No, this isn’t another one of those anti-Google+ posts and no…it isn’t one of those reverse psychology attempts to actually trick you into visiting my Google+ page. In fact, I really don’t want you to visit my Google+ page and I have a good reason for it.
Most of you probably know that Google+ has been around for a couple of years now and is Google’s attempt to overcome the hideous social media experiments of Google Wave and Google Buzz. Its functionality lies somewhere between Facebook and Twitter as a microblogging service that also allows permission controls over who can and can’t see your updates. There is robust photo and video integration, as well as overlap between YouTube, Google Search and Gmail. While all that sounds like the nirvana of social media networks…Google+ has had a slow start, mostly because of it’s inability to draw average users away from Facebook and Twitter. In reality, Google+ just doesn’t offer people the soap opera drama that Facebook and Twitter offer, which makes it kind of boring.
Google+ just doesn’t offer people the soap opera drama that Facebook and Twitter offer, which makes it kind of boring.
SIDEBAR: Before all the Google+ fanboys start hitting me with crazy numbers about how the number of accounts on Google+ exceed those of Facebook and the number of active users exceed those of Twitter, I’ll just state….I DON’T SEE IT. We can all lie with charts and graphs and corporations like Google excel at it. When I go to Google+, I don’t see active users. When I ask my wife, my best friend, my mentor, my neighbor if they are on Google+, they all say no. When I ask if they are on Facebook or Twitter, they all say yes. So Google can publish stats all they want, but until I see an active feed like Facebook and Twitter….I just don’t believe it.
Apart from the lack of drama, the other very important limitation that has hampered Google+ is the fact that the don’t offer an inbound API that allows popular social media tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and IFTTT to publish content to a Google+ profile or page. This is a major failing of Google+ and is one of the primary reasons that I haven’t actively used Google+. I use Hootsuite, Buffer and IFTTT to syndicate my content across various social media groups, always ensuring that the right message is being delivered to the right group.
Let’s be clear. This is different from putting your social media publication on auto-pilot. Social media requires a lot of energy, creating and finding content and building relationships. I spend a TON of time finding great content to share and these syndication tools help me spend more time reading and evaluating and less time pushing the “publish”, “tweet”, “post”, “add”, “insert”, etc…buttons. So, to be transparent, I do automate some of my syndication, but I don’t automate my content creation and content evaluation.
I do automate some of my syndication, but I don’t automate my content creation and content evaluation.
The fact that Google+ doesn’t have a useful inbound API (I recognize they have a very limited one) makes Google+ more of a timesink than any of the other networks that I can manage from within Hootsuite, Buffer and IFTTT. Therefore, I just don’t use it very often.
But before I explain why I don’t want you to visit my Google+ page, let me make it very clear that I don’t think Google+ is going anywhere and I think it will continue to grow into a social network in its own right. While it’s not there, yet…ignore Google+ at your own peril.
While it’s not there, yet…ignore Google+ at your own peril.
Okay, so back to the question about why I don’t want you to visit my Google+ page. Again, it goes back to the fact that Google has made everything overly-complex to manage. Similar to the way Facebook is structured, Google+ has a personal profile and, if you want one, a business page. These two channels usually have very different uses and content and Google has taken steps to ensure that there aren’t any accidental mistaken publications on the wrong page or profile. In fact, when logging in to the mobile app, you have to choose which page or profile you will be posting to. A nice little feature, especially for social media professionals that might be posting on behalf of their client.
But…for me, I use my profile as my professional Google+ presence. That means that, although I have secured my SocMedSean Google+ page, I don’t have the time or energy to post to both my personal profile AND my Google+ page. For that reason, I’m asking my readers to add my personal profile to your circles, instead of my SocMedSean Google+ page. On my personal profile, you’ll get the same social media insights and analysis that you’d expect from my Twitter feed, Facebook page and LinkedIn profile.
I know…it’s confusing, but welcome to the world of Google+
I’m curious, are there others out there who are managing Google+ the same way or who are frustrated with the fact that Google+ isn’t releasing a fully functional inbound API? I’d love to hear your thoughts/experiences in a comment.