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Dear Google+: Marketers Hate You (Want to Know Why?)

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Generally, marketers love social media. We tweet with the best of them. Our LinkedIn networks put non-marketers’ networks to shame. We understand how to use Facebook for business and pleasure. There is one social media channel, however, that marketers appear not to like. In fact, marketers seem to hate it. That channel is Google+.


In an informal poll of marketers, MarketingProfs asked about social media preferences. Not surprisingly, LinkedIn is marketers’ favorite network for professional use and Facebook for personal use. What was surprising was that (to date) 42% of respondents have identified Google+ as the network they “Never Want to Hear About Ever Again” and 50% of marketers’ said Google+ was the most confusing social network.


Most confusing and least favorite? Ouch, Google+, that’s gotta hurt! But why are marketers saying this? We asked our Facebook audience of nearly 70,000 marketers what they thought.


Here are their thoughts regarding Google+.



Why Most Marketers Hate Google+


"It's basically a mashup of Facebook and Pinterest. It doesn't have a great user experience or visual design (in my opinion), and users in our target audience simply aren't very active there. No reason to spread yourself so thin for subpar results." (Autumn McReynolds)


"When I sign up for other social networks, it feels like I'm walking through a door on my own. When I sign up for Google+, it feels like I'm in the process of being captured." (David Brazeal)


"I don't like circles and the term feels like I'm back in high school." (Rob Yoegel)


"They need to open API to personal pages; also, [it] takes multiple clicks to get to the professional pages." (Stott T. Templeman)


"The giant F-Up on their part was getting marketers on board with G+, then enabling those same marketers to create a G+ account through Google Apps. The accounts couldn't be cleanly merged and the process of importing all of my Circles and other data over to a business account took FAR too long for them to figure out. Month after month, it was 'We're working on a solution for this.' Give me a break. It's absolutely ridiculous a company the size of Google couldn't have this detail worked out beforehand." (Dan Gershenson)


"I hate Google+ because it's not very intuitive, not many people are on it, and Facebook beat them to … everything." (Nicole Rodriguez)



Why a Few Marketers Don't Hate Google+


Now, let's be clear---some marketers love Google+. We wanted to hear from them, too. Here’s what they had to say.


"I love G+. And I love that everyone else hates it. It's harder to market there, but especially for someone introverted like me, it's easier to find and sort deeper connections, not to mention how just... stupid easy ... it is to find like-minded people of other groups." (Tinu Abayomi-Paul)


"So far, I've made more money marketing myself and expertise on Google+ than other networks. I've also captured top 5 search rankings for keywords with close to 19MM results...because of Google+. Learning curve? Yep. Confusion? Yep. Gigantic community of people and professionals to help? Yep. Significantly better collaboration tools for business? Yep. Instant search indexing? Yep. You guys can stay here if you want; I'm happily enjoying the success." (Stephan Hovnanian)



What Do You Think?


So, Google+, there you have it. Marketers could love you a whole lot more. Even though some marketers already do, mostly marketers feel confusion, a lot of angst, and unhappy. It seems that marketers need some more information on how to make Google+ work for them, and perhaps Google+ needs to make a few changes to make the site more intuitive for marketers.


Want to voice your opinion about your favorite social network? Take the following poll and let us know what you think.



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Corey O'Loughlin is a marketing manager at MarketingProfs. Reach her via Twitter.

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Comments

  • by Tim Blake Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    Great comments from "G+ Haters." I too find it frustrating. They've changed the UI so many times, I've lost count. And, as Dan G. mentioned, the integration of personal and business accounts is still kludgy.

    Thus far, I've not made any relevant connections and am simply using it as a way to boost SEO.

  • by Eileen O'Connor Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    Google Authorship alone makes Google+ a must for any marketer (not to mention Author Rank, if it is implemented).

  • by wvpv Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    Of course there are marketers that don't like G+ that much. It has empowered consumers of content to finely control what they consume and share. As a consumer, I'll take more of that please. A la cart, FTW.

    From a marketing perspective...it's just like any other social network. You get what you put into it. If you're not finding engaged people there then you're not fully participating, IMHO.

    Oh and good thing Facebook is intuitive and never changes layouts. That would really suck.

  • by Matt Clark Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    I think the thing to remember is Google+ is still young, still evolving and I feel it is here to stay. You can hate it but ignore it at your own peril.

    Like all things new they need to grow and I have seen great growth in Google+ and look forward to them learning and making things better.

