The Google+ Situation: Fast Growth But Low Engagement

Google+: Fast Growth but Low Engagement When it comes to Google+, it seems like you either love it or hate it. Some people have really embraced it and others have totally ignored it or took it for a spin and never came back.

But what’s the situation for Google+ today? We seem to get a lot of information about how other platforms like Pinterest are doing but Google+ is always a little mysterious.

There are 3 recent events that will give you a better idea. Most importantly, it can help you make a decision on whether or not you or your business should include the platform in your social media strategy.

1 –  Growth

Larry Page recently announced Google+ has reached the 100 million active user mark.

There are 2 different points of view here. On one hand counting number of users seems to be how we measure success for a social network. It’s not, at least not the only element to consider. But on the other hand, the number of active users is at least telling you that there is an audience, there is a market to tap. This is what concerns you.

100 million users is not a small number. People underestimate this number because 1) It’s Google, they already own the Internet and 2) Facebook has 1 billion users, even if statistics point at a much faster rate, people still like to compare.

2 – Forced Users

The idea of forcing Google+ to its users through other products is something that has generated some controversy in the social web. For example, when you create a Google account, you automatically get a Gmail account and a Google+ profile.

Then you have the integration into other products, which sounds like the natural process to follow. The problem is that it is creating some discomfort in people. Wil Wheaton wrote about the Google+ Like button replacing the Thumbs Up on YouTube and how the user is being pushed to upgrade (even if it was only a test). Sure, maybe it doesn’t sound like such a big deal but it is. YouTube Thumbs Up is essential in marketing your content, specially if you run a high profile YouTube show.

In other words, some people say the numbers in terms of growth are questionable and some say the practices for user acquisition are more than annoying and pushy.

3 – Low Engagement

And lastly, the report just published by RJ Metrics with data indicating that Google+ has weak user engagement.

There is some very interesting data here:

  • The average post generates less than one “+1”
  • The average post generates less than one share
  • The average post generates less than one reply
  • 15% of people who published five posts don’t come back
  • The average time between posts is 12 days

Now, the fact that these figures are extremely low does not mean your case will be at that level. Here is an example of a post from Mari Smith with 34 +1’s, 18 shares and 8 comments.

Mari Smith post on Google+

When I asked folks on the SocialMouths Facebook Page, the response was drastic, either “it’s working for me” or “I get no engagement”. no gray areas. Either people have given up or never even tried it and a few people that are getting good results.

Thoughts from the SocialMouths Facebook Community

We tend to compare engagement between Google+ and Facebook, I think we should definitely compare, this is marketing after all. What we should not do is have the same expectations, Facebook is an established media platform and you probably had much more time to build community.

And a bonus point, something that probably doesn’t have too much impact in why engagement is low but still a valid point that I’m sure is in the way for some of us in how we interact with Google+.

The Multiple Google Accounts Mumbo Jumbo

Dealing with multiple Gmail or Google Apps accounts can be the ultimate nightmare. I don’t know if this issue is considered low priority over at Google HQ but it prevents a lot of users from being active in a natural way. Let me explain…

I have 2 Google Apps accounts, one for SocialMouths and for Plural, there is no way around it. Then I have a personal Gmail account, which I used to create my Google+ profile when it launched. To spin your head a little more, I’m a Google Chrome user, which should make this easier but it doesn’t.

This means that I have to either toggle between accounts or use multiple browser windows and sign in with different accounts. I can’t even give a +1 to a post on a blog without going through all this mess, so I don’t.

That right there is the reason I can’t be more active on Google+ and I’m sure there are other people out there with the same issue.

Final Word

In my opinion, Google+ should not be off your radar, it should definitely be included in your social strategy taking the following considerations:

  • If there is a discrepancy in the total number of active users, it does not matter. It’s clear that Google+ is not small
  • Engagement doesn’t happen overnight, lower your expectations for now and go to work. Stop comparing with Facebook

If you are in the middle of the multiple account jungle and you find out how to fix it… let me know!

How About You?

It’ll be great if could share your own experience, add a comment and tell us if you are getting engagement, if you are getting any traffic back to your site or blog. Also, how active are you? how often do you post?

  • I have definitely abandoned it and decided my time was better spent engaging people with other social media. My biggest issue is that I don’t see it becoming mainstream at any point as I find the UI to be unintuitive and I’m online all the time.

