very technic affine people, Google+ might be the place to be. But if you want to reach people from mass markets, Facebook might still be the first choice.
      The above seems true but then I have this whole group of non-profits including the International Red Cross and others that are very active on Google Plus. In contrast to Facebook, discussions on Google Plus are more in depth. This is regardless if you have techies or other kinds of people such as Red Cross volunteers. 

      There is a plug-in for Facebook to have discussions and it works nicely, I just tried it out here… but I have yet to get the same amount of participation as I do on Google Plus. 

      ===> https://www.facebook.com/ComMetrics?sk=app_202980683107053&a… (you have to like us to see it, sorry but it is an interesting app) 

      Twitter and Facebook cannot be compared in my mind because the former is an intelligence tool that allows me to get great infos from people I follow, like you :-) Facebook is sharing moments – pictures, feelings and so things. 

      Also just because you have 15 people that have nothing better to do then comment for Magnum ice cream, you do not have customer engagement nor a conversation, do you: 

      Magnum 
      The temperatures may be getting colder, but we think Magnum ice cream is always delicious. Click “Like” if you agree. 
      20:30, Dec 12 · View whole post 

      Mattison Smith I sure do. I live for Magnum in all temperatures! 
      20:31, Dec 12 

      Colleen Waddell Harrison And coupons are even better with Magnum! 
      20:31, Dec 12 

      Lauren Startrelle Cantrelle One can never go wrong with chocolate! 
      20:32, Dec 12 

      So less is better – at least if you run a service business or a software company like I do. Aldo, thanks for sharing. 

  • http://twitter.com/mycommetrics/status/147561041537146880 MyComMetrics

    Thanks @StanAlbers @IFB_Loewenmut & @ aldognocchi for insightful comments about #Google Plus, #Facebook, #Xing http://t.co/dMR5UppO

  • http://twitter.com/commetrics/status/147561041457455104 Urs E. Gattiker

    Thanks @StanAlbers @IFB_Loewenmut & @ aldognocchi for insightful comments about #Google Plus, #Facebook, #Xing http://t.co/oW4M4WaX

  • http://twitter.com/stanalbers/status/147585222475653120 Stan Albers

    Thanks @StanAlbers @IFB_Loewenmut & @ aldognocchi for insightful comments about #Google Plus, #Facebook, #Xing http://t.co/oW4M4WaX

  • Olga Henggi

    Hi Urs,
     
    I would agree with Aldo – it might be really to great to be everywhere online.
    On the other side, if your or your company decides to link all existing networking sites, then you should be persistent and be active everywhere. I think it’s a problem of time, energy, and feedback you receive after a certain time of your engagement.
     
    It’s difficult to say what will happen to Google + in 2012 – it’s new and attractive and no one knows what kind of people join it and how much spam they will spread on it…
     
    In my opinion, the most challenging thing is to keep Google + attractive, creative, and innovative. Hmm.. Actually, these are members who will shape it.. or not?

    • http://info.cytrap.eu/articles/social-media-marketing-fur-den-kmu Urs E. Gattiker

      Dear @5968f5947815ced3338c913ce110e180:disqus First, thanks so much for commenting once again, great stuff.

      Also glad to hear that you agree with @twitter-26943860:disqus (see below).
      Nevertheless, we should not forget what @9b83e3595f463e00bb7ac672c15a4c00:disqus and @askdebra:disqus pointed out in their comments.  There are differences between these networks as far as their use and the type of people that use them for what purpose are concerned.

      You are correct in stating that one has to manage the time and, therefore, decide where one’s target audience hangs out. If you offer fun, recreational stuff, consumer products, etc. Facebook can be interesting. Nonetheless, the type of engagement and the depth you are getting is limited indeed. I just refer you to my Magnum Ice Cream example below Aldo’s comment. It illustrates clearly that besides wanting discount coupons and blabla there is little to write home about.
      Neither Facebook nor Google Plus are part of my marketing funnel for @CyTRAP:twitter or My.ComMetrics.com …. I play with them because a few clients use them. Google Plus, however, is a tool I use because of SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Google + affects what is happening in the search results. Tests we did last week show that it is becoming an ever bigger issue.  @1e2a9d6ba5f25a44b98efc121b057c77:disqus will be interested to hear this :-)

      And even if I repeat myself and as you have told me several times already ….. the virtual space can strengthen the resonance I get and help build reputation and the brand.

      Nevertheless, unless I combine this with offline (e.g., giving a lecture, writing book, newspaper article) or having a cup coffee with you (so sorry it did not work out today) I will hardly build closer ties and have relationships. And of course, all this pushing the Like button and sharing content on Facebook is not gonna pay the rent for your business premises at the end of the month.

      May I say more :-)  Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Olga Henggi

    Hi Urs,
     
    I would agree with Aldo – it might be really to great to be everywhere online.
    On the other side, if your or your company decides to link all existing networking sites, then you should be persistent and be active everywhere. I think it’s a problem of time, energy, and feedback you receive after a certain time of your engagement.
     
    It’s difficult to say what will happen to Google + in 2012 – it’s new and attractive and no one knows what kind of people join it and how much spam they will spread on it…
     
    In my opinion, the most challenging thing is to keep Google + attractive, creative, and innovative. Hmm.. Actually, these are members who will shape it.. or not?

  • http://twitter.com/cytrap/status/147686033675386880 CyTRAP

    Danke @olgahenggi für den Kommentar auf dem Blog @AldoGnocchi @StanAlbers & andere werden schmunzeln http://t.co/wZk8Md4b

  • http://twitter.com/firdausalias/status/151016661812649984 Firdaus Alias

    RT @ComMetrics: Could Google fail in 2012? #ComMetrics http://t.co/xmGucpmr

  • http://twitter.com/devseo/status/153064765550374912 Alex Hall

    Could Google+ fail in 2012? – http://t.co/Z0cskQ1g

  • http://twitter.com/devseo/status/153210306087223296 Alex Hall

    http://t.co/N8Yz6Hxy – Could Google+ fail in 2012?

Previous post:

Next post: