Why Google+ Will Become a Social Media Powerhouse

social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Jesse Stay, author of Google+ For Dummies and Facebook Application Development For Dummies.

He has a unique experience with both Facebook and Google.

Jesse shares insights behind Google+ and how it compares to Facebook. You’ll discover what Google is doing, how Google+ is different and why Google+ is a social media powerhouse.

Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn in this video:

  • How Google’s focus on Google+ impacts social media
  • What Google is getting right and what their biggest challenge is
  • How Facebook’s approach is different
  • Tips to get your Google+ strategy right
  • Discover the opportunity today for businesses on Google+
  • Why you need to group your audience into different Circles on Google+
  • How mobile impacts Google+

Connect with Jesse on Twitter @Jesse and check out Jesse’s Google+ For Dummies Facebook Page and blog.

Are you on Google+? What tips do you have to share on using Google+ for business? Please leave them below.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, and host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. He also authored of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. Other posts by »




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  • http://twitter.com/UberdanSounds UberdanSounds

    I love twitter, hate facebook.  dont know about this Google+.  too many social networks.

  • http://twitter.com/jordanrunsit Jordan Smallwood

    I agree that Google+ is something that you need to familiarize yourself with, especially as a business professional. On a professional and personal use level, Google+ is inevitably going to be adopted. It’s the nature of social networking powerhouses. It’s extremely cyclical. You can trace the timeline back to blog sites like Xanga. Since the creation of social networking sites like Myspace, Blogger, LiveJournal, Friendster, Facebook, etc. They all experience a 5-10 year “boom” period, then slowly lose their appeal en route to a new contender taking the top spot. Google+ is that new contender. Eventually it will go through its own rise and fall and something new will take its place.

  • http://twitter.com/mack1221 Bruce Mackay

    I know the marketers I work with use Skype to communicate because it is voip and easy to use free and moving forward in constant  steps improving but staying simple to get to function very well.
    I think if Google + would find a way to integrate easier and use the systems together it would help us .
    Keeping in mind a lot of us are seniors and not very fast on computers.

  • http://www.socialmediarevolution.ca/become-a-subscriber/ Josaphat DJ Perez

    Great input on G+. I think that G+ will really change the way lots of people do business.

    I am very strong believer of Google’s resources and I feel that they will not make the same mistake as before.

  • Whistler Heather

    I love all this new stuff personally, but my clients cannot keep up… it is just too much,… can you fix that problem Mike? Keep It Simple Social Media.com

  • Lana

    How old is this video? Must be recorded months ago…

    And actually until now Google+ or Google+ pages are good for nothing.
    Until now not even the common users are engaged there, and certainly not on pages.

    Maybe Google+ can become a social media powerhouse. But certainly bot within the next 2 years. 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    I disagree with pretty much every point addressed in this video. Google doesn’t understand people or platforms. If only Google would stick to it used to do best, search. Sigh.

    I also disagree with this view on Google+ as being a “Social Network.” Google never intended + to be a “social network” in the way we traditionally think about them. The bread and butter of Google, where they derive the majority of their revenue from, is Google Adwords. Google is looking for more ways to keep users logged in to Google so that they can gain more information about their users. Their plan would be to have more ways and information to use for targeting purposes on Adwords.

    This can be clearly seen in the original purposes of Facebook/Google+.

    Facebook started as a way for people to communicate and connect with one another.
    Google+ was started to gain information about users.

    No one is going to flock to Google+ if it can’t offer up anything that the other major players don’t already have. The point of the matter is that Facebook simply does it better. People don’t want a plethora of places to go to share information.

    Do I think Google+ will be useful to businesses in other ways? Totally. There are added SEO and visibility benefits. However, this talk as a whole seems a little bit off.

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Agreed.

  • http://irpex.blogspot.com/ Ryann

    Google+ helps in SEO and SER, that’s the edge that any other social network doesn’t have, and its beneficial for online ranking specially for the business community. On the other hand, Facebook has the “ranting” edge, where some users have nothing more to do other than rant and complain about things.