    It’s a risk with the direction to incorporate it into search but early adopters are dropping like flies, I’m hoping it goes the way of Buzz and Wave.

  • Timothy Day

    Well summed up.  

    I too have the same multiple accounts issue. It’s a real pain and every so often I get caught out whilst uploading our daily videos to youtube.  I guess like me, it’s not that you wouldn’t / couldn’t do the work arounds, it’s just that there’s enough to do elsewhere making this sort of investment in your time not yet justified.  

    Also as you’ll see from this post. Google forces you to have a name that it believes is a person and hence I made up the the name Timothy Day for this account. You can’t have the names This or ThisDay!

    Mark
    Every day, videos from ThisDayToday.com deliver a fact and a funny, in under a minute.

  • I love it very much, particularly the new iPhone app BUT I have the same issue as you re the multiple accounts. It’s driving me crazy. 
    And worse, the missing API. G+ just doesn’t integrate with any of the 3rd party apps because of that. If I could Buffer away to G+ you’d see a lot more engagement from my side on it and I bet I’m not the only one. 

    Those are two biggies in my point of view. Once they are solved it’ll take off quickly. 

    I find it hugely unfair to compare to Facebook, they’ve been around for 5 years already! And oh my word, how clunky was FB in the beginning…… 
    I see G+ as a mixture of Twitter and LinkedIn a bit, and it has a place as such for me. More lasting than Twitter and a lot more fun than LI. Let’s hope it becomes userfriendly soon. 

    PS: do not underestimate the power of showing up in search, even if many people search not logged in, many do…. It’s a must to at least have an optimized profile. 

  • Interesting article Francisco, thanks. We launched as a tour operator at the very beginning of the year, so we set up pages on FB and Google+ simultaneously. I must admit at first the attraction of Google+ was for SEO as much as social reasons. What’s been interesting is that our two pages are running neck and neck, both in terms of followers and engagement, despite the fact that I already had more than 450 friends on FB and knew absolutely no one on Google+. The content we’ve shared has been similar, though Google+’s themed photography days are great for a tour operator in a very beautiful part of the world! The use of hashtags on Google+ also enables us to reach people who would probably never find us on FB.

  • I like it; not so much for the Brand’s I manage however. For personal and professional use as a Social Media Manager it serves well to connect with like minded people and to share relevant posts. 
    For Brands the demographics just are not there yet. That should not dissuade Brands from setting up pages, something I stress heavily with my clients. The SEO capabilities of the G+ page is well worth the lack of engagement in the current space. The more and more people/users invest in G+ the better it will be.
    The interface, options, and layout are superior-it’s the engagement that lacks. Sometimes, with the friends I have on Facebook, that is quite alright with me.

  • Still using G+. Referral traffic is almost non-existent and I get healthy referral traffic from FB, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also not much engagement on G+. For a B2B service pr0vider outside of Tech, the active user base is just too narrow at this point.  I have not pulled the plug on G+, but it is struggling for traction with the mainstream no matter what the Google PR department states.

  • Bruce Bates

    The problem is there is no way to measure some of the things being said here, and whats worse some of these things are flat out untruthful. 

    For starters its untrue that thumbs up and thumbs down has been replaced. I have shown countless screenshots that prove the thumbs up and thumbs down are right there on every video just as they always were. Pick any video on youtube and I can tell you the exact number of thumbs up and thumbs down it gets. 

    Now lets move on to the interaction. Google is set up for privacy. That means there is no correct way to measure user activity. Unlike facebook where most people post to the public, google promoted G= as a means of sharing what you want with who you want. 

    There reason the average user only has one post, is because the average user is only displaying to the public at large a post that say “User XYZ has updated their profile picture” everything else is being shared with private circles and private contacts. 

    It strikes me as odd how often people scream about facebook privacy because anyone can find out about anything involve a facebook user, but then when a social network comes along to fix that, people swear the user activity is low. Well of course its low, you can’t see everything about anyone like you can on facebook. 

    The entire premise of google+ being a ghosttown, is being made by outssiders looking in with no connection of their own. 

  • Hey Bruce, thanks for the comment.

    Just to clear up what type of accounts are being considered, it’s only public posts. This is extracted from the RJ Metrics site:

    “We began by selecting a population of 40,000 random Google Plus users. For each user, we downloaded their entire public timelines (which consist of all publicly-visible activities for that user). Only one third of the users in our population had any public activity, so this sub-set of the population is the main focus of many of our statistics.”

