Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Google+ Anxiety: What's The Rush?

Like lemmings being driven off a cliff by unscrupulous camera guys, it seems many of us are in a desperate hurry to join Google+, but I'm not exactly sure why.

Google+ (in case you've been living under a rock) is the latest social media offering from the company which brought us Google Wave and Google Buzz. It uses a system that is at once similar to, yet completely different from, the system used by Facebook.

With 750 million users, Facebook is clearly the dominant social media network, but Google hopes it's alternative will help narrow the gap. In less than two months Google+ has amassed something close to 50 million users. A far cry from the 3/4 of a BILLION users on Facebook, but a significant number nonetheless.

It should be pointed out that Google is uniting everyone who currently uses Gmail, Picassa, Blogger and YouTube under the Google+ umbrella. This means they are more likely to acquire users faster than Facebook did.

Also, given they are THE dominant search engine on the Internet, they have some capital to spend on self-promotion.

Despite all this, I still have to ask: What's the rush?

Why is everyone clamoring to get on board Google+? It's not as if there is only room for just so many people. The network will expand large enough to accommodate the entire population of the planet if the need ever comes, so why not sit back and let the network flesh itself out.

Don't get me wrong, Google+ has the potential to be a game-changer when it comes to social media marketing. But it's not there yet. Anyone who rushes to join the bandwagon riding into Google+ is going to be sorely disappointed when they discover the severe limitations to be found there.

If you are serious about social media marketing and have free time on your hands what you should be doing right now is maximizing your efforts on the properties you are already using.

When was the last time you updated your Facebook Fan Page? Changed your Twitter background? Put up a new profile picture? I'll bet you haven't done any of these things in quite some time.

Instead of rushing to join the land grab at Google+ I recommend you focus on your existing social media network; give it a new coat of paint, so to speak.

The time to expand your social media marketing network into Google+ will come, but it's not here yet. When it does, if the rest of your network is functioning correctly, it will be a simple enough task to merge Google+ into it.

In the comments section below, tell me why (or why not) you are in a rush to join Google+.

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