With the recent launch of Google+, marketers are excited to have a shiny new social network. Even though brands aren’t technically allowed on Google+ yet, some (like Ford Motor) are setting up personal profiles to get started and the marketing world is buzzing with possibilities.
When thinking about opportunities, it’s important for brands to remember that the message is more important than the media. The quality of the conversation is more important than the quality of the platform.
A couple months ago, I shared Andrew Blakeley’s “Social Consumer” experiment where he “Liked” every brand that asked him. His conclusion: “My week as a social consumer left me tired and confused. It left my Facebook newsfeed crammed with nonsense, to the point that I could scroll entire pages without seeing my friends.”
Even as marketers excitedly brainstorm how to reach consumers on a brand new social network, many consumers are tiring with how brands are reaching them on the current ones. An antisocial brand that uses social media is still an antisocial brand. A content strategy must come before a social network strategy.
The arrival of Google+ is a good time to revisit and reevaluate how our brands interact with consumers. It’s not enough for communication to be good for the brand. It has to be good for the consumer.
I’d love to hear examples of how you’re planning to use Google+ in ways that are meaningful to consumers. On a related note, I’m starting to experiment with my own Google+ profile and thinking about starting a weekly Google+ Hangout for 30 minutes the Monday after a cartoon post to have a live webcam conversation about the weekly topic. Let me know what you think and follow me on Google+ if you’re interested.