Thankfully, it’s only a question clients have asked me a handful of clients since Google launched its latest attempt at a social network.
My simple answer is, no. Don’t waste your time. Get sorted with Facebook first, then YouTube, then Twitter and if you’re excelling at these and still have time, venture over to check out Google Plus.
Facebook in Australia still dominates with over 10 million users. YouTube is the second most visited site with 11 million unique visitors per month and Twitter and LinkedIn both have around 2 million Aussie users. Google Plus on the other hand only has around 500,000 users in Australia. And from my personal experience most Google Plus users have signed up and not bothered to go back to spend any time on the site.
Given Google’s huge reach on the Internet everyone had high expectations of Plus and their ‘selected users only’ roll out created a lot of initial hype. So why hasn’t is taken off and why shouldn’t you be wasting your time just yet?
The simple answer is, too little too late. Plus has little that Facebook doesn’t have already and the idea of starting over with a new social network is exhausting even for the social network lovers out there like myself. And besides, all our friends are on Facebook! There’s no way users are giving up Facebook completely, so having a Plus profile just means double the work!
So for a business, why would you be spending time on Google Plus when there’s a greater more active audience on Facebook? There’s just no real reason at the moment for wasting time on Plus.
However.. there are Hangouts.
The ONLY things that Google has that Facebook hasn’t caught up on yet is the Hangouts features. A nifty little tool that allows users to ‘hangout’ via webcam with other Google Plus users. This is a great feature for businesses that want to engage users with video and have the time to have a weekly ‘hangout’ with their followers. Consider having a 15-minute question answering hangout or a feature product hangout. Video is a great way to really engage users.
However, if history has taught us anything it won’t be too long before Facebook integrates something similar into their own business pages. Never shy to copy great ideas, I predict new business pages rolling out soon with new features that include group video chat.
What about SEO?
Off course, any online profile with your details and website links will assist in your SEO efforts. But Google Plus might be changing the game with their recent announcement that Google will be pushing items from Plus up to the top of search engine rankings. A move that will take away from other social networks and boost traffic on Plus. Does this mean its suddenly more necessary to have content on Plus? Will the smaller user base give you a higher chance on your content being seen? Perhaps. But it’s still not enough to get me spending any time there and I don’t recommend you break your heart trying it either.
Written by Social Media expert Ashleigh Johnson, connect with her @AbsolutelyAshly