I often speak on Social Media to business people (generally accountants and suppliers to accountants). But I don’t talk about Google+ 

[I wrote this post in October 2011. Looking back on it in December 2013 I noted that nothing has happened to change my view – yet!]

Here’s why:

1 – It is too new: I do not think that my audiences need to be at the forefront of the newest social media fads. IF Google+ becomes an established alternative to LinkedIn for professional business audiences THEN I will discuss it in detail during my talks. Until and unless THEIR target audiences  (clients, prospects and referrers) are engaged on Google+ there is no need for them or me to spend time on this new platform.

2 – Walk don’t run: To date very few in my audiences are already engaged to any material extent with social media. Some have registered profiles on Linkedin or twitter but they don’t yet USE them effectively. Anyone who is going to dip their toes into social media is best off starting to experiment with these established tools. Some may try facebook business pages or ecademy. The choice should be determined, as I’ve already noted, by considering where your target audience is and engaging with them there.

3 – Horses for courses: To date, the only people I have encountered who are USING Google+ are IT geeks and those who are promoting social media and/or marketing – in a generic way. These people are not my audience and no one in my audience wants to do more than to use social media for marketing their own business. I know this isn’t the right motivation but I accept it is the reason for their interest. I always explain that Social Media is NOT a new broadcast medium. In any event, the more established social media sites are where my audience should start experimenting, not the newest latest fad.

4 – Damn statistics – I don’t care that over 40 million people registered for Google+. This is very different from the number of people who REALLY use Google+.  In fact the stats tell us that only a small proportion of that 40m are using Google+ to any real extent. I guess many are like me. I registered and had a look when it was launched in July 2011. I went back once or twice and then stopped bothering. Much as I did with Google Buzz when that launched. By the way I understand that Buzz has recently been killed off.

5 – It’s not for me – The bottom line is that I think it’s unlikely I’ll be using Google+ for business anytime soon. The only people I know using Google+ are people I am already connected with on other social media platforms. Why do I (or they) need to be connecting and interacting on a new platform as well?  Is there a good enough reason to migrate across to a new platform, to learn new techniques and build new habits? I think not. Indeed, even if there were some fantastic new amazing features only available with Google+ I would still not want to be a pioneer.  They seem to be lonely.

Listening to a Social Media Podcast recently I found myself agreeing with the expert contributors: It’s unlcear what Google+ is FOR. By comparison, and I appreciate this is simplistic: Facebook is for friends and fun; Twitter is for fast news and insights; and Linkedin is for business and CVs. Until there is a similar simple way to express what Google+ is for and thus a compelling reason to use Google+ I won’t be advocating it to my audiences and I’m comfortable that they won’t be missing out.

What do you think?

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