Chris Brogan and Guy Kawasaki are big believers in Google Plus. So much so that they think businesses should get started today, while Google Plus is evolving. Don’t wait for everything to be figured out by Google…and by your competitors!
How Does Google Plus Compare To Facebook?
According to Guy Kawasaki, Facebook is for connecting with people that you already know, like friends and family. Google Plus is for finding people who share your passions but who you don’t know yet. He goes so far to say that Google Plus is ushering in a new era.
“Google Plus is to Facebook like Macintosh is for Windows!” Guy Kawasaki
Why Google Plus Will Last
Despite it’s very strong start, Google Plus has its share of doubters and critics. Why will Google Plus succeed? The answer from Guy and Chris is “yes” and here’s why:
1) Facebook’s sharing system is inferior: In Facebook, due to Edgerank, the system only shows your content to a portion of your connections (and they have to be online to see it). This means that only a small portion of your connections will actually ever see your content. In Google Plus, everyone who’s following you can see your content.
2) You can segment your connections: With Circles (in Google Plus) you can gather people into groups based on interests. You can share or read based on those circles. (Guy admits that he has two settings with Google Plus – “off” or “on” to everyone. He doesn’t use Circles differently).
3) Many established systems had doubters and critics in the beginning: Google has tremendous resources, a lot of levers it can use and has the resolve to make it work. In addition, it is actively marketing the service by inviting Gmail and Google Search users to join and it is shipping about 500K Android phones/day (Kawasaki estimate).
4) Twitter has become less engaging: It’s hard to notice and respond to mentions of you in Twitter (“@ mentions”). The method Google Plus uses to mention mentions leads to greater engagement. Guy thinks Twitter will become more like a news stream.
5) It takes some time for people to “get” new platforms: Guy thought Twitter was terrible for the first 30 days and then, after understanding it, he ended up loving it. He thinks Google Plus is easier to use than Twitter and that those who get to know Google Plus will like it.
6) Many new platforms and products are incomplete and not all thought through in the beginning: Facebook, Twitter, and Apple all evolved, changed and improved.
How Businesses Can Get Started With Google Plus
Google Plus does not currently have business pages [update: business pages are available now, but use the tips below for your profile!] and doesn’t allow profiles to be used with business names. So how does a business use Google Plus? Advice from Guy and Chris:
1) Jump in and start practicing with a personal account. Get through much of the learning curve now. Be a representative of your business (but realize it’s not a business page or account)
2) Get your profile right. Set up your profile with your company name clearly listed and with links to your business site Don’t put “self-employed”! Make sure you have a good, professional picture.
3) You need to develop relationships before sales. Start to connect and build relationships. Connect with people who share passions with you (and there are people with “an infinite number of interests” on Google Plus)
4) Use Google Plus to get links out there (e.g. links to content from your company)
5) Get +1’s for your content. Although it’s not clear that Google has completely figured out the meaning and usage of +1 yet, it’s better than nothing!
6) Provide value to your connections. Start to “earn the privilege” of marketing to them (like NPR provides value so Guy will sit through the pledge drives)
7) Be creative. Michael Dell and Sergey Brin do live video hangouts; John Herman has a game show hangout and is actually sponsored! There’s another person doing a home cooking show!
8) Use it for search engine rankings. Google doesn’t index Facebook or Twitter Tweets. Google Plus gets indexed right away.
9) Do it as a land grab. Past experiences on previous platforms have shown that people who get in early can get a nice advantage in terms of getting connections and mind share.
10) Get ready for Business Pages. Get set up and ready for when Business Pages are released.
Tools For Google Plus?
It’s new so there haven’t been a lot of tools developed for Google Plus yet. Here are some recommendations from Guy and Chris:
- FindPeopleOnPlus.com – use this to find people on Google Plus
- Google Chrome browser – because Google Plus is new, things work better with Google’s own browser
- Replies and More For Google Plus (a Chrome browser extension) – “it changed my life” (Guy). This Google Chrome extention puts in a “plus mention” automatically on your replies, so it saves a lot of time if you do a lot of interacting on Google Plus. Right now, Chrome is the best browser
Other Social Media Tools
In addition, here are some tools for Twitter the Guy recommends.
- Buffer App – (caveat – not for Google Plus yet) – For Facebook and Twitter – you can post content to BufferApp and it will schedule and post it during the time window and at the interval you set.
- Hibari App – a Twitter app that Guy likes. It does filtering and mutes users amongst other things.
Google Plus will be used in unanticipated ways. For example, the Mac team focused on spreadsheets and word processing, but Aldus Pagemaker was the surprise killer app! Stop procrastinating and get started today by setting up your profile, finding those connections and start enchanting them! Be in place and ready as the platform evolves in ways that can help you market your business better. Or, better yet, create new ways to market your business on Google Plus that others haven’t thought of yet!
** This presentation was held at Blog World LA on November 4, 2011 **
See Chris Brogran’s post on Start Now with Google Plus
See my other Blog World LA Posts:
- 19 Tips From Peter Shankman’s Awesome Blog World Keynote
- Eye Candy – Video and Pictures From Blog World LA
- Interview With Joe Pulizzi on Content Marketing