Monday, June 01, 2015

Well, I've Had A Good Experience With Google+

Last night I read an article on Slate suggesting that Google+'s days may be numbered. Wouldn't you know it, I'd prepared a blog post last week all about how satisfied I've been with that platform. I'm not wasting it.

Last month I discussed (at length) Google+ with a friend on Facebook, convincing her to give it a try. I thought some of that material could be repurposed as a blog post, and that's what you're seeing here, repurposed Facebook material.

Google+ Basics

Google+ is simple to use once you've figured it out, which is true, of course, of most things in life. You collect people into circles there. Circles are like classifications. You can have a librarian circle, a writer circle, a self-pubbed writer circle. You can access your circles easily in the event that you want to see just what your librarian people have to say.  You have a profile page that is all your posts and a homepage that is similar to a Facebook wall in that you can see posts from the people in your circles there. 

Google+ Communities

The big thing you can do at Google+ is join communities. I'm a member of a couple of writer/blogger communities, an eco-fiction community, and a community interested in children's books. It could be argued that those are similar to private Facebook pages. (I'm a member of a few of those, too.) However, when I post links to my blog in one of those communities, I see a boost in my blog statistics. I don't when I post in private Facebook pages. 

I post all my blog posts at my general spot at Google+. I post specific blog posts to specific communities there. The Environmental Book Club posts go to the eco-fiction community and the childen's lit community. Marketing and writing posts go to a couple of the writers' communities.

Engagement On Google+

Also, if someone Googles you, your recent posts at Google+ turn up. It gives you more of a presence on the Internet. The other good thing about Google+--If people like your content, they can + it, meaning share it with their circles. Presumably sharing can happen on Facebook, but I rarely see it. Almost every week a couple of my things get shared on Google+, especially if I've posted to a couple of the communities.

In short, I see engagement at Google+. Engagement is important with social media. 

Google+'s Big Drawback

I think the worst thing about Google+ is its reputation. People think no one uses it. As Slate's article stated, " has in fact caught on with swaths of professionals and hobbyists who enjoy talking shop on a social network that isn’t full of friends and cats and wedding announcements." But maybe not enough people want that. 

I have things set up with Google+ right now so that this post will automatically go up there when I publish it. This particular post I will also post at writer communities. I'm off to do that while Google+ is still around so I can. 


James Strauss said...

Maybe some operate with the "sky is falling" mentality.
I agree with you regarding Google+ relevance in developing solid engagement over some other Social Platforms.
We may see some modifications...
But overall I believe G+ will be around for a while

Jim Wilbourne said...

I don't think Google can afford to back down on social. We see Google changing their strategy, but I don't think that equates to Google+ dying.

I'm also a Google+ fanboy. In fact, I found this blog post via Google+. The engagement with my blog and website traffic and unique visitors increased by roughly 500% the month I started using it. A much larger leap than the months I implemented Twitter and Facebook. To be fair, I had a few other things I tried that month that were very successful, but that traffic has stayed much much higher as I follow through.

The content on Google+ is much richer and the conversations are far better. The primary issue, I think, is that people want to put it into the box of other social networks. When it is actually it's own community and network much like Pinterest and Reddit.

We shall see how Google's changes effects Google+ and what they will do in the future.

Gail Gauthier said...

I sometimes wonder if the better content at Google+ is because so many people stay away. I rarely see cute kitten pictures there or photos of peoples' children. Google+ people have a much different attitude.