  • Greg Allbright

    I think this comment is spot on. The test for me as to whether a network/new tool is worth investing $ and/or time in building up a brand is the WIFE/MOM test. If my wife or mom don’t like it, won’t use it, and/or don’t understand it, its not going to reach critical mass. Google plus has proved to be great for SM dorks like me, and beyond that, no one else.

  • http://Wordfruit.com/ Richard Clunan

    G+ do it much better than Fb, for my usage — I find it much more intuitive to navigate, and the Circles thing just works for me — it seems more ‘natural’ to talk to a group of people, instead of all or nothing.

    Richard 
    Copywriting Blog: http://wordfruit.com/blog

  • Talking Finger

    And this is why books about social media (technical/how to’s) are a waste of money. Outdated info already. 

    As far as G+….unless consumers start coming aboard, G+ will continue to be a platform for early adopters (soon to be just “adopters”) and self-branding. I actually see G+ as coming more in line with LinkedIn…a cooler version that allows a more free from and fun platform, except you can also have a great “fanpage” (G+ Pages) that is going to be a powerhouse for social search. It may be a good eventual B2B platform which would work well for businesses…Facebook for any B2C and some B2B, and G+ for B2B with light B2C. 

    One thing, and I will get blasted for this: your website is going to be ancillary if and once G+ takes off. Google itself has stated in many articles (here is one from today: http://adage.com/article/digital/brands-embrace-google-hopes-coming-search-boost/231584/ )that keywords, tagging all that old SEO is going bye bye in favor of social seach: the interactions, engagment and sharing organically of your business via social platforms (thus why G+ has an awesome icon-based linking system on G+ AND now YouTube).

    This makes sense! Why do I give a crap about your website which is YOUR message!  Anyone with some $ to spend can tag and keyword a website to get it to the top. BUT…does that mean you truly are relevant or a good company? SO it makes sens that algorithms would favor what the PEOPLE say/share about you.

    Sorry website guys…companies will always need a nice website (YOU own your site, and you can do more with a website than any social platform…for now) but your days are numbered :-)

    http://www.facebook.com/talkingfinger

  • Talking Finger

    If they are clients, it may be good they cant keep up :-)

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  • http://www.fitnessweightlosscenter.com Douglas Millington

    I agree with Mallory that Facebook is far superior to Google+ from a social community perspective. I see the success or failure of Google+ tied directly to (1) how Google tweaks its search algorithm to reward sites with Google+ social proof activity and (2) the effectiveness of Google+ Pages (business pages) to enable businesses to extend their reach into new and existing markets.

    If Google does both of those things than Google+ will be a success. Will it be the new Facebook – No it won’t. In fact, it shouldn’t try to be the new Facebook but should offer something different that is not found on Facebook that users will find useful and valuable.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Lana – This was filmed about 5 weeks ago at BlogWorld

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Mallory,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I agree that Facebook is king when it comes to social media.  However you can’t overlook what the fact that Jesse has written books about both platforms (in fact 3 on Facebook) and has unique insights that many don’t without his depth of knowledge and experience.

    Google+ IS indeed a social network.  It is growing very fast (50 million this quick is nothing to ignore).

    If anything, I think the competition will result in a better experience for users on both platforms.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey William – I agree with much of what you said.  AND content will be the key that businesses can use to stand out in the future.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Douglas – There is know question that Google+ has already succeeded.  Indeed Google’s future fully depends on it.  They are investing massively to integrate it across all of their properties (which combined exceed that of Facebook–people forget about YouTube).

  • Ty

    But when did you wife/mom start using Facebook? 5 years ago like me?  Or within the past year like my dad?  And why did they start using it?  Because they genuinely were interested in what it had to offer?  Or because “everyone else was on it,” like my dad said?  

    My bet is your wife/mom (ok, let’s generalize: most non-tech savvy wifes/moms) started using Facebook *because* it had already reached critical mass.