    I also want to point out that I’m not an outsider looking in, I have been a user since the beginning. Now, what I’m doing in this post is point out the recent events in media. And if you read the entire post, I actually recommend using Google+.

    The issue with the Thumbs Up IS true, Google claims it was test and I say that in the post but it did happen. Please don’t say it’s “flat out untruthful”. 

  • James Todman

    For me it would make a huge difference if Google+ could be integrated with social media management platforms such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite.

  • Interesting article, Francisco.
    The RJ Metrics study (and others) are looking only at public posts, which provides a horribly incomplete metric for the G+ system, which is designed to channel communication into _private_ circles.  In fact, after reading the RJ Metrics survey, I started an informal one of my own on G+ asking people what their engagement average is for their PRIVATE posts.  Early results show the majority of people post privately and seem to have fairly good engagement withint those circles.  (Anyone interested can see this thread here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/109054447517972971749/posts/FAi6MxZq6Jo)
    As to using G+ for marketing, I see a lot of the private circle communications creating massive engagement around things like Kickstarter projects, special events, and offers pertainent to a circle’s specific interests. It shouldn’t be difficult to turn this engagement towards other marketing goals. I think the missing ingredient here is for social media marketers to figure out when it is better to grow a large (interest-specific) private circle and foster interaction in that vector, either in place of or in addition to using a business page.  I’m surprised at many of the comments I’m reading in response to my survey, in particular the *reluctance* many people have to respond to or engage with public posts (!). Many specifically _avoid_ commenting on the public content, or completely ignore whatever is in a public channel. The message here is that G+ers are more privacy sensitive and want to have person- and interest-specific discussions, not be recipients of broadcast pitches of any sort.
    “Relationship building” seems key to breaking into this marketplace.

  • Hey Coy, thanks for bringing up the topic of traffic generation, if anybody wants to add to that it will be great.

    In my case other networks like Pinterest and StumbleUpon generate significantly more traffic than Google+. 

  • Hey William,

    I agree with you, engagement on Pages is even lower than in personal profiles but the SEO benefits are reason enough to keep working at it and as more users join, engagement should improve.

    I said before, I love the interface and the technology, even more than Facebook.

    Thanks for your comment =)

  • Bruce Bates

    Hi Francisco, thanks for replying. I should add a bit more to my comments. 

    My remarks about the thumbs up and thumbs down I was actually referring to the original thread you linked to, which I had addressed on G+ moments after that post was made. You are correct it was a test and rolled out only for a select few users based on a few Google subscriptions (as is how google always roles things out)

    Also you are correct in your assumption, I had scanned through the thread and only read a few paragraphs here and there as I am accustomed to doing, and sometimes that comes back to haunt me…. this being one of those times. I will properly go back and read it after I make this reply. I am truly sorry for not completely reading it as I should have. 

    Finally I do want to point out, what no one seems to want to really talk about is what I call a true reach. Thats what most stats are missing when they compare using facebook to using google+. If I share a post on facebook (I have less than 1000 connections on facebook) I get a staggering 20 to 30 page visits resulting from that share, on Google+ I have over 5000 connections AND have to use the notifications option to reach those same 20 to 30 visits. 

    However, what I can tell you absolutely is that when I make a post on facebook, I get my 20 to 30 visitors, and thats where it ends. Sometimes a few shares will get me more visitors over time, but overall the people who directly see my post are the ones visiting my site. 

    With Google+ thats NOT the case… with Google+ I make a post and get my immediate viewers, and then suddenly I start seeing a flood of traffic from google search. Suddenly people I am not connected with start finding my posts in search because their connections +1 something creating a trickle down search effect. 

    Facebook IMO can’t possible compete with this, especially over long term statistics. With facebook I constantly have to reshare the same articles over and over to keep the flow going, because of google+ integration with google search, this is not the case. 

    Now time for me to go read every word in this article. Tanks again for replying. 

  • That’s actually very good experience, being able to track growth and performance since both Pages were launched at the same time, thanks for sharing this.

    You’re also bringing up a good point, many brands are basically mirroring content between the two platforms, do you expect to run completely different strategies for each in the future?

    Thank for sharing! 

  • Bettina,

    Yes! the iPhone App definitely improved things.

