How the Google Plus Little Red Square May Win the Social Media Game

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The Little Red Square

As many of you who follow me know, I’m a Twitter believer. It has been the most productive social media network for my business, connecting me with new business and opportunities I couldn’t have imagined even five years ago. But as much I love and use it, I do think Google Plus could win the social media game … and not because it’s the better network.

Mind Share over Matter

I’ve really made a concerted effort to spend time on Google Plus. The results thus far have been dismal and definitely less than what I’ve achieved through Twitter. But there may be some factors that may be affecting my stats, such as questions about how Google is exactly reporting traffic from Plus in Analytics. Much of it is no doubt lumped under “not provided” in Analytics since Google is apparently encrypting data for users who are signed in to their “G” properties such as Gmail.

Another trend I’m noticing on Plus is that all the chatter on my blog postings is done on Plus, not on my blogs. This may also explain the low/no traffic situation.¬†Additionally, with Google only offering limited access to its Plus API, it’s a bit of a social media silo. So you cannot do post scheduling with tools such as Hootsuite, except to G+ pages.

As well, Google Plus has a Facebook-ish interface, with each post occupying a lot of screen real estate. So while it amazingly showcases photos and videos, it takes a long time to get through volumes of posts. Yeah, yeah, yeah you can adjust the visibility of posts through communities and Circles (one of the best features of Plus). But once you get involved in more than a couple communities (same as being in too many groups on LinkedIn) or tracking activity in more than a couple of Circles, it’s now entering the social media time waster whirlpool.

All that being said, I do believe that Google Plus may win the social media game because of that damn little red square that shows up in the upper right corner of the Gmail screen on your desktop. The square shows you how many notifications you have on Google Plus which includes comments, mentions, shares and new followers you’ve received. Curiosity gets the better of you. You just have to know!¬†Before you know it, you’re returning a comment, checking out your new followers, and watching that informative or entertaining video that got shared with you.

Because it’s in your peripheral vision on something you might be checking every day, sometimes several times a day, you don’t have to separately log in to sucked into the conversations, it’s right there waiting for you. Kind of like the Google Glass concept. Everything right in your visual field. That’s how Google Plus may win the social media game.

Are you fixated on the little red square? Think it will help Google Plus rule the social media universe? Discuss in Comments.

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About Heidi Thorne

Heidi Thorne is a promotional marketing expert, speaker and author of five books. She has over 25 years experience in sales, advertising, marketing and public relations, including a decade in the hospitality and trade show industries. Follow Heidi on Twitter at @heidithorne or her blog on mobile marketing at MessagingMarketing.com.

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