  • Ty

    I see Facebook as a destination, whereas Google+’s end goal is to be a layer that underlies much of what you do on the web.  Simple as that.  With Facebook, you login, logout, and your’e done with the experience.  Google+ will (ultimately) integrate with many/most of Google’s existing services (Blogger, Youtube, Docs, to name but a few) as well as new ones that we haven’t even be exposed to yet.  The ‘Facebook’ aspect of Google+ is but one (soon to be) small portion of what Google+ strives to become.

  • Greg Allbright

    Adoption due to peer pressure.  Fair point. The wife was on before that, about late 2007, the my Mom, probably in the last year.  The difference is that they have to have a reason to leave Facebook and join Google+, which will mean everyone will have to do that as well.  I sense people are pretty settled on Facebook, that’s all they want in their lives and don’t want to change. Myspace is not a good example of people leaving one platform for another b/c SM was too new to know what we were getting into.

    The fun part of this debate is that we won’t know for some time whether G+ comes close to matching FB adoption rates.

  • Ty

    To expand on a comment I left lower down (while responding to yours at the same time, Greg): I believe people make the mistake of thinking the end goal of Google+ is to become the *new* Facebook; the idea that Google+ somehow has to offer just a bit more than Facebook to make people “switch.” As I said below, I think that’s but a small part of Google’s overall plan.  To me, Facebook is as good as it’s going to get.  Sure, they roll out a new feature here and there, but are they going to expand into other areas?  Docs? Youtube competitor? Search engine?  Blogging platform?  No.  Facebook.com will forever remain a single website; a walled garden.  Google, on the other hand, can and will take Google+ in all of these directions and then some.  My bet (yes, another bet) is that within a year, your wife/mother will be using (or contributing to the success of) Google+ in some aspect without even know it.  And that will be the true genius of G+: It will know no boundaries.

  • http://staynalive.com/ Jesse Stay

    I think you’d find Google+ Hangouts are just as simple, and even cheaper for group chat, and even more feature-rich. Give it a try – you may be surprised!

  • http://staynalive.com/ Jesse Stay

    You should try tools such as Hootsuite to manage your presence across multiple networks. It will simplify things for you greatly.

  • http://staynalive.com/ Jesse Stay

    It’s all about how you use the tool. Google+ isn’t going away – it’s good to start now and build your audience than be stuck competing against people that have already been here for awhile in the future. You can engage an audience on any network. The brands that are trying are seeing success here. You just have to use the tools right. This interview is as applicable now as it was 5 weeks ago.

  • http://staynalive.com/ Jesse Stay

    There is one thing Google+ has that no other network has (among others): Google. As long as you’re a Google user and want a greater presence on Google products, it’s to your benefit to use Google+. Google+ is a social network now. In the future, as will Facebook and most social networks out there now, it will just be another “feature” of the web, and more specifically Google products.

  • http://staynalive.com/ Jesse Stay

    I’ll tell you what William – if you read my book and don’t learn anything from it, I’ll Paypal you your money back. I’m not sure how this is outdated info – I agree with what you are saying.

  • http://www.coydavidson.com/ Coy Davidson

    I am much more skeptical. Unless G+ can get more mainstream business people to come and stay its not going to take off. Right now its full of tech geek bloggers having petty arguments about cell phones. Mainstream pops in, yawns and leaves.I can only look at so many HDR photos. Right now the value proposition for brands and business people is the suspicion that G+ will produce better search rankings.

    The other really successful social networks i.e. facebook or twitter didn’t have periods where activity dropped off so dramatically like G+. They get a spike after a major new feature is introduced then it drops off. I hear wait till its out of beta, wait until brand pages are introduced…now wait until its integrated with GoogleWhatevah.

    Circles and Hangout are nice but not differentiators. Google has produced a nice product with G+ but they are not attracting the mainstream. In the beginning I thought they would. Now I am not so sure.

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  • http://www.e-crm.co.uk Jim Bath

    How can you hate facebook but love twitter?? Twitter is simply a less personal, less involving version of facebook!