    In regards to the 3rd Party integration, I prefer to post directly, I do on Facebook at least. Not the case with Twitter, where I’m definitely a big @bufferapp:twitter user. Now taking in consideration the issues with multiple accounts, I wouldn’t mind giving that a try if they open the API.

    The point is to be able to participate in an organic way as we do with other networks.

    I appreciate your comment!

  • Mark,

    That’s a good point, the current issues with multiple accounts not only affect how you interact with Google+ but with all related products like YouTube or Google Apps. I hope they’re working on a simple process to marry these accounts.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Google+ is moving in the right direction by gaining more than 100 million active users in it’s first year, the demographic of  Google+ needs to change to even start to compete against Facebook or Twitter.

  • Hey Ayngelina, 

    That’s interesting, you’re definitely not the first person to tell me they prefer to invest their time somewhere else, it is actually very healthy to identify which networks to have presence on and not simply try to be everywhere. Specially if you’re not seeing results.

    But I haven’t seen too many people disliking the interface, other than the initial jokes about the white space. I actually prefer its stream format interface over the Facebook Timeline, specially for Pages, which I still find a little confusing.

    I think G+ will not follow Buzz and Wave to the graveyard, the integration with search is strong enough to survive but we’ll have to wait and see how this develops…

    Thanks for stopping by =) 

  • And I have to say I absolutely agree with you there and think that, even if a person is experiencing low engagement, just the search benefits are enough to continue working.

    I have not yet seen any significant referral traffic from the site itself but I have to be honest and say that I’m not tracking the effect on search close enough to be able to comment on that.

    I do believe this can have a positive impact on extending the lifespan of content published and as you say, see a longer-term benefit. We do know how fast a post can die on Facebook or Twitter.

    Thank you Bruce, I appreciate you coming back.

  • I think you have to realise too that  G+ has some more far reaching benefits than just engagement though. For example, better results in search.

    That aside, I think G+ works for niche communities. In fact, I am interviewing a woman who has made a business from Google+, specifically using Hangouts. This will appear on my blog soon.

    You can make it work, but you need to know your community well.

  • Gregory Garvin

    I actually like Google Plus much more than I did Facebook. I think Facebooks constant changes and many options without direction have people spinning their wheels. I know several businesses and magazines that are not getting a ROI on their store integration. 

    Personally I was on Facebook for 5 years until last August I got to test the timeline feature after integration of that horrid ticker. I saw many issues with the timeline function and hated its operation. A friend had a private conversation posted in a friends ticker which caused personal issues between them. It alerted me to the changes in privacy. I closed my account on Facebook as I have found engagement more international and easier on GooglePlus. 

    I love Circles and conducted Hangouts on behalf of businesses. I see much potential. I love the integrated social feature into Google search. I see social purchasing a much as the future of retail sales and product reviews. Amazon & Yelp have long been the leaders of false reviews or those by angry customers. A future is coming where friends that you trust will be how you are influenced to flex purchasing power.

    Unfortunately, Facebook did the same thing Google is doing to increase its user totals. Maybe you have forgotten that in the initial roll out of Facebook Brand Pages users had to enroll with a different password. I believe that lasted about a year. We had one personal for work as a user then one brand page. It is my belief that Facebook numbers are as inaccurate as I believe their IPO will be after successful lobbying for favors that excuse them from accurate financial reporting & audit requirements as they were favors stuffed in the Jobs Act. 

    The next test will be what I have been encouraging for some time-Facebook Search. Lets see where they take it. What amazes me about Facebook and its users is privacy. Google Search retaining information and/or selling it has been a very big complaint for many years. However, users are willing to turn over phone numbers, pictures and personal information to Facebook, its Third-Party Advertisers and soon onto advertisements across the web. The internet is coming to a who do you trust branding method. I trust Google. I hope continued simplified methods will be retained in all social media.

  • Gregory Garvin

    Actually I believe Hootsuite is integrated with GooglePlus on the paid version only.

  • whenpigsfly

    I have the same problem as you toggling between accounts. I’ve pretty much stopped using my blog’s page and just interact with my personal G+ page. This is mainly due to the fact that this is where people are finding me and adding me into their circles.

    I understand why you chose someone like Mari’s page to highlight but she is not necessarily the “average” user. Well, maybe she is and that’s the problem. She is “social media” so she is the kind of person who will have lots of followers and engagement.  For the rest of us little fish, we’re lucky if we get a +1 or a comment.

