Is Google Plus a Social Networking Platform?

Post by Ray 2 years ago - Google Plus - 0 Comments

Is Google Plus a social network

Trying to define what Google Plus is to friends and clients takes up a large part of my time online and off.

What is Google Plus and why do we need it?

I envy those who work primarily on Facebook. They don’t have as much ‘splainin’ to do as most people think Facebook is “social media”.

This week the #RayLunchBunch chewed on the challenge of defining Google Plus.

One of the challenges identified was the sheer amount of options Google+ gives us. 

It is what you want it to be. This makes it more difficult to explain to non users as it involves asking them about their business goals first.

Martin Shervington, in his article:  What is Google Plus? A Complete User Guide. (Videos and Blog) says:

“If you think Google Plus is just another social site, you are in for a big surprise. What has been created is, put simply, a phenomenal tool for human communication, and much more. But it takes you to experience it, embrace it and ‘get it’ before this realization really comes.”

I recently I tuned in to Martin Shervington’s HOA: Talking ‘RORs’ with Ted Rubin

I’m a Ted Rubin fan and follow him on several “social” properties including Google+.

When Martin asked Ted his views on Google+, Ted responded that he didn’t see much value in Google+.

“It isn’t a “social platform; it’s a tools platform.”

 Do you agree?


Let’s hear what the Ray Lunch Bunch say:  

Does Google Plus have an identity crisis?

Following the video is a time stamped summary of our discussion. This is not a literal transcription but my paraphrase of the dialogue. If you want the exact wording – well, that’s what the time stamps are for. 🙂



Google+ is not a social network, is not a set of tools. B.L. Ochman (1:58) 

It’s a new form of online communication. Google has done an absolute terrible job marketing Google+. You have to learn and invest time to use it. 

We all use Google+ it differently.- Jessica Dewell: (3:00) 

With so many options, it confuses people. How do you use it? We have to come to Google+ with a plan and we need to be creative because the platform isn’t like any other.

There’s a similarity between G+ and early internet Forums and Bulletin Boards. You have to want to be there and collaborate to actually get anything out of the community. 

Google+ is a great blog platformRandy Bowden (5:12)

It’s a communication vehicle. You could host a blog or create a video show like the LunchBunch HOA. No platform. There’s all kinds of ways ot use the platform, but it’s not “one size fits all”.

No “experts” can be an experts on all platforms – they change too much everyday. 

Google+ is like WordPress. B.L. (6:20)

Need to invest time to learn it before reaping benefits. 

Google+ is to online productivity what Microsoft Office software is to Microsoft. Scott Scowcroft (6:58)

Google wants to be the place where the world does business. 

Google+ was mislabelled from the beginning. – Jess (8:42)

Who said that Google+ and Facebook should be compared? We seem to need to compare something new to what we already know regardless if that’s an appropriate comparison. 

The haters and naysayers tend to be the people who don’t use Google+B.L. (9:05)  

(Cue: Shake it Off)

Is Google+ a social channel? No. It’s more than that. – Randy (9:47) 

Google+ was set up as a social platform like Facebook. Friends, circles, groups etc.. The fact that it was GOOGLE made it a target of those who resented the size and power and the goal to centralize the internet around that brand.

A lot of great opportunities exist on Google+. Jess found a way to have some of her clients benefit by it. We (the #RayLunchBunch) developed a way where we can talk weekly and express our opinions using this network. It works for us. 

Google+ won’t be flushed. There’s a lot of users here. Hangouts On Air have become very attractive with updates rolling out daily. 

Google+ will not shut down.

Lee comment Is Google Plus Social 

How do you sell Google+ to your clients?Jess (12:25) 

Everybody in every industry has a place they go to connect with others in their industry. That’s what Google+ is like, only without boundaries. It’s much more that getting great search results.

It’s about collaboration, exchanging ideas. Google+ does the equivalent of real life networking but only on such a large-scale that if you don’t come into it without a precise goal, it’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed. 

To use Google+ to the fullest, you have to do business differently than you did in the past.Scott (17:00)

There’s a large and active group of attorneys on Google+. Attorneys are doing private paid consulting using Hangouts. B.L. (17:20) 

You do have to be willing to try new things and if they don’t work, try the next. 

“If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.” 

Complexity and choice is an advantage(18:55) 

Kristin Comment Is Google Plus Social

Are you doing business differently?Randy (19:25)

People don’t want to be “sold to” on social channels.

With the maturation of social platforms, marketers are understanding that they have to build relationships with people who don’t necessarily want to talk to “Mr. Restauranteur”. But they may want to talk about “you”.

Google shows your Social Accounts In Its Knowledge Graph Boxes with addition of code to your website. B.L.(20:48)

Google is indexing your entire social footprint. Demonstrates importance of social signals to Google and Google+. Specify your social profiles to Google 

It takes 3 to 6 months of time investment on Google+ to see results. Scott(21:28)

One HOA show won’t gain you an instant audience or establish you as an authority. You need to consistently produce quality content over time. 

Google+ is not just a tool for marketers. – Vivek (22:07)


Vivek Comment Is Google Plus social

Companies use Google+ in ways that work for them. – B.L. (22:25)

Not using Google+ Hangouts yet?… Here’s how 26 companies large and small use G+ Hangouts as their Intranet 

Should we be selling Google+ differently than how we’re doing it now? Ray(22:41)

It’s very difficult for the general population to grasp Google+.  Marketers announced the failure of Google+ shortly after it was launched, as they did with ELLO. If you invest time, you’ll reap the benefits. 

Who is Google+ Good for? What kind of brands would do well?Ray (25:55)

B.L. –  Brands are on Google+ who want to have contact with their customers such as H&M who do “try-ons” and fashion advice, as does Burberry. There’s Cadbury with millions of followers.  

Scott – Small entrepreneurs who can expand their client base outside their geography.

Randy – Every brand can find a niche on this platform.


Lunch Bunch Take out

Randy – SearchEngine Journal: Starbucks & The Economist Admit To Using Google+ Mostly For SEO Benefits 

“When businesses join Google+ they are given prime placement on the right hand side of search results, complete with photos and user reviews.You can’t even buy this kind of placement , instead Google gives it away for free to entice businesses to join their network.”

B.L. B.L. Ochman’s Tips & Tricks for creating a great Google+ HoverCard –

First step anyone needs to take is to create their Profile and Hovercard.

Jess – Why Google+ Is the Collaboration Platform of Social Networks –

Social platforms change and so how we use them does as well.

Scott – The Google Plus Social Layer Encourages Collaboration” –

Scott’s The Scott Treatment of David Amerland’s lecture (via HOA)  at John Brown University Graduate School.

Ray – The Google+ Partner Playbook –

A downloadable PDF that takes you through how to get started to an introduction of the different elements of Google+ such as Circles, Communities, Photos and Hangouts.

Do you need help with your Hangouts On Air or with Google Plus? Contact me here and let’s talk.

If you’d like to receive Google+ tips delivered to your email box, subscribe to my weekly Google+ Tips Newsletter and join our Google+ Tips & Topics Community.

About Ray Hiltz

Thanks for dropping by. I'm the Director of Digital Marketing for My background in business includes non-profit (performing arts), restaurants and Promotions. Having moved on from my own strategic consulting company, I now write about what interests me. So in this blog, you may read about my thoughts on marketing, health issues and business culture. You can follow me on Twitter @rayhiltz or @image24Call

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