A recent article by Frederic Gonzalo on Business2Community.com highlighted the conundrum brands face with Google+ and their social media portfolios. Google+ is technically the third most popular site after Facebook and Twitter, with approximately 170 million users - a number predicted to hit 400 million by end of 2012. The problem, as most of us already know, is that no one seems to be doing much on it.
The post lists some "disarming" facts from FastCompany and RJ Metric about Google+ based on a sample of 40,000 user accounts:
- The average post on Google+ has less than one +1, less than one reply, and less than one re-share
- Roughly 30% of users who make a public post never make a second one
- Even after making five public posts, there is a 15% chance that a user will not post publicly again
- Among users who make publicly viewable posts, there is an average of 12 days between each post
- After a member makes a public post, the average number of public posts they make in each subsequent month declines steadily, a trend that is not improving
Despite having the continued attention of social media evangelists such as Chris Brogan and Guy Kawasaki, the article acknowledges that even leaders in the social space - including major tourism boards - tend to create an account and then leave it fallow.
So, why should you bother with Google+?
Gonzalo argues that time and engagement spent on the site don't consider its true benefits - the most important being making search work for your content:
Search engine optimization for any given site has always been important and it’s becoming even more so with the constant updates being made by Google, Yahoo and Bing, both on the web and the mobile web. Not to mention the increasing trend where social, local and mobile are morphing into one big platform where reaching and engaging with customers will be the utmost challenge. Posting on a Google+ brand page helps your rankings, in particular as Google rolls out more changes with regards to travel search, Places, Maps and other integration projects yet unannounced.
He also mentions the ways companies can use the Hangouts feature and how an active Google+ account might help your visibility on YouTube.
For more details, read the entire article.
What do you think - is Google+ an important part of your social media efforts, or do you focus elsewhere?