Why Google Plus May Not Be a Smart Move

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For a few days, I became caught up in Google Plus euphoria. However, I quickly came to my senses.

Granted, Facebook should be worried. Many heavy hitters are contributing piles of klout to keep the Google Plus conversation at a fever pitch. In a weird way, I’m happy that Google has found some social mojo and demonstrated that it is relevant in a Facebook world.

But what will Google Plus really do for the business or personal-brand blogger?

Not much, really.

Let me put it another way. If you haven’t conquered the fundamentals of running a social-powered business, then Google Plus will be another distraction. You’ll spend weeks shuffling your Facebook and Twitter lists and end up exactly where you are now.

You’ll be earning exactly what you earn now. You’ll probably be slightly more influential than you are now.


You’ll have another social platform to build, nurture, and engage. From a purely ruthless ROI perspective, the added hourly burden of supporting Google Plus will drive your earnings per hour further into the red.

Who Benefits from Google Plus?

Think about it…

The people who are most enthusiastic about Google Plus have already squared away their businesses.

They have engaged audiences who are regularly buying physical and digital products.

Every day, their e-mail lists, customer lists, and influence grows on autopilot. They don’t need Google Plus to achieve escape velocity with their business. They are already there.

If you dig deeper, you’ll notice that Google Plus is a tool for busy influentials to better organize their personal and business contacts. For now, it’s not a business or blogging silver bullet. Google Plus slips nicely into the grey zone created by the love triangle between Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Now “Plusers” can easily segregate their personal and business circles and enjoy gee-whiz communications options for hanging out with 10 of their favorite BFFs.

We’ll all benefit from the intense microscope the best and the brightest are putting on Google Plus. But for now, I’m wondering if it’s better to be a “fast follower.”

I’m Nervous about the Hype

You and I need to handle the fundamentals first.

We must focus our attention on wrestling a few grizzlies to the ground such as:

1. Are you consistently attracting more visitors to your blog?

If not, then invest your time in refining your blog’s focus, studying your readers, publishing interesting content, and mastering the art of storytelling.

2. Are you persuading your readers to join your e-mail list or buy your product?

Google Plus won’t help very much here. Instead, you need to master copywriting and build attractive landing pages with irresistible offers. You need to understand how your blog contributes new customers and at what cost. This stuff isn’t sexy, but it keeps the boss happy, the spouse grinning, and the kids fed.

3. Are you building a business?

A business is simply an entity that produces a product and delivers it to a customer for a profit. It’s a simple concept, but many confuse writing blog posts for having a business. Being busy isn’t the same as running a business.

Answer these three questions first. Once you have three great answers, then you are ready to tackle the stuff that promises to bring in the next reader. Until then, pay close attention to what social activities are actually moving the needle for your blog and business.

Smart Ways to Use Google Plus

If you insist on “experimenting” with Google Plus, then take a look at these smart posts:

How to Blog with Google Plus

Why Google Plus Has the Hammer to Make Businesses Use Google Plus

How to Get Started with Google+, Your Complete Guide

Start slow. Make sure you don’t neglect the fundamentals, and make your investment of time count.

Make sense? Am I being too harsh? Do you have a plan for using Google Plus that I should know about?

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

28 thoughts on “Why Google Plus May Not Be a Smart Move

  1. Stanford Post author

    Bro, I’m going to let you in on an embarrassing secret….
    I think I got this one completely wrong. Google+ is crushing it. Shh…

  2. Jeremy

    I can see that google + can be a time suck, but I believe it is essential to post content there on a regular basis.

    Think about it, google + is the little brother of the google search engine. My SEO company said that the new algorithm of google panda will look at google + more highly and begin to use reviews and comments as credibly with the spiders.

    I am not a pro on the subject, but it makes sense that google would respect content on its own platform above Facebook and other social platforms. Just one mans observation.

  3. TheHappypreneur

    Thanks Stan. This is the first, no nonsense post about Google+ that I’ve seen. I’ve been trying to figure out what I was missing and why I couldn’t see the big benefit for my business. Thank goodness I’m in great company!