  • by Teresa Paredes Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    Our target market are not using Google+ very much at all but we have an account as there's a feeling that we should have a presence 'just in case' as it's Google's platform!

  • by Rebekah Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    As Eileen said, Google Authorship makes Google+ a must. However, it feels as though you are forced into it, and I hate that. I just don't have time for another social network, and feeling guilty because I'm not using it - sucks.

  • by Corey O'Loughlin Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    Could you imagine?! A Facebook layout change would just be totally unexpected and terrible! Good thing that never happens, ever!

  • by Corey O'Loughlin Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    I have a lot of the same feelings as you, Rebekah! Thanks for sharing.

  • by Chas Sobolak Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    I have to agree with Rebekah, Google Authorship makes Google+ a must. If it wasn't for that you would need to consider the social ROI since these networks are popping up constantly with more and more granularity.

  • by Paul Profitt Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    I prefer Google+ over Facebook and Linkedin at this moment in time and I am speaking as someone who has over 500+ connections on Linkedin. I haven't really gotten to deep in to the mechanics of G+ but all I know is that it works for me.

  • by Kam Retnasami Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    Maybe you are not aware of these:

    Google's +1 button is clicked 5 billion times a day!

    Google+ will overtake Facebook in February 2016: http://blog.searchmetrics.com/us/2013/06/20/social-media-growth-forecast-go...

    Suddenly, Google Plus Is Outpacing Twitter To Become The World's Second Largest Social Network: http://www.businessinsider.com/google-plus-is-outpacing-twitter-2013-5#ixzz...

  • by Corey O'Loughlin Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    I'm not contending that G+ isn't growing/gaining momentum - just reporting that it isn't well liked among those surveyed.

  • by Simon Maselli Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    We have been using Google+ for a little bit now and getting mixed results - It's reminding us of when we first started using Facebook for business - we knew there was benefit but just didn't understand how to maximise…

    After a few revisions from Facebook and us refining our approach we have turned it into a great brand recognition platform generating it's share of leads… Give Google+ some time and I think it will be the same story

  • by Walter Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    Google+ is feature wise the most superior network. It has the best elements of every social network and more. It has hashtagging and following a la twitter, +1/likes a la facebook, communities/groups a la Linkedin, visual posts a la pinterest, local reviews > yelp, hangouts > skype. Not to mention "what's hot" section and photo integration.

    I really like the circles, I think of it more like a reader and segment different types of content into different streams. If I want to see something related to marketing I can go to "Marketing experts" circle, if I want to see "industry professionals", "celebrities", "sports", I can.

    The content is also far superior to any other network... I think many marketers are intimidated by google+

  • by Phil Vallender Sat Jul 27, 2013 via blog

    I'm so glad you shared this poll. Hate is perhaps too strong a word but I certainly find Google+ an unrewarding system to use.

    I can and do use google+ for authorship, seo and content distribution, but do not do so happily. The core issue? Its confusing, none of it is intuitive. It's a black box that you have to test in order to identify which inputs cause which outputs. There seem to be so many ways to share content, yet none of them produce the result I want.

    I also find the huge variation in and constant changes to the layouts of avatars, cover images etc, to be totally annoying - its completely impossible to properly brand a google+ identity.

    Finally, I don't discover anywhere near as much content of interest on G+ as I do on other social platforms.

    Google+ could be something amazing, but only once it stops trying to be facebook, twitter, youtube, flikr and LinkedIn all at the same time.

  • by Jaddis Mon Jul 29, 2013 via blog

    Like any campaign, you've got to find the channels the people in your company's target market use. I think that's part of why companies don't see the conversion rates from Google+. This social network attracts a different audience than other social networks, and if you're company isn't looking to market to this audience, you're not going to have much success on Google+.

  • by Casie Shimansky Mon Jul 29, 2013 via blog

    We're using Google+ mainly as that "just in case" back up system too - and running it fairly similar to our Facebook page for now. The hospitality industry just does NOT seem to be there at all, which does make it a challenge. But, we're an international company and we definitely see the promise in Google+ as a whole. It's just a matter of finding our true voice on there, and creating our own community. {If you build it, they will come -- right?} We've also noticed that we've popped up a lot quicker in searches just as we simply share other pertinent industry related content with hashtags that are relevant to our work.

  • by Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing Tue Jul 30, 2013 via blog

    My attitude towards Google+ is pretty ho-hum. I think it has potential but it does have a lot of problems. On the other hands, it's Google's social network so can you really afford to ignore it even if you do hate it.

