Social Spotlight

Why You Should Be on Google+ Now

We need you! Outside of the usual crop of early adopters, my larger circle of friends and colleagues (not a literal G+ circle) seems a little skeptical of Google+. Why do we have to learn another social network? Why now? If you or someone you know needs convincing, I invite you to read and share this post.

Why Google+?
With over 20 million users just one month in, Google+ is quickly establishing a sturdy foothold. Especially with techies and social media mavens (and men for some reason). Unlike Buzz or Wave, Google+ is gaining traction as a legitimate rival of either Facebook, Twitter, both, or neither depending on who you ask and the day.

The big reason it’s competitive as I’ve noted before is that Google chose a good wedge issue — user control. From drag and drop circles to the ability to liberate your data if you choose, Google+ isn’t revolutionary but stands out by exploiting a key Facebook painpoint (can you imagine exporting your info from Facebook?).

Why Does Google+ Matter in the Big Picture?
Searching and sharing are the building blocks of our online brands. Google literally owns search. Plus they own the second largest search engine (YouTube) and paid search advertising. Social ‘sharing’ has largely been the domain of Facebook and Twitter. By challenging these networks, Google+ is a well positioned platform at the intersection of search and social sharing. Many have already observed that when you’re logged in to G+, Google search gives priority to results in your network. In short, Google search will probably play very nicely with Google+ social activity. For example, my Google+ profile is already the top search result for my name.

Why Now?
Have you ever stopped and wondered what you were doing when Facebook launched? Or Twitter? Or YouTube? This is your chance to get in on a ground floor that has a pretty good chance at being a sure bet. Or at least a safe bet. With legitimate business/brand pages just around the corner (early attempts have been shut down), don’t you want to be familiar with the network when it’s time to hang-out your G+ shingle?

Blaze the Trail: Be a Google+ Pioneer
When I speak to groups about successful traits for organizing around social, I talk about ‘knowing technology’ using the Rogers Innovation Adoption Curve as an example (Innovators, Early Adopters, Early and Late Majority, Laggards). As students of social, we have to stay ahead of the curve. And the only way to do that is to be an early adopter. It’s like being a pioneer. We have to set out and blaze the trail so we’ll be ready when the majority arrives. That’s the other great thing about being an early adopter — there are no experts yet. At most, people have a month head start. That’s nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Please share this call to action with your friends and colleagues who may be afraid about jumping into Google+ with both feet!