Fools Rush In ... to new Social Media Sites

Google+: it's the hottest thing in social media since, well, the last hottest thing (is that Empire Avenue or Quora or something else I'm missing?) But like all hot things, you get burnt if you jump in to fast.

Now, we already had the Google+ social media posts - to the point that most of them are just drafting on a hot news item. Are most of them newsworthy or, well, necessary? No. Hell, some of them have just been based on the announcement.

Okay, here's the skinny: Google+ has launched, and a land rush of social media and PR people - and technology pundits - got access. And they're claiming that Facebook or Twitter or the both are dead. And then we see a commotion about brands, and what are brands going to do and when are brands going to get on Google+, blah blah. And that's the thing - while there might be some value for businesses and Google+, thus far it's too early to tell what it might be, although a good explanation of what brands might be able to do is from Forbes.

But let's take a ride back to yesteryear and look at a little site called ... Second Life. Back then, the PR people (and digital, since we weren't calling it social media yet) were pretty hot for SL and getting brands there. Unfortunately, there was little thought put into it and it was a huge hype machine. Now while I did recommend SL for certain projects - for a large furniture chain, I recommended putting one location in SL and be able to buy virtual furniture for your home, as well the real furniture for your real home - it made sense as it fit into the community. Brands jumped in, and got burnt, because they didn't get that SL was (and still is) a community and you can't force your way in. That seems to happen to much of social media, nowadays: no understanding of the community aspects.


With Google+, as Lauren Gray noted on Facebook, are the brands that are jumping onto Google+ those that are ahead of the curve in social media, or ones that want to appear that they are? I think most of us would say latter, especially those of us that have a view of the past. 

I like Google+ so far, but haven't delved too deeply into all that it offers. Why? Well, I haven't taken the time to just sit down and dig in. But right now, I'm taking that walk down the hill approach.

If you look at how brands adopted Twitter and Facebook, it was a more natural process, more organically done. The push by SM/PR people onto Google+ is too forced, a bit too hysterical. Too many people are running down the hill.

When you run down the hill - and yes, this is totally a Colors reference - you lose focus and can only get the one. When you walk, take the time to really get a good view of the landscape, you can get them all.

Take the time to actually play around with Google+ and then wait to see what Google does with it - and if it sticks around, or goes out like so much Buzz or crashes into the surface like a Wave

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22 comments

  1. Jeremy- it's funny, because I wrote a very similar post yesterday and it went live on my blog this morning. We had a mind meld!

    I think it's especially interesting to see someone like you, an early blogger, who chooses to take a wait and see approach. We don't have to be the first on our block to try something new.

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  2. Even though Google +1 doesn't help ranking yet, it has been said it might in the future. I am not sure this will stick though...I'm waiting to see if the hype dies down in a few months like it did with Google Buzz.

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  3. I am going to ask Quora to see which of my Empire Avenue shareholders ought to have the right answer about plus.google

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  4. Well then, let's just be patient, and talk about it again... tomorrow (or is it too late then?)

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  6. Very much agree that it is far too early to proclaim the death or success of anything. There is, however a great opportunity to learn and experiment, so I'll challenge your title. I "rushed in" last week and have enjoyed the opportunity to test out the new features with an open mind. I blogged last week about my early skepticism, but by the end of the holiday weekend, I had come around a bit. I am beginning to understand the potential power of the tool. It has ignited my creativity and imagination. For me, trying something new is not born of a desire "to be first" or to embrace the new at the exclusion of the old. I just love to consider the possibilities. And I would hope that brands take a similar approach... making sure that Google+ is on their radar and explore the possibilities with an understanding that right now that is all there is. Possibility

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  7. Valerie, while I agree with a lot of what you said -- I think the potential for brands is huge, I also have to side with Jeremy on this. I think the issue is Google+ has only been out for a short time and, like every new platform, we're already declaring it a "killer." While it does present a number of opportunities, it's simply fool to rush in, especially from a brand perspective. Instead -- as Jeremey points out -- why don't we give it some time, test it out and form logical, educated opinions that have substance behind them.

    And I completely agree with the notion that brands already jumping into Google+ is foolish. Again, test it out so you can form a logical opinion when/if it opens to brands; but really...are brands innovative because they're "testing" it out already? Please.

    Take a step back from our soapbox and be a little rationale for a moment. After all, Google+ is simply early adopters right now. It'll change for the mass.