  4. Pingback: 4 Things Businesses Need to Know About Google Plus Right NowTech Guru Store | Tech Guru Store

  5. Pingback: 4 Things Businesses Need to Know About Google Plus Right Now | Blue Kite Marketing

  6. Stanford Post author

    Don’t worry John, I’m there with all the cool kids. The question I’m asking is… Are your customers there? From a business point of view, all marketing activities has to be weighed against profit. Although I love hanging out and “showing up”, I need to make sure that I’m taking care of the fundamentals

  7. JohnSoares

    Stanford, I’ve spent about 2 hours total on Google+ since joining about two weeks ago. So far I’ve put about 225 high-quality people in my circles, and a large number of those have reciprocated. I’ve posted three times and commented a few times.

    From what I’ve seen, Google+ is where people who are savvy about social media and marketing are moving en masse. Google+ allows long-term detailed conversations in a way Twitter cannot and that Facebook doesn’t handle as well.

    I suggest you at least show up: fill out your profile at a minimum, and then visit once or twice a week and add the people you like who’ve added you to circles.

  8. ElizabethMcgee

    I think it’s good to give Facebook some competition but you’re right, this could be just another distraction.

    I think you have to pick your poison. Jumping on Google+, Facebook or any social media because it’s the next big thing isn’t smart. Look at what works for you and use it to its full capacity and in the most productive way possible.

  9. workathomemarket

    I’ve been trying to stay informed with Google+ and truthfully I’m a little excited that there may be a better alternative to Facebook. In recent years, FB has felt more like another MySpace to me.

  10. JatalieDesign

    Oh I also wanted to say if you haven’t tried out Google+ Hangouts yet, it is a fabulous informal video chat tool that I am using with clients.

  11. JatalieDesign

    @Stanford @JatalieDesign Yes, if only I had been the one to invent it! And as long as I can keep the addictive factor of Google+ at a minimum. You are right, I must keep running my business not keeping busy writing blogs and hanging out on G+ all day long.

  12. Kristi Hines

    I think the benefit of Google+ right now is connecting with people without all the noise. Since the network doesn’t let you feed in updates from other sites, RSS, etc. the only updates are from people actually on the network. Hence when you comment on an update, chances are the author will actually see it.

    People who normally get 100s of comments on their fan pages or retweets on Twitter have a lot less on Google+ as well, which also helps you get in a conversation with them instead of just being one in the multitude.

  13. Ileane

    Hi Stanford. For me just the idea of any platform that’s more user friendly than Facebook is a winner. I also like the fact that Google is rolling out invites and new features slowly. I don’t think anyone can plan a strategy until all of the features have been rolled out and business owner find out how they can use them to their advantage. For now I would suggest to take 5 minutes to learn the platform and make your presence known so that as people migrate (slowly) from Facebook over to Google + you won’t need to start from scratch.

  14. janesheeba

    “Being busy isn’t the same as running a business” – Well said. However, I am sure with my experience and statistics so far that google plus can really do wonders for my blog. Plus is giving me a lot of traffic, lots of subscribers and great engagement. I must confess though, I was caught up with it for a couple of days, but now I am good :)

  15. Stanford Post author

    Excellent point. I’ve already discovered that I use Facebook less – seriously considering about shifting attention from FB.

  16. RickCaffeinated

    @Stanford totally agree, but the other side is that if it corrects the deficiencies you’re finding in the other platforms, than it’s going to be a must for the non-sucking business plan to migrate to better frameworks.

  17. Stanford

    @JatalieDesign What I’m hearing is that you have a content marketing strategy that builds rapport with your customers. You are using Google+ to source great content. That is a strategy worth tooting your horn about. Right?

  18. Stanford

    @RickCaffeinated Taking a look is harmless. Google+ won’t save a business plan that sucks – you agree?

  19. RickCaffeinated

    I would’ve agreed with you a week ago. But after giving it a little more personal time and seeing that a business side is coming, I think there’s enough here to warrant some R&D.

  20. Billy_Delaney

    Job done here. Excellent. Fundamental. Sound.

    Got here from a Mark Shaefer tweet.



  21. JatalieDesign

    I agree that Google+ can be a time-suck but I believe in using moderation while adding a new tool to my social media arsenal (toolbox). I don’t need to make a move away from any of the other social media platforms. I now have a new way to interact with potential customers and colleagues at G+. Also, the content that I am finding to share with my audience in my Google+ stream is fabulous and the medium is not overwhelming. I am grabbing the good stuff as it flows along, not having to constantly mine for diamonds like I did previously.

  22. TrafficColeman

    Its new and everyone will be using it..but I will sit back and plan my attract to see what I can do to market better.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

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