Businesses Are Ignoring Google+, But Is that Wise?

google plus for businessTrying to build a competitor to Facebook is no easy task. Google took the challenge on a few years ago with Google+ and a lot has changed since. Google+ has been receiving a lot of press in the news lately for recent successes and impressive numbers. But in one of the most important areas for online marketing, business use and interaction, Google+ is trailing behind in a bad way.

The Latest on Businesses and Google+

Yesterday, reports came out concerning business usage on Google+. As Alexei Oreskovic writes for Reuters, Google+ “is struggling to win over the brands and businesses that have been its most loyal customers in the internet search market.” It appears that businesses – even those who have Google+ pages – are not taking the time to update their pages as compared to what they do on Facebook and Twitter.

For businesses and agencies, Facebook and Twitter’s recent changes have made using their service for advertising and reaching consumers a lot more attractive. One scary stat from Redorbit’s report on this Google+ news states that of the “seventy-two of the 100 most valuable global brands” on Google+ “approximately 40 percent have either never posted content on the website or had only done so infrequently.” That’s not a good sign for Google as they try to bring in more businesses.

Alexei reports that with Google+, Google’s goal appears to be “to prevent migration of internet users to Facebook and other social networks.” Google+ doesn’t have advertisements so that statement appears to hold true for now. Eventually, Google+ may start implementing ads, especially given some of the recent positive news from earlier this month.

Are Businesses Ignoring at Their Own Peril?

In May so far I’ve spent two mornings writing about some positive news and numbers for Google+. The social media platform has come a long way since its inception in 2011. First part of the good news was the dramatic growth Google+ has seen over the past year – enough growth to surpass Twitter! Then there was the news last week that Google+ numbers for time on site had increased almost 100% (although still very low compared to Facebook).

Businesses ignoring Google+ may be making a mistake. The numbers from the above two posts show that Google+ is gaining traction for users all over. As Google grows its other offerings, they will undoubtedly bring more people into the Google brand ecosystem and ultimately to Google+. If Google Glass is a huge hit, millions more people will be using Google+.

Then again, the ignorance may be intentional. Businesses could just be waiting for when the number of users and the time they spend engaging on Google+ reaches a certain point before they shift their limited social media resources to the platform. Still, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to simply include Google+ into your social media strategy. I think it’s best to use every tool you’ve got.

Are businesses doing the right thing by ignoring Google+? Should they be devoting more time and effort to the platform?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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