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  8. my mother always says, don't rush into things, you may get burned! Isn't it the same with social media, aren't we supposed to be listening and observing before taking participation. Not a bad time to grab your Google+ name handle now, just in case, right? and then see how it naturally develops...Great post Jeremy.

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  9. Kasey, much as I love a good debate, I can't argue with you or Jeremy on the foolishness of brands diving in head first or jumping to any conclusions in these early days.

    But I will maintain that brands do need to be considering how Google+ (and other emerging media) may offer opportunities beyond what they are familiar with. And I think that smart brands (and those who represent those brands) will be eager to investigate. Organizations can be slow to step outside of their comfort zone. It is certainly not to early to to open your eyes and mind to possibilities. Understanding, of course, that it is nothing more than a playground of sorts right now, and investing resources accordingly. Is it the future? Maybe. Maybe not. My guess is we'll find parts of the future here. And to me that is worth considering.

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  10. For what it's worth, Google doesn't want brands jumping in yet.

    It will be supported later...

    http://ike4.me/gplusbiz

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  11. I think it particularly interesting to see someone like you, an early blogger, who chooses to take a wait and see approach. It has to be first on our block to try something new.

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  12. Incorporating any social media platform in your PR plan is a little tricky because of how trendy it is. However,I think incorporating Google+ depends on the brand personality, and how tech savvy their audience is. Like most professionals in the field say, " there is always that one journalist that may prefer getting their information on a certain platform, so be prepared."

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  13. Jeremy - I haven't really figured out the whole Google+ thing myself yet either. As for the PR aspect, I'm not entirely sure what kind of effect it will have. Thus far, it doesn't seem to have that many users compared to other social media outlets. Virtually none of my friends have made a Google+ account. I did it out of curiosity and haven't really used it since. I'm curious as to what kind of success rate it's had for businesses thus far, if at all.

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  14. Hey, I completely agree with your post. I always found it weird that people would rush into new things head on without really testing the waters first. Same as with your mention of SL, brands and communities. I feel like there's so much possibility that you can do with social media sites that if you end up rushing in along with everyone else, you just get lost in the noise of it all. The hype of the site will definitely drown out most other noise. That and isn't it best to watch how people interact and use the site before trying to lead the pack?

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  15. I completely agree with your post. It always struck me as strange when people would dive head in into a social media site and bring everything they have with them before figuring out what kind of community it will actually foster into. I always thought it would be best to wait so that your brand won't get lost in the beginning noise and commotion. I would have thought most brands would actually wait to see what the community wants and interacts before going in and trying to communicate. Not all sites are the same, they all have their own character after all. Including different ways they are used by the community.

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  16. I've been reading a lot about Google+ starting out really awesome in the numbers arena and now they've started to slow down a lot. I run a small PR firm and I don't take chances on new social media. Great post.

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  17. Absolutely true, Jeremy! And still true! You posted in July. And in November the purpose of this platform is still vague. It is still there, though... And I guess for this reason more and more individuals and companies are joining it. Just to stay tuned.... and to parade one more icon on their blog or web page.

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  18. Absolutely true, Jeremy! And still true! You posted in July. And in November the purpose of this platform is still vague. It is still there, though... And I guess for this reason more and more individuals and companies are joining it. Just to stay tuned.... and to parade one more icon on their blog or web page.

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  19. I absolutely agree with your point of view on Google+, I think when creating a social media network, especially through such a digitally respected company like Google, they need to be sensitive to the needs of others. By over hyping their social media network might work when they want to attract attention and gain a potential audience, it won't be successful unless the website is worthwhile. When there are countless social media outlets it is crucial to create a specific niche in the market where yours is truly unique, which I don't know for sure if Google+ has done. I think it remains to be seen if Facebook is "dead" or if maybe Google just counted their eggs before they hatched.

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  20. I have heard all sorts of things regarding Google+. Just because I was incredibly behind on both Facebook and Twitter when then came on the scene (a few years behind, actually), my friends told me to just play it safe and get an account anyways. So I did. I'm interested to see where it goes. I think making bold statements that insinuate the death of Facebook and Twitter is unwise. We shall see.

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  21. Do you think that social media sites like Facebook will eventually shut down? Will this communication be obsolete as technology advances? How do you see social media in the 22nd century? Facebook is virtually obsolete to me right now, I do not post comments, pictures, updates, and rarely like anything. I prefer Twitter as it is less involved, less needy, and less in your face.

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  22. The huge push Google made for G+ didn't amount to much, sadly. Still, the network can be of great us to internet marketing companies if they want to extend their brands outside the Facebook crowd.

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