Via: Dave Davies, December 20, 2011 at searchenginewatch.com
For the past couple weeks, a select gathering of us (likely including many Search Engine Watch readers) have been playing with Google+. It’s an interesting social media experiment by Google, but it is likely to remain that. Another “almost ran” in the social media game; another Google property that just won’t quite make it. Here are five reasons why.
A huge problem Google will face here is that we all know how we use our social media tools and why.
Let’s look back to May 2010, when Facebook had the “audacity” to force a layout change on its users – a change that garnered 1.7 million protests and many more complaints (including one from yours truly). If people are this opposed to simply adjusting how they use a single social media site (and let’s be honest, the changes really weren’t that significant; no manual required), who’s going to want to learn an entirely new layout and way to communicate to do… the same things you can do on Facebook.
The overall layout of Google+ is similar to that of Facebook (coincidence?) but the subtle differences are going to be problematic in a world where you have the user’s attention for a whopping five seconds. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’re gone.
Let’s say I tell you I “beige” something… what does that mean to you? Not a whole lot I’d imagine, because you don’t have a base of reference for the word “beige” as a vote of support or opposition.
Now let’s say I tell you I “like” something… what does that mean to you? Fortunately, we’ve all gone through our lives “liking” things so we have an easy reference.
I’m pretty sure by now you all see where this is going. None of us has a pre-exposed reference to “+1” as any type of support point. I’ve never listened to a band in a pub and shouted to the guy next to me, “I really plus one this song… it’s awesome!”
People like what they know and from the outset, the idea of +1 as a rating of support has been a point of head scratching and mild snickering. This additional lack of intuitive use is another point against Google in the battle for users’ hearts and minds.
Why Social Media Counts…And Why It’s Not Enough
Social media is hot right now, and will be for the foreseeable future. With hundreds of millions on Facebook, and millions using Twitter and LinkedIn, social media is a critical component of virtually any marketing strategy. So why isn’t marketing via social media alone enough? Here’s a few reasons.