    This isn’t to say that we should abandon ship. Google is too big to ignore. But, so far, the “regular” people I know who like social networking refuse to engage. For them, FB is ubiquitous and they don’t have the time or the interest in another network. It will be interesting to see if that changes with more time.
    Jen

  • Francisco,

    Really honest thoughts here and I enjoy that.

    My personal opinion is that Google+ is still so young and I feel from different reading and other sources that the Google umbrella has big plans for G+ and right now they’re not so much worried about engagement.

    I use it… I like it… But I’m not betting the mortgage payment on it just yet.

    Thanks,

    Ryan H.

  • Google+ has emerged as a kind of niche social network.  For the masses, Facebook is still the go to.  It’s a habit that’s hard to break.  Google+ has some great features, but if the majority of your friends aren’t using it- there doesn’t seem to be a point.  

  • Caitlin

    It was my understanding that Google+ brand pages function like Facebook brand pages. You can have multiple ‘admins’ for each page and you can be an ‘admin’ for multiple pages. However, throwing YouTube in the mix does make multiple account management that much more difficult.

  • Some people have really embraced it and others have totally ignored it or took it for a spin and never came back.

  • Last thing I heard is that Hootsuite was one of the approved apps and they made it available for a number of brands. I use the paid version and I don’t have it.

  • Hi Caitlin, I think we are talking about two different things, you are correct in pointing out the multiple admins for Pages. I was referring to individual access when you have multiple Gmail and Apps accounts.

    Then, as you mention, when you start dealing with parallel products like YouTube, this gets really messy. In my case is even worse because sometimes I have to log in client accounts. It’s definitely a time and energy killer…

  • Hey Nick,

    Which is why I’m still much more active on my Facebook Page. But I think this will change with time as more people join.

    I agree with you about the features, I still feel Google+ is a step ahead.

  • Hey Ryan,

    You’re right man, we forget how young it is and we’re setting expectations too high, getting people to engage with us on Facebook and Twitter was also work.

    Thanks for your comment. Just followed you on Twitter and G+ btw.

  • Hey Jen,

    Yeah, the point of showcasing @marismith:twitter was to be clear that the numbers shown in the study are averages, there are individuals reaching higher numbers than that but you are right, Mari will probably trigger the same reaction if she joins any network…

    Interesting point you bring up, I thought about it quite a bit and also remember that @anatrafficcafe:twitter was talking about it, the question of should we use our personal profile or the page, specially for bloggers. 

    I recently changed my badge on the sidebar to experiment. I thought that it will be better to invest on the Page. we don’t know at the moment but, what if in the near future Pages start offering other features like Tabs or Insights?

    Thanks for your comment! 

  • Definitely dude… I think it just a time thing.  I know people get weird when their forced to sign up but as far as functionality it’s my favorite social network… 

    Like everyone I just wish there was more people.  But the people that are on there I have some really good engagement and discussions with.

    Thanks for a great article… and I saw the connections I look forward to more discussion.

    Ryan H.

  • Hey Gregory, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    I gotta be honest, I’m still trying to swallow the Timeline format and find it funny that at the end is Google+ the one with the conventional format that we are ll used to. That been said, I am committed to the Facebook Page and people interact with me there.

    I see the potential also and that’s why I recommend people that are seeing low engagement to hang tight and continue doing work and earn trust in new networking opportunities.

  • Hey Russell,

    Totally, I think the search benefits are reason enough for people to consider staying, even if they are experiencing low engagement at the moment.

    It’ll be great if you come back to share your post once it’s published.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  • No thank you for the great article!!
    Cheers!!

  • Hi Francisco,

    I’ve been curious about Chris Brogan’s book on G+, where he highlights people who’ve had success with the platform. real life case studies that is. Sure sounds like he’s on board ;)I’ve barely jumped into Google+, but the obvious benefit I see is better search rankings. If you share your post there, it’s usually indexed fairly quickly, I’ve read. That’s a good enough reason for business to get on the platform. The “forced users” thing is an issue with many though. I may have more to say if and when I fully embrace it, which I haven’t yet.