  • Stacy_Lynn

    So I can ‘dig’ all the ways Jesse is telling us Google+ is different, superior, or more cross-functional than Facebook. 

    What’s not addressed is NO ONE IS ON GOOGLE+.  Unless he or Google can figure out a way to migrate all of my friends and contacts to Google+, I ain’t going.  I could care less about catering to my circles and Android phone integrations; I want to BE social with social media, not ACT social.

    Google+ is for people who want to ACT social. 

    Hopefully, I will be proven wrong.  If Google+ does well, we’ll add another ‘float’ button to our website (capitolmomentum.com) once the new version is up and running.   

    One thing I do like about Google+ is this: it’s keeping Facebook on its toes.

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  • http://geeklesstech.com/ Steven Hughes

    Say What? Not a chance…Great for Photographers, but that’s were it ends.  Been on it since Day 1.  All the Geeks that said it would takeover FB was laughable. It’s not happening.   
    You’re not going to get the average user over there. Why would they move from FB?  It was a big enough challenge to get them on FB in the first place.  FB is on another planet. Go to 100 sites that have Social Media buttons. Take a look where the numbers are: Twitter, FB, and LinkedIn.  People aren’t sharing on G+, that’s if the site even has a G+ button.  Maybe this article would have had some buy-in around July, but not a chance now. They lost the fight already, they best get back to the drawing board.

  • http://twitter.com/buzzquotient buzzquotient

    Interesting interview with Jesse! He said that Google+ and Facebook are in fierce competition but in my opinion Facebook is way ahead of Google+ in the social media race. Facebook has a large user base as compared to Google+ and most of these users actually use it everyday unlike registered Google+ users who only sign in to check out new offerings from Google being integrated in G+ and do not really use them. 

  • Robert Gilmour

    Can someone please clarify the commercial propositions here, and in that respect compare, contrast and distinguish the potential commercial benefits of Facebook and Google+

  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce-magento Henry Louis

    I like Facebook and Google+. And I have gained lot of interesting points by watching this video. Thanks for sharing. Keep updating.

  • Dgenis

    Seems excellent to me. As all analytics are integrated as a matter of course then G+ will act as the perfect one-stop-shop…
    Only thing to be wary of is the virtual monopoly created by Google/Facebook, I guess.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Robert,

    Here you go:

    Google+: Search engine benefits
    Facebook: Large audience

    It’s that simple :)

  • Robert Gilmour

    I wish! Try taking that to a board meeting. I need a target ROI, at the very least.

  • http://twitter.com/TrafficChess Traffic Chess

    I often have to separate myself as a marketer from that of an everyday user to objectively consider such debates. For me, as an every day user, I was a late adapter to both Facebook & Twitter. I reluctantly joined both – in fact, in both cases initiated use because of work and then adopted to personal use. I can say with confidence, I’d just as well be done with social media than add/switch to yet another platform. So until Facebook goes away, I’m not looking to add any other sites/platforms to my activities.

    I have a feeling that sentiment is shared by many of those “wife/mom/dad” types as described by others here.

    As a marketer, I’ll likely dabble in + to understand it and be prepared should I encounter a business scenario where it could be beneficial.

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    My apologies if it seemed as though I was dismissing his insight. It was not my intent. I simply disagree with his view.

    As for my comments about it not being a “social network”, I am was referencing the original intent of Google+. As a Current Google OMC instructor and former employee, I am aware of the ongoing plight of Google (Adwords) to have the means by which to gain more information about its users.

    Google was hitting a wall of sorts when it came to targeting information. They needed users to stay logged in order to be able to obtain more general information and therefore have more targeting options to offer advertisers. Gmail provided somewhat of a draw to keep individuals logged in, but Google was missing a key factor- they didn’t have basic demographic information or information about what these people’s likes or interests were. Welcome Google+.

    In this way, Google and Facebook differ because of the original intent. Facebook was something cool. Google+ is a strategic move by Google to amp up Adwords.