  • by Kyle Finley Tue Jul 30, 2013 via blog

    We don't hate Google+ at all. But I can say that most people have been pretty negative towards it (even inside my own company). But we've started using it a Lot more lately. We don't run the content exactly like Facebook however. We have a more SEO targeted strategy for our Google+ content. Unfortunately though we're late to the game and our following is very low due to many months of running a "duplicate what we do on Facebook" strategy which is obviously not an ideal way to run things.

  • by Stephan Hovnanian Wed Jul 31, 2013 via blog

    Thanks for the include guys! To be fair, you didn't post this on Google+, you don't have much of a presence on Google+, so your audience hasn't started interacting with you on Google+, and said audience wouldn't be contributing to the votes for Google+. This was a bit of a skewed poll, so I'm glad you called it "informal."

    And that's also why I answered the poll the way I did.

    But here's the thing: to really make the most of ANY social channel, you have to invest your time in understanding the nuances of how it works, how it will work for you, what you can bring to your audience (assuming they're there in the first place), etc.

    Hey, I'll put this out there...if you (MarketingProfs) ever want someone to write for you to talk about Google+, I'm available, and you all have my email address :) Have a great day!

  • by Stephan Hovnanian Wed Jul 31, 2013 via blog

    Is your target market using search? Do they search using...what's that word...oh yeah, GOOGLE? Here's the thing, your target market might not be "social" on the social part of Google+, but every one of your posts is indexed in Google Search, which means you improve your chances of being discovered in a place where people go when they have commercial intent.

  • by Stephan Hovnanian Wed Jul 31, 2013 via blog

    Casie, hospitality (and travel) could and should do extremely well on Google+, especially if you have an international audience. I think you hit the nail on the head...figure out how to take advantage of the tools it offers to boost your discoverability in Search, Local, YouTube and then your target audience will just end up finding you anyway.

  • by Veronica Maria Jarski Wed Jul 31, 2013 via blog

    Stephan,

    I *do* have your email address, and I just used it. Check your email. ;)

    Sincerely,
    Your friendly neighborhood blog editor

  • by Neil Ferree Wed Jul 31, 2013 via blog

    Like it or hate, use or not, Google owns search and as the G+ social network continues to grow you can be sure, your body of work will find its way to page 1 search results with your silhouette connected to it (default) and your social connections with see it first.

  • by Tom Coleman Thu Aug 1, 2013 via blog

    GooglePlus is where it's at. You can research and run all of your social media marketing from this channel. Now is the time. People who get in and learn now and get busy will dominate their market.

    Google is the gorilla in the room. Ignore it at your peril.

    It's easier to find and interact on exactly the topic you want and people like Stephan Hovnanian are transparent and willing to share their knowledge. It's the common denominator on the G+. People are passionate about their subject and isn't that what you're looking for?

  • by Laurie Varga Fri Aug 9, 2013 via blog

    Amen wvpv, and I work in marketing (on the design side of things). I love how carefully I can craft what I see in my home stream and the communities are a wonderful tool - I've met a lot of great people there and learned quite a bit.

    I do spend an hour or so per day on G+ and although I've only been using it for a few months I've seen great benefits. Maybe I'm weird but I actually find Facebook more confusing to navigate. But then, I don't spend much time there.

  • by Laurie Varga Fri Aug 9, 2013 via blog

    Corey, that's my one beef with the article. Not that you aren't a good writer - but the article is based on the results of one, very limited survey.

  • by Laurie Varga Fri Aug 9, 2013 via blog

    I'm actually glad only a small percent of those surveyed don't use/like Google+. There are already far too many marketing professionals pushing their services on G+. If I see one more post from a "Social Media Expert" I'm going to barf into my coffee mug. Thankfully, I can easily uncircle those people, find a different G+ community or mute them.

    Although I (kind of) work in marketing on the design side, I've had a wonderful experience in my brief two months on G+. My target market is small business owners and solopreneurs and I've already secured two lucrative clients.

    The most impressive part is the quality of the content and the high-level discussions that happen there. Yes, there are cat pictures and lots of nice sunset images but I have full control over what I see and who I interact with. Oh yeah, and I've grown from having no followers to almost 700 in a couple of months without having to rely on sleezy promo tactics. All of those followers are people I don't know in real life since none of my friends use G+. Their loss!

    I don't know why people have a hard time getting a handle on G+. I'm still learning and they keep adding new features but it's not that difficult to use. I hardly think I'm some kind of social media genius so that can't be the reason.

    Wow, that was quite a monologue. Well, thanks for the discussion.

    - Laurie

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