If you only need one reason to invest in Google+ for your business in 2012, this is the one. Unlike the other social media platforms, Google+ comes completely integrated with all things Google. This means that the tools you may already be using in your business like Google Analytics, Google Places, Google Maps, etc. are already “in-house”. And don’t forget Google Search, which has surpassed the 1 billion unique users per month mark, and the power of Google+ for business speaks for itself. From using circles to let followers self-select which content they want to receive to leveraging Google+ Hangouts as sales funnels, Google+ can bring value to your business right out of the gate and they are just getting started.
I read this statement about Google+ and I came to one conclusion, Google+ will be to Social Media what Android is to mobile phones, a good option but second rate at best. Now of course I know that I am biased towards Facebook and Apple iOS so I put those ahead of Google+ and Android but don’t get me wrong, I am a Google fanatic as well. I like Google and I believe they bring competition to the market but they are still second rate to me in some areas. First and foremost, Google+ has great features but has not found that feature to migrate people away from Facebook.
Also, they have not integrated a Google+ login to external websites the way Facebook Login has been integrated into sites. Actually, for all intents and purpose, Google+ hasn’t let many third party developers come in and do anything on their network, and that’s inhibiting their growth. And if we are talking about growth inhibitors, let’s keep in mind that Android is falling behind due to their fragmentation, they are on multiple devices and these devices all have different versions of android, thus developers don’t know which one to develop for, unlike Apple’s one or two version of iOS that are on it’s iPhones, iPods or iPads.
Finally, Google+ has potential but not until it does three things
- Open up its API to third party developers
- Creates a feature that gives people a reason to leave facebook
- Integrates its login into external websites
Until these things occur, Google+ will just be the social network waiting on Facebook to fail. This is the main reason in The iChurch Method book we focus on Facebook and Twitter social networks (throw in Youtube), because those are the ones that are dominant now and have the best ROI for churches and ministries.