    At this point, I still fail to see Google+ as competition. Perhaps in the future, I will be swayed to change my mind.

    Social media changes… dare I say in real time? :)

  • David Miron

    I must say that on a professional level I dislike the idea of having to deal with yet another SM platform, but I feel that involvement there will probably not hurt my company site’s SEO, and position me well, if in fact the project does lift off. I wanted to know what people think is the best way to keep tabs on the all of the changes taking place on Google+ so that I am not left too far behind. 

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Robert – Do a search on our site for return on investment.  There is a ton of work that has been written here on this.  It is applicable to any social network.

  • Robert Gilmour

    Michael, I know and I do appreciate this, I’ve read literally hundreds of articles on this trying to find a formula, or set of formulae or metrics models to apply commercially and i’m still looking. there are about as many definitions of ROI as there are articles and this is a source of great frustration to the travel industry in practice i can tell you,i hear if from travel providers and hoteliers every day.

  • Brian Clark

    William, I appreciate your passion, but you’re a little off the mark on some things regarding “social” search.

    First of all, “keywords” are simply the language people use when they search. Just because Google is taking into account more social signals as indicators of quality doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to match up the language people use when searching with the language used on web pages. Furthermore, it’s always smart to understand the language your audience uses regardless of search engine rankings — that’s just a solid communication practice. It’s not just some “SEO” thing.

    Second, when you say “So it makes sens (sic) that algorithms would favor what the PEOPLE say/share about you,” you seem to think this is a new development. The Google algorithm has always been based on what people say and share about you. That’s what links are supposed to represent, and that’s what the original Page Rank was based on. Since links can be gamed and bought, and because social networks have become hugely influential for content sharing, of course Google will take them into account. They have for years, actually. Google+ simply represents direct sharing data for Google that can be combined with other algorithmic elements including links and site usage data.

    Hope this helps.

  • Gerry Praysman

    This is a tough call. I think G+ is doing some good things – some even better than Facebook (UI, privacy, etc.) but here’s the point: it’s not enough.

    It’s not so much that one is better than the other. The crux is that one has pretty much everyone on it, familiar with how it works, and addicted, while the other is tasked with doing something EXTRAORDINARY to get those very same people to either move or split their time between the two. In my opinion, G+ isn’t cutting it right now. It may do some things better for me, but it’s not going to get me to leave FB (where all of my friends and brands are – who probably feel the same way).

    If G+ could reel in everyone who I’m connected to and allow me to maintain my relationships the same way within a moment, then I would probably switch over. But they can’t do this because everyone feels the same way and they need everyone to march forward simultaneously – not one at a time.

  • http://www.brandignity.com/ Brandignity

    At the moment it’s really too early to give an opinion on Google+ but from what I’ve seen so far in my company, Google+ is more of a business minded social media application rather than recreational one like Facebook however, in this industry that can change “in the blink of an eye.”  

  • Talking Finger

    I think you misunderstand me. What I meant is that your website will no longer the hub it once was. In the past, your website was the main online presence that would get ranked. Now your website gets ranked according to the outbound links as well as the website. In time, your website wont matter as your facebook page or G+ page becomes ranked even higher than your website. The main idea is that your website will no longer be the main way people can find you.

  • http://amyhall.biz/ Amy Hall

    I totally agree with Michael… I’ve received HUGE search engine benefits by being on Google+… I’m not totally sure if the benefits are from the social network or because me Google account has been fully filled out and keyword optimized. My website is less that 3 months old and I already have an amazing Alexa ranking! I’m loving me some Google+!!!
    Amy Hall http://AmyHall.biz

  • Debbs Hosting

    I agree with J.Smallwood. The rise and fall of a social media is just a part of the cycle. People followed twitter then Facebook now google+.

  • Robert Gilmour

    Debbie, I agree. And its what you can achieve commercially with Google+ that you can’t with Twitter (especially) and Facebook that just might make it a gamechanger

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