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By Lowell Brown

Is Google+ Useful or a Waste of Time?

It’s always a question I get asked. What social media platforms should I be using? More recently, I’ve had numerous clients and prospects asking “What do you think about Google+? Is it worth it, or a waste of time?

My take on the social platform

Let me start with a statement I say to EVERY client I speak with: It’s best to pick the one or two platforms that will net you the best ROI for your efforts. Focus on those first, then branch out. That said, is Google+ one of the first you should focus on? In my opinion – no. That leads to the second question – is it worth the time and effort? Can it help my business? Does it help with SEO?

I’ll attempt to answer those questions in this blog post.
This article won’t cover the features of Google+, some of which are great. It is meant to point out if it’s RIGHT for some businesses.

Google+ started with buzz, like many other Google products. People liked some features of it that made it unique, like the concept of “circles” instead of followers and it’s tie with other Google tools. People were also attracted to the clean user interface. What was lacking, and still is, is the dedicated audience. The social platforms that excel are those that people use. What’s the point of spending your time in a space where people don’t interact or view what you are posting?

Over the past few years, Google has attempted to further enhance the platform with numerous changes: layout redesigns, feature changes and more….but is it enough?

The good and bad about Google+

Some user stats about Google+ include:

74% male
55% users are from US
4% from Canada

There are discrepancies on the user base of Google+ and some say it’s about 9% of Google’s overall use based (under 200 million).

Are numbers important? Not always.
If you have a small base, but that base is highly engaging or effectively serving your goals – then great – the platform can work for you. But if you are posting and posting, with no interaction or traffic from the platform….is it working for you?

BUT consider that Google+ still has a strong tie to getting found for search results. Every bit of activity that you do on Google+ awards you points, increasing your SEO value. User-created content on Google+ is indexed for search, unlike other social media platforms, where privacy concerns win over the indexing process.

My take on all of this – focus on where your audience is.
Facebook is still one of the largest used social platforms and Instagram and SnapChat are both booming. LinkedIn is still the B2B powerhouse and while some like Twitter and some don’t, it isn’t going away.

Focus your time where your audience is. If a specific platform isn’t driving traffic, isn’t getting engagement, isn’t helping you promote your products and service, isn’t where your voice will be heard, don’t waste your time. Find the right place and play there.

What’s your opinion? I’d love to hear your experience with this platform and how you use it. Share your comments below.

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