Stop right now before you settle for a pre-selected Google+ cover image just because it’s there, it’s easy, and it was hand-picked by Google so it has to be a winner, right? Wrong; picking from a limited assortment of cover photos shows that you’re either lazy or uncreative, both of which don’t bode well for you whether it’s a business or personal social media (SM) profile. Like it or not, your cover image is just as important as your profile image and it depends on what type of vibe you’re after to determine the direction you should head.
Yes, I know I’ve been on a Google+ kick lately, but it has been it’s like Michael Corleone in Godfather 3. “Every time I think I’m out they pull me back in.”
Hopefully, I won’t have a heart attack immediately after saying the line the way that Al Pacino’s iconic character did. Also, I’m not in the mafia, in case you were wondering. I am, however, fully entrenched into Google+, which is why these stats mean something to me. Hopefully, they’ll mean something to you as well.
I would love to connect if you want to circle me there: https://plus.google.com/+JDRucker/posts
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Infographic courtesy of Mihi Digital.
Google has been less forthcoming about their numbers ever since they were scrutinized and ridiculed the last time they made bold statements about users. This time, they are cautiously optimistic. They’re not going to have another “mission accomplished” moment.
The numbers, for what they’re worth, are very encouraging. They moved beyond the 300 million monthly active user mark. While it’s not even close to the daily active user numbers for Facebook, it’s encouraging to see just how far they’ve come in half a year. It means that they’re starting to pick up the kind of traction that many hoped they would get after their strong first couple of months in mid- to late-2011.
This, along with some improvements to Google+ Hangouts and a move to open up custom Google+ URLs gives them some good momentum heading into 2014. All of this comes when the company is not as laser focused on social as they were the first couple of years under Larry Page’s second run as CEO.
Here’s what USA Today had to say about the numbers:
Google said Tuesday its social network Google+ has seen a 58% jump in users in recent months.
Vic Gundotra, head of social at Google, said Google+ has 300 million monthly active users, up from 190 million in May.
Read More: USA Today
If you are breaking into the online marketing world—whether you are a business owner, a freelancer, or entrepreneur trying to establish your brand—you’ve undoubtedly discovered (or are starting to discover) the world of Social Media and its importance in reaching your intended audience. You’ve set up your Facebook and Twitter, you may have a LinkedIn or Instagram account, and you’re feeling pretty confident that your customers and clients will start rolling in once they see you posting about your amazing service, your awesome promotional products, and your exclusive offers.
Late last year, Google+ added its Communities, which are much like its name, a circle that is dedicated to a topic that other like-minded people can be a part of, allowing you to grow your network while socializing on subjects that you enjoy. It seems like everyone is making their own community and invites are a constant which means that this is bound to annoy some more than others.
Many may agree that the reason Google+ hasn’t quite taken off as many may had thought it would is due to lacking in the ease of socializing. Although circles are a great way to place people and choose who we want to directly share with, we have become accustomed to finding and interacting with people a little more openly and simpler.
This is not to say Google hasn’t tried to make their social networking site more social, with Hangouts and Communities, they are surely putting great effort into adding features that are innovative and some that we are already familiar with elsewhere. Yet, it must be difficult to try and create a social network these days, especially with the competition and to try to succeed without mimicking them, even though you know from their lessons as to what works and what hasn’t.
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: