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What’s the fuzz, Google plus?


The google+ project is full of promise – but what is the status six months after release?

Here is a quick view of the situation in Norway posted in Renommé Communication Blog by Marit Letnes and the team from the agency.

Google+ has 90 million registered users. About 300.000 Norwegians have registered an account on the social network. But the activity level varies. At first sight Google+ seems to be a great success, but do companies need to be on Google+ to keep up to speed?

In Norway, Facebook have 2,6 million users, Linkedin 550.000 and Twitter have 340.000, according to ComScore’s latest report.
Google+ (g+ from now on) is a social platform with new functions that in several ways challenges Facebook. G+ still operates in a beta version, but is open for everyone. The number of registered accounts increases every day. But still, the buzz about g+ amongst professionals in marketing and social media in Norway seems to be non-existent.
Six months have gone by since g+ was launched, which is a long time when it comes to social media, especially with a giant like Google at the wheel. Most people in the social media business seem to wait it out. In December 2011 the Norwegian Social Media Advisor Hans-Petter Nygård-Hansen wrote in his blog that g+ hasn’t seen lift off . This fits with our impression. Do we really need g+?

Since g+ was launched, we at Renommé have kept track of what’s new, read blogs and created our own profiles. But it never really caught our interest in the same way that Facebook did. We acknowledge the value of g+ when it comes to sharing information, but so far we can manage without it. Here at Renommé we don’t recommend our clients g+ to use in their social media communication, but this may change in the future.

Testing the waters

Last week SoMe expert Morten Myrstad dropped quite a bomb. He claimed in a blog post that by not paying attention to g+, