I recently wrote an article about Google+ vs Facebook and a tribe turned up from Google+ and became rather engaged!
The question that had been posed was whether Google+ was a ghost town.
I received an answer.
What was revealed was a vibrant city bustling with passion and people that were happy to point out the real value of Google+
The post to date has received 440 comments with some in depth contributions on how Google+ should be used. The Disqus comment system I have installed on this blog almost had a meltdown with over 300 comments arriving in just 1 hour.
You just have to love the leverage that social networks provide to create and spread stories!
Here are just three people among the hundreds who spent the time to make a positive contribution to the conversation, left lengthy comments and have provided real insights as to the power of Google+.
There are many more that provided real valuable comments and feel free to read them at the post “Google+ vs Facebook”
Here are their stories unedited.
#1. The Dutch Guy
From my experience, G+ gives back what you put into it. When I ditched facebook, and instead signed up for G+, I was afraid that it was going to be a marketing driven semi-interactive experience. As a result, my stream was mostly dead, and my circle of contacts hovered around 30 people, half of which it seems had the same experience.
It wasn’t until I started interacting with people, that my circles started growing rapidly… and at the same time I noticed I was being added to more people’s circles.
If I see someone who circles me, and there’s no original content or nothing but marketing speak, I ignore, and many of the people in my circles have the same attitude. We’re not interested in pure marketing, ads or PR. What we expect is *engagement*. Bring something interesting to the table. Start actual conversations. Respond to people’s questions and inquiries.
G+ is an *active* community – some of the people in my circles have, themselves, thousands of people in theirs, and vice versa.
The way I see it is pretty simple: if you have a product you want to sell, facebook lets you plaster people’s walls with ads (and many people *block* these very ads with a plethora of plug-ins and add-ons, because they’re jarring, in the way). On G+, you can’t just toss an ad in, because it will ignored – you need some people to actually spend time and communicate to advertise your product. And I’m not talking about bots that circle people and puch ad-talk… they *will* be living in a ghost town, because nobody wants those in their circles. I’m talking about a dedicated team that becomes part of the stream.
To throw in a phrase I’ve seen a lot: the paradigms are shifting. People are fleeing from TV, blocking old-fashioned advertisements. If you’re in it for the money, you’ll need to adjust to the increasing demand for interaction and acknowledgement of your customers.
Simply sitting there, tossing out a block of text and waiting for no reaction to come, and then stating there is no active community worth targeting is a thing of the past, and it shows you’re missing the point of what *communities* are about.
facebook isn’t a community: it’s a loose sampling of people who keep in touch with their rfamily and friends, that play games all day. G+ is a community of people—strangers to each other—who like to talk about all kinds of subjects, have civil discussions and share experiences
#2. Kathy Morlock
I’ve been on Google+ for about a year now. I have over 25,000 people who have circled me. I use Google+ for engagement and information. I post mainly public. I spend about 9 active hours a day on the site. Many people don’t post public, you won’t see that, it’s not information that you have access to.
Today the stream was so busy, even on my large monitor the info was moving at a very fast pace. I make sure I vary my hours, because I have so many people all over the world, that I make contact with and I don’t want to miss interacting with them. The United States, Russia, India, Thailand, Pakistan, South Africa, Germany, Australia, Belgium all over South America and Canada to name a few. I have been voted an expert on Google+ for interaction and social media, as well as coaching new members.
You may hear from some people it’s a ghost town. Well of course it looks like a ghost town if you come in, make an account, sit there and look at the screen and say where are all the people? It is all about interaction. Please stop comparing Google+ with Facebook. We are a lot of people with a wealth of different viewpoints, from all over the world interacting together; online, in hangouts, and sometimes in real life. Google+ is full of information, news, science, politics, tech, parenting, music, photography, friendship and lots of love. Hanging in Real Life (HIRL) with people you met on Google+, photo walks, concerts, artists and so much more. We raise money for charities and we try to help people in need. We have Book Clubs, Poetry Circles, Food & Cooking Circles and all kinds of different themed hangouts for business and for learning and/or pleasure.
Click the mouse a few times and you can make your own page, mine is a reading page, where I post book reviews, so people have a place to browse and see what other Google+ members are reading. It’s an interactive page, where anyone can share and write reviews. These are just the personal pages. Click the mouse a couple more times and you are blogging. The business pages on our site our amazing, they are varied and there is an enormous amount of them.
I look at the stats posted above and laugh. The minute you walk through that virtual Google+ door everything is there just waiting for you, the possibilities are really endless, but it’s all what you make of it. Isn’t that the way life is?
When you walk through that door someone is there waiting to help you and guide you, all you have to do is wave and let them know you are there.
Come on over and make an account, sign in and I’ll show you around. You will find a thriving, integrated community. You won’t find a ghost town.
To date, I’ve not yet, seen one single ghost.
#3. J.C. Kendall
Not only is Google + a source for bloggers and brands, I believe it is by far the best source. The critical factor is Engagement. You cannot sit on the sidelines and expect Google + to start throwing customers in your direction.
I have been using Google + since Day 1 of the closed beta, and I must tell you, that for those of us who have been actively engaging with others, using important tools like the +1 button, and Rel=Author in our content, we have built great awareness for what we do. I have the honor of hosting Canadian politicians in virtual town-hall meetings from Councillors to Mayors to members of the Canadian Parliament in Google + Hangouts, including one just last evening discussing the Montreal Protests. Tomorrow at 10am, my company is hosting the first in a Seminar Series on using Hangouts in your business.
Since Nov of last year, 95% of my clients have come from the Google + streams, both public and private. It is critical to be active, and develop a following which serves to enhance both your corporate and personal brand. Bloggers who are not using Rel=Author in their writings run the risk of someone else showing up with a re-share of someone else’s work on Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) Because of the visibility of Google + used properly, my hangouts have been the subject of newspaper articles:
http://www.princegeorgecitizen… stemming from articles of my own about the subject:
The important thing, is to not look at Google + as a competitor to Facebook. Google + is an “Identity Engine” for Google search. What it does, is tie Identity to Activity, resulting in a more relevant return of search results, including local optimization and actual sales conversion. Facebook has no mechanisms in place (though Facebook Exchange is coming) to provide highly relevant real time ads to its users, which is why they are challenged in coming up with a credible long-term revenue model.
I would encourage you to look at Mashable, Forbes and others through a critical lens, because none of their authors has engaged on Google+ to the point of knowledge or understanding of the forum. They usually join up, and base their output on their 20-50 circles, and conclude the forum is dead. I have well over 20,000, and was voted by peers one of the top Google + users for 2011. My stream rocks night and day, and I invite you to take an in depth look at what Google + offers for yourself, and pay no attention to a bunch of clowns in the media crying over Facebook’s stock price.
We’ve done business off LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as well, but our engagement off those forums come from our Google + postings, fed to those forums via extensions and RSS feeds. It works, dude. Check it out.
What About You
How are you finding Google+?
Do you have time and resources to spend on Google+ and Facebook or do you need to focus on just one?
Which one will you be choosing?
Look forward to your comments.
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