Should You Use Google+?
Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.
The jury is still out on whether Google+ is going to be the next Facebook. So the question is, “Should you use it?”
Google+ is the latest social networking site to come on to the scene. At first glance, it appears to blend the functionality of Twitter with Facebook. Google+ closely resembles Facebook in that the home page streams information (photos, text, videos and links) posted by people in your “circles” (think “friends” on Facebook or “people you follow” on Twitter). It is similar to Twitter in that anyone can add you to their circles and see what you are posting.
Google+ does not provide a solution or benefit that is notably different than what Twitter and Facebook currently offer. That said, there will be a number of Google enthusiasts as well as the Facebook and Twitter detractors who will prefer to use Google+. And of course there will be the early adopters who will prefer Google+ just because it is new.
But most advisors have only recently become comfortable with the idea of having a Facebook page. It may be a while before they decide a Google+ page is a necessity as well.
The early adopters of Google+ will be the advisors who were active on Twitter two, three or even four or more years ago. These advisors are lovers of social media and are naturally attracted to this medium.
However, if you resemble the average advisor who does not enjoy spending hours on social networking sites and trying every new tool, you should wait to try Google+. While the buzz is generally positive about Google+, there is no way to know if this new social networking site is going to gain the kind of popularity sites like LinkedIn and Facebook enjoy. Google has launched other social media tools like Google Wave which never caught on, so it is a little early to get on the Google+ bandwagon.
Many advisors are concerned about having time to dedicate to social media, or they are concerned their target demographic isn’t utilizing social media sites. Both are valid concerns with Google+.
Google+ is not to be ignored. Google is the most popular website in the world, so it is reasonable that their social networking site has the same potential for popularity. However, until it is clear that Google+ is going to be a leader in the social networking space, or until it is clear that the site will attract a different demographic from who currently uses Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, I say “wait.” You don’t have to be “first-to-market” in the social media space to be successful. You just have to engage in quality interactions once you are on a site to achieve success.
Unless social media is your hobby, take a step back and see how Google+ develops. You’ll have time to get on the bandwagon when all of your prospects, clients and centers of influence decide to do the same.
Kristen Luke is the President of Wealth Management Marketing, Inc., a firm dedicated to providing marketing strategies and support for Registered Investment Advisory firms. Her firm enables independent advisors the ability to market with the same quality and consistency as their larger competitors by providing the resources of an entire marketing department at a fraction of the cost of a single employee. For more information, visit www.wealthmanagementmarketing.net.