Is the third time the charm? Google is certainly hoping so following the beta launch of its latest attempt at building a social network, Google+.

And that hope may not be entirely misplaced. Many of those who have Google+ accounts have positive things to say about the search behemoth's social network.

Perhaps that's because Google has learned from its mistakes, or because it may have been heavily 'inspired' by Facebook.

Whatever the case, for marketers looking to stay ahead of the curve, Google+ is certainly going to be of interest. After all, despite its past failures in the social networking space, this is still Google we're talking about.

If it gets Google+ right, you can't discount the company's ability to expose it to a significant number of people through its search presence, antitrust investigation notwithstanding.

But how should marketers play Google+? Here are a few tips.

Wait and see is better than spray and pray.

In an effort to make sure they don't miss out on the next big thing, marketers are increasingly taking a look under the hoods of new digital products. This isn't a bad thing provided that there's a well-defined strategy involved. When there isn't, marketers fall victim to a spray and pray mentality that can be counterproductive.

As it relates to Google+, one thing is clear: it won't compete with Facebook anytime soon, if ever.

That means marketers don't need to place a bet yet; there will be plenty of time to jump on Google+ if and when there's a favorable, meaningful growth trend established.

Bet on AdWords.

If and when Google introduces advertising into the network, which it almost certainly will do if the product survives, there's good reason to believe that the advertising will be AdWords or AdWords-like.

Creepy Facebook-like 'social' ad units that take advantage of data gleaned from users' social graphs? They're always a possibility, but it appears that Google is trying to recreate Facebook sans privacy invading features. If this works, and Google sticks to the approach, it may decide not to get too creative with its Google+ ad offerings.

Expect a friendlier Google.

Marketers have become a huge part of the Facebook ecosystem, and it's no surprise that Facebook has cozied up to agencies and major brands. Google has made inroads on Madison Avenue in the past several years despite a rough beginning, and you can expect that it will work the angles to court marketers if and when it looks to monetize Google+.

That's because Google considers social networking crucial to its future. Even if it arguably isn't, the desire to make Google+ a success may create some interesting opportunities and incentives for marketers.

Patricio Robles

Published 30 June, 2011 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (6)

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UK Supplier

I do not think so that we should say anything before the time. Let`s try it before that what is it? There may be any key factor in it that could be cause of success for it as well as for other businesses growth.
If we found in it the same thing as we are using before than there will not be any charm in it. But I personally believe that Google is such a large portal that no one can challenge it. So, wait and watch, than place any comment about it.

about 7 years ago


Digital Marketing

Hello, as an agency we're getting asked a lot about Google+ and whether our customers need to take note, so it is good that industry voices such as Econsultancy are getting their opinions out there as well.

This article is well balanced and reflects our own advice. This is a Google product and therefore it is definitely worth keeping an eye on, however make your considerations based on your own marketing objectives and where you are in the digital lifecycle.

about 7 years ago


office supplies

We are rolling out the plus one buttons accross our office supplies sites today. Why are we doing it? Well.... why would we not! Its two lines of code and it might have an impact on our seo. As a marketing manager i find that often people want to talk ideas to death. If something is this easy to do and might have a benificial impact - JUST DO IT!

about 7 years ago


Caroline Bell

Sorry but I disgaree that you should do something just because it's easy!

Here are the reasons I won't be adding +1 buttons to the sites I work on:

• Adding or taking anything away from a web page needs careful consideration for numerous reasons including usability, SEO, conversion, your current social media strategy.

• Users faced with multiple ‘vote’ buttons on a page including FB, Twitter and +1 are likely to choose the one that has the most reach for their friends/peers. I doubt that +1 will be the optimum choice.

• It makes sense to only have on site those voting buttons that will have the most value. With the demographic for the sites I work on being so FB centric, my opinion is that the negative of losing an FB like would outweigh the positive of gaining a +1 click.

• Of course it could be argued that Google will look to use +1 clicks in their ranking algorithm at some point but unless there is a big take up by users, this looks unlikely.

• Page load speed is a ranking factor so unnecessary javascript should be avoided.

Of course it may be that Google+ is great for some sites but speed of implementation shouldn't be the deciding factor.

about 7 years ago

Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones, Head of Content & Marketing at CIVIC

A nice considered piece on Google+, completely correct in its suggested approach of taking time to let this new tool grow before jumping in. Afterall, we've been told time and time again to stop, listen, create a strategy etc before jumping on the Twitter/facebook wagon as a brand so it makes sense to be just as patient with Google+.

Interesting to see the comment "it won't compete with Facebook anytime soon, if ever" as a lot of the excited commentary I've heard so far has been about Google+'s imminent potential to supercede Facebook.

about 7 years ago

Angelos Taplatzidis

Angelos Taplatzidis, Marketing Executive at IBM

Its definitely early days but as @office supplies says it wont harm anyone starting to take it on early rather than later. In the end of the day is a Google product which is likely to stick

about 7 years ago

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