Why Your Company Needs Google+ ASAP

The first mover advantage in a major social networ represents precious brand building power.  


You Can't Detect What You Can't See: Illuminating the Entire Kill Chain

Posted November 10, 2011

Mike Elgan

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Google launched its long-awaited Google+ Pages feature this week. The service enables businesses, products, brands, and organizations to host Google+ pages.

With the launch, Google announced that a large number of major brands were already established. Because it takes only a minute or two to set up a Pages presence, many hundreds more quickly jumped on board.

As with all things Google and social, the service has been controversial.

Critics like Robert Scoble, a fan and champion of Google+ in general, laments Pages’ lack of editorial tools. It’s a legitimate criticism; everyone waited for months for Pages, but when the doors opened we discovered that it functions like a one-user personal account.

Slate’s Farhad Manjoo says Google+ is as good as dead, and predict that Google will shut down the service in a year or two. His bizarre reasons are that there’s little activity on Google+ (which isn’t true) and that Google’s own executives don’t even use the service (which also isn’t true and wouldn’t be relevant if it were true).

These and other criticisms will lead many companies to take a wait-and-see approach. And this will be a huge mistake, one they will regret for years.

Here are three reasons why your company needs to embrace Pages today, immediately, right now:

1. First mover advantage.

Here’s the Google+ secret that hardly anyone acknowledges. (It’s formerly a Twitter secret and Facebook secret.) Whoever gets there first has an enormous permanent advantage over those who come later.

Look at the top news brands on Twitter, for example. There are six mainstream media brands in Twitter’s top 100. Here’s how they rank in terms of number of followers:

1. CNN

2. The New York Times

3. E! Online

4. The Onion


6. People

Here’s the order in which these brands joined Twitter:

1. CNN

2. The New York Times

3. E! Online

4. The Onion


6. People

You’ll notice a perfect, direct, one-to-one relationship between which got there first and which has the most followers. Coincidence? Hardly.

That’s not to say that getting on a social network early is the only path to success, or that other brands exhibit this same phenomenon in all cases.

The point is that growing audience is something that happens steadily over time. And the earlier you start, the more you’ll have at any given point in the future. The dominant brands on every social network generally correlate to the brands that got their first.

Also: If your company is small, you’ll want to grab your name before somebody else does.

There is zero downside to moving fast on Google+, and the upside could be incredible.

2. Search.

Google recently and unceremoniously dumped the + operator (now replaced by placing your search term in quote marks).

Why? Because they wanted to use it for identifying brands on Google+.

If you have a Pages presence, you can get a Google+ badge -- a linked set of images that enables visitors to an outside web site to circle, share and do other things with your brand that they would otherwise need to do on Google+.

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Tags: Facebook, Twitter, social networking, google+

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