  •  I think it entirely depends on the response we get, Francisco. With FB I feel we’re kind of  “locked in” and dependent on reshares in order to grow. Google+ is (surprise surprise!) far more geared to search, and therefore participating in themed photography days and using hashtags can yield much wider results. Knowing what’s trending is also useful: late last night I noticed that #dolphinsarecool was at the top, so I hurriedly shared a relevant video and a photo, both of which gained some resonance 🙂

  • Thanks a bil for the mention Francisco – you rock. Great post. I would so love to see G+ pick up … but I found it fascinating what Shiv Singh Global Head of Digital for PepsiCo Beverages recently said that G+ ‘messed up’ its launch by calling the platform a social network. It’s more to *plus* all our Google product activity. 

  • Thanks for the ping, Jen! 😉 (Fun username!) Ya, interesting point about FB being ubiquitous – true! I think there will always be diehard G+ fans but no matter what, we all have to diversify and meet our marketplace where they’re at. If that’s mostly Facebook then we have to be active there. For me, G+ is too big not to have a modicum of a presence.. same as Pinterest. I have scant time for more than Facebook & Twitter…but I do my best to at least participate a wee bit on these other sites, too. 🙂 

  • In my case Google+ just doesn’t hold any interest for me and I largely ignore it. I certainly don’t give it quality time, but I do keep an eye on it.

  • OscarsMum

    This sums up my experience.  I have a personal Google+ page and one for my blog, but I can’t post to the blog page using the Google+ buttons (it goes to the personal page) I have to manually cut and past.  I only do it when I have time to kill.

  • JamesMattam

    Great article! Very clear and probably accurate to Google Plus’ place in the social media market.

  • Sarah Fuhrmann

    Jen, 

    I started reading these comments to see if anybody has had the same experience I have, and there you were!  I have a business account for my company (@UCanRow2) but I find it’s impossible to get activity there, especially since I can’t follow individuals from that account, so I just use my personal account (+Sarah Fuhrmann) and find followers that way. 

    Also I’ve had to be creative in working to build followers because my primary business – indoor rowing – is a pretty small niche.  So, I’ve circled some obvious potentially interested parties, like personal trainers, and also have had success interacting with people who follow the Paleo diet … which is popular with CrossFitters … who also do a lot of indoor rowing (I also eat Paleo and CrossFit so this is a natural progression for me anyway, so I think that helps.)

    My conclusion is that Google+ requires a lot of creative thinking and is not linear in any sense of the word.  I tell my fitness clients that it may or not be worth the effort, depending on what you do, you just have to try it. If I were a professional photographer I’d be all over it, for the fitness industry I’m not sure yet. 

  • whenpigsfly

     Sarah
    Thanks for commenting on this and reiterating what I’ve been going through. I’ve been interacting a bit more with it (personal account) and have been getting more and more followers but not sure if it’s helping out my blog any. I do add links from my blog to my personal page since no one seems to go to my other page. I think you are right about not being able to key into individuals.

    I keep hoping that people will go to my personal about page and then find the blog. I get a fair amount of interaction on FB so I focus my efforts there. Google+ is not linear and by the time I do get around to it, thinking of creative ways to utilize it is about the last thing I want to do.

    I’m using it more as a way to search for things that might be interesting and possibly connect with some people that I wouldn’t have normally. There’s only so much time in the day.
    Jen

  • Hi Francisco,

    I’ve decided to use automated sharing with Bufferapp for all the content that isn’t of my own creation. 

    My own stuff gets high level individual attention and that too I post “by hand” so to speak all across. And of course I jump into each platform to engage. 

    (I’ve just checked the other day Facebook is most definitely penalizing Bufferapp posts, so I only use it to point to other peeps.)

    I must say, in the last couple of days G+ has grown on me tremendously. I’ve found it a perfect tool to discuss work related items with a client in a public and private way. You can’t do that on LinkedIn that easily and on Twitter it just disappears into the great yonder and the character limit doesn’t work. 

  • brentmkelly

    Very interesting stuff. Like many people, I am not quite sure what to think if Google+ yet. You brought some great points. Thanks for sharing.

  • Interesting point Mari, and I think I agree with it, the vision for the final product is clearly much more than a social network and even tough there are several issues they will have to work out, the potential is huge and it’s still there.

    For now, I think it’s important to acknowledge that Google+ has passed that barrier Wave and Buzz didn’t. Like you, I also hope to see it grow and improve.

    It’s great to have you stop by =) 

  • Thank you Brent, I think the point here is to take a step back and consider different aspects or benefits on participating. Not everything is engagement, perhaps we can focus on other things like connecting with new people, which is a lot easier to do than on Facebook, or the search benefits that no other network can offer.

