Google+ For Creative Bloggers – Part 2 – The Pros & Cons
Did you miss Part 1 – What is Google+? You can find links to the entire series at the bottom of this post.
Hey, how are ya? Well, the comments on Part 1 - What is Google+ Anyway? were mixed – some people like it, some don’t, and some of you have no idea what’s going on. That’s exactly why I decided to write this series. Again, I’m by no means an expert. As a creative blogger, when I heard Google was retiring Google Friend Connect in 2012, I decided I better look into it.
So to answer yesterday’s question, Google+ is a social network, which leads us to the next question, or statement, and the one that’s raising the most concern in the creative blogging circles.
I’m already on Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest – I don’t have time for anything else!
I can certainly relate to this. It’s hard enough keeping up with my own blog, much less Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, then there are niche forums and Flickr, and Etsy, and linky parties, and, and . . . Phew! So I really wanted to find features on Google+ that would convince me that it’s worth the time investment.
Let me ask you a question – do you remember the first time you were on Facebook? Or Twitter? Did it take you a while to figure out what the object was or did you dive right in? Did you immediately have friends and followers? Could you maneuver around Facebook? Did you know what hashtags or retweets were in Twitter?
I signed up for Twitter before I was blogging. Before I even knew what a blog was, in fact. I found one other person on there, my niece, and we both said, “Huh?” We didn’t get it and I left it alone for a year or better. I signed up for Facebook just to keep up with my nieces who were both away at college. I assumed it was a new version of MySpace. I even refused to upload a profile pic because I thought FB was only for the ‘kids’.
My, my, how times have changed. Or is it just me? I have a sneakin’ suspicion it’s not.
While you’re reading about Google+, keep those early days of Twitter and/or Facebook in mind. Here’s the thing though, if you have an online presence – a blog, Etsy shop, Pinterest board – you’re a whole lot more wiser than we were back in ’07 or ’08. So the learning curve to G+ will be lower. At least, I hope it will be after we’ve finished this series.
Let’s start with some pros and cons of Google+. These are my own, no one else’s. And, as I mentioned yesterday, things move fast with Google so some of the cons might change before too long.
Pros of Google Plus
· It’s a level playing field right now
· Followers are divided into circles, not lumped all together
· YouTube videos can popup on your G+ page
· Hangouts – ability to connect to people in your circles via live video
· Photo editing just like Picnik (hint – that’s because it is Picnick)
· SPYW (Search Plus Your World) – encourages networking, particularly for creative bloggers
· All of Google’s products will interact, making Google+ a richer network experience
Cons of Google+
· Not that many people or brands are on G+ yet, other than tech & social media bloggers
· Pages (blog or biz) have a lot of limitations
Okay so my top Pro is also my top Con! Yes, it’s frustrating, and a little boring, right now because not too many people are active on Google+, if they’re on there at all. But let me share a couple of conversations I had early last week.
The first one was with Kmart. Yes, Kmart. There’s some poor social media guy or gal whose job it is to drive traffic on G+ when barely anyone know how to use it. I just happened to see Kmart’s question: If you could have coffee with any person, living or dead, who would it be? So I replied. No big deal. I do it on Facebook all the time. A little while later my little red G+ notification box lit up on my gmail page telling me I had a reply from Kmart. Whaaa? I hopped on there, and replied to their reply. The next day they replied again.
Just me and Kmart, hanging out on Google+. la-dee-dah. So what? Kmart isn’t one of my readers, never will be and most likely won’t be ordering a custom painting in the near future. (ya think?)
The second convo was even more fun. I see a comment from the San Francisco 49ers. Now, seeings how my father-in-law played for SF for 11 years it’s kind of a family legacy thing with us. So I replied to their comment about the upcoming game. Again – no big deal. But they wrote me back too! Back and forth and back and forth.
Here’s the thing – on Facebook the San Francisco 49ers have over 1 million followers. They post a comment and within minutes, no seconds, hundreds of followers reply. On Google+? They had 90 followers last time I checked.
So maybe you don’t want to hang out with Kmart or the 9ers on Google+. I get that. But I bet there are people or brands whose attention you would like to garner.
Only problem? They might not be on there. . . yet.
I’ll stop for now but in my next post I’ll go into more detail on the pros and cons. It’ll make learning and navigating Google+ so much more fun! And it just might change your mind about not having enough time for a new networking option.
‘Might’, I said.
Btw, I’m not being compensated for this series by anyone. Certainly not Google. These are all my opinions solely. Just so you know.
If you’re already on Google+ and would like to share some of your comments, questions, concerns, by all means, chime in! Leave me your G+ address in the comments and I’ll circle you. If you’d like to add me to your circles, here’s my personal page address, and here’s my blog page address.
If you found this post helpful, please pass it along to your fellow creative bloggers. Together we can build a great creative network on Google Plus!