Google+ is Getting Bigger. Why Aren’t Businesses Paying More Attention?

TK Carsites Google Plus

Google Plus is a year old. Businesses are finding more reasons to use Google+ and focus on their business pages. There are search benefits. There are local benefits. There are growing social benefits. Where are the businesses?

Perhaps I’m being premature, but scanning through a couple dozen random Google+ car dealer pages revealed that very few are posting anything at all. Out of over 20, there were two that were actually active. This is a huge mistake for any business, particularly those who are localize. If you have a home town and you rely on maps and reviews to help your business, you must be on Google+ now and put the type of effort into it that you put into Facebook.


Here’s my rant:

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  1. One of the reason is people think that Google+ is mostly for tech guys rather than for normal people.

  2. Probably because Facebook was in the industry first and Google+ came in when most net users are too accustomed to Facebook’s interface to consider learning another one. At least, this is a perspective from normal users, I don’t know about those owning business pages.

  3. Your rant isn’t showing up on my iPad, but here are two answers and a response for you:
    1. Most businesses are still trying to figure out Facebook, which they’ve been told is where their customers are hanging out. Because of the hype, they think they should be able to get thousands of followers and see financial returns from Facebook immediately. But they’re not taking the time to learn Facebook best practices, nor are they putting the necessary resources into following best practices. So they’re seeing minimal returns. Which makes them loathe to put resources into other social networks.
    2. Google has done a poor job showing the benefits of G+ to businesses and making the correlation between search, G+ and user action. My business has been somewhat active in G+, and I followed best practices as best I could for awhile, but plus.Google ranked pretty low on my list of referrers. If I can’t get that number up, I can’t justify putting more time into it. Right now, I just post links on G+ for SEO value. It hasn’t proven that it’s worth more of my time.
    3. To respond to what Kent said, most people think G+ is for tech guys because tech guys were the first G+ users. They still seem to make up most of the community. (The performance of our tech-related products onG+ far exceeds the performance of our non-tech-related products.) Meanwhile, Facebook is where non-techies hangout, and those non-techies are the majority of my customers. It’s also worthwhile to note that Facebook had grown pretty big as a community well before they launched brand pages. By the time brand pages were launched, it was clear many non-techies were hanging out there, and businesses wanted access to those potential customers. G+ needs to do more to grow its user base outside of the tech community for more businesses to start using it.

  4. When Google+ came online and the curious ones (who indeed were mostly tech guys) invited eachother (an invite from someone who already had an account was required at first to be able to join) there was a lot of enthusiasm. The friend circles and the possibility to customize visibility (who gets to see what?) with the corresponding icons were a new functionality which FB did not have at the time. But FB caught up very quickly. Short after Google+ was fully online FB’s layouts and functionalities were adapted on almost a daily basis (which is still going on). They took a risk. Many FB users were annoyed at first, having to learn new functionalities every day, finding out about them by accident and help pages which were running behind. But FB’s timing was perfect. The community was already large and therefore stable enough while the Google+ community was almost non-existent. So FB users stuck around and now FB overtook Google+ by far according to me. Users can customize almost anything and that is what users want. If they don’t know how to do it they ask eachother. I think businesses should hire active FB users with lots of friends and relatively intelligent wall content to set up their business pages. Those are the people who are online each day for a couple of hours and know most about the functionalities and little secrets of FB. They also know best what others do or do not like to read. It’s all a matter of experience and putting that experience to use. Using social media with succes means being “social”. Like in real-life. What businesses often forget is the fact that potential customers are people. People who want attention, who want to be treated with respect, who want to receive a compliment from time to time etc. It’s a matter of give and take. If one wants to appeal to a large number of people there has to be a feeling of “personal touch”. That’s what being “social” is about.