    The “I don’t know what to think of Google+” is clearly true for a lot of people at the moment and I think many folks out there are willing to participate under that uncertainty because as @marismith:twitter says in one of her comments above, it is too big to ignore.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • I really hope this will be solved soon. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Hey Craig,

    Yes, both @chrisbrogan:twitter and @guykawasaki:twitter have been very involved with the platform and wrote books about it, I didn’t read either so far but it might be a good idea, specially if those case studies are not from major brands but from small business or individuals people can relate to.

  • I think Google+ is only a part in a bigger social media strategy from google… look a schemer, youtube…. we will see… and wait 🙂

  • Sounds like G+ may eventually become more useful, but at the moment it’s a little bit like having a Facebook fan page with “thousands of fans.”  Sure, everyone and their mother is forced into having a G+ account, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to use it or actually engage with your page.

  • Fransisco- I like Google+ platform, it is easy to use.  BUT there is a lot to do there so I am glad they have made it easy.  But that is about it. 

    My audience is not there yet (hopefully some day).  I use it to share with SEO and social media bloggers what I write and read what they write.

    My personal friends laugh at the idea of yet another SM platform.  They claim FB is the last one they are trying.  Heck, they already moved from MySpace.  It seems to me non bloggers are not willing to even look at Google +.

    ~Allie

  • I absolutely cannot stand the toggling between google and google apps accounts with G+. Because I created an account with my gmail address when it first launched, I now have trouble figuring out which is where and how and whatever.

    It hasn’t made anything easier, nor has G+ added anything to my life online that I don’t have anywhere else. I’m glad people have found it useful, but is no one going to admit that it’s just another network that we’re being forced to try out?

  • There are 3 recent events that will give you a better idea.

  • On one hand counting number of users seems to be how we measure success for a social network.

  • Shoot Francisco, I just don’t have time for it most times. Working a day job, my blog at night along with another network I help run, I wonder how I even have time for myself yet alone another social outlet. I think people just have to find what works for them and run with it. 

    Twitter and FB tend to be on my radar most times and where my focus steers, but for Google +, I literally have to “remember” to go over there and post something. If it wasn’t for the social media “buttons” I don’t think I would share anything or check it. I don’t hate Gplus, I just simply forget that its there.

  • Great article and you have my thoughts.

    If someone want to read about the low engagement in google+ in german language just visit my social media blog under http://www.netzschnipsel.de

  • Very interesting post, my man. 

    And timely, too – as I am about to flip the switch a little on the blogging / content creation that I’m going to be focusing on going forward, and it had been my plan to focus a little more on G+, in regards to tribe building.

    I’m not saying I’m not ‘not’ going to now, but the lack of engagement is a turn-off, lets face it – especially if we are genuinely trying to build a community.Again, great post and love the insightful comment section, too. Very, er… social!

    All the best,
    Chris

  • This was probably the first honest look at Plus I have seen, usually it is either all for, or all against. You make some great points, especially about lowering your expectations and get to work. There are benefits, but you have to work it. 

    My usage comes and goes, but I have found that if you spend some time segregating your circles into manageable topics/interests then it becomes easy. 

    The biggest issue I see from people is they neglect to look for people/brands to circle and are expecting the same people from Twitter and FB to be there. It isn’t the same. 

    Also, as @ryanhanley:disqus points out, it isn’t even a year yet since private beta, and only what… 6mos since public offering of Plus? Patience is probably the hardest part of this, but it took years for Twitter, FB, and LinkedIn to get to this point….

  • For example, when you create a Google account, you automatically get a Gmail account and a Google+ profile.

  • When it comes to Google+, it seems like you either love it or hate it.
    Some people have really embraced it and others have totally ignored it
    or took it for a spin and never came back.

  • Some people have really embraced it and others have totally ignored it or took it for a spin and never came back.

  • There are 3 recent events that will give you a better idea. Most
    importantly, it can help you make a decision on whether or not you or
    your business should include the platform in your social media strategy.
     

  • That’s true, but G+ have huge impact on search results and I believe that this will change the game very soon.

  • Also suffering the multiple account nightmare. Need to get my head around G+ more but with everything else… Love the fact that I can separate work, business, family and social via circles. Love that so much I actually loathe using FB.

  • You automatically get a Gmail account and a Google+ profile.

  • It or took it for a spin and never came back.