Google+ works: An open apology for my first impression
Ah, Google+. How wrong I was. I admit I was not a fan. At first. But you’ve turned my head.
Six months ago, I wrote an article about the limited value of Google+, highlighting three points on why “Google+ isn’t Google-worthy.” While my first two points (barrier to entry, and cooking the books) are still valid, they are trivial to the actual usefulness of Google+. My last point was where I really missed the mark. I talked about providing value and partnerships, and my impression at the time was that Google+ wasn’t hitting the mark. Here’s what I should have said…
Google+ is providing value. It isn’t the same as Facebook, and that’s okay. There is a community on Google+ that is alive, rich, and ready to share. The referral traffic, SEO enhancements, and auto-hashtagging are also nice benefits. I fell trap to my own impatience when I originally wrote my article in July of 2013. That is, I was kept out by the barrier-to-entry issues, namely educating myself on what it takes to excel in Google+.
After my first article appeared, I was presented with some poignant points on why I just wasn’t getting it. Pride aside, I dug deeper. I’m glad I did, because I discovered a vibrant community with endless information to share. I’m also grateful for those who pushed me to get past the barrier. So who is Google+ useful for? In my experience, it’s become a great resource for connecting with industry peers and businesses. Although the Copperfox Google+ account is quite small, it’s a great spot for me to gather content.
In an attempt to make up for my first rebuff, I would like to share the best way to overcome the initial barriers when joining Google+.
Google+ benefits lie in consistency
Rhythm can go a long way in social; this is especially true of Google+. By consistently posting, you’ll find that your circle of meaningful connections will grow. Stick within your niche. For me, this was sharing content in the public relations and digital marketing world.
Grow your circles cautiously
When I revived my involvement with Google+, I joined a social media circle with some 300 users. I thought it was a shortcut to great content, but it really ended up just being endless posts on memes and car pics. Do your research on the circles you are about to follow. Find a handful of users that you admire (friends, colleagues, industry personalities) and grow your list based on those who interact with your short-list. If it’s a trusted connection, odds are good that they have curated a strong circle that you may be able to add.
The idea that a reader values my opinion enough to either read my blog or even take action per my advice isn’t something I take lightly. This is the reason I thought it necessary to correct my original blog post – my readers deserve the best, even when it means admitting I’m wrong. If you have any questions about how to use Google+ or just want to say, “told you so,” be sure to leave a comment. Thanks for continuing to read the Copperfox blog.
EDIT: Thanks for all of the support! It’s been an unexpected joy. Please have a look at my latest thoughts on crisis management in relation to this – “Apologizing on the Internet.”
Contributed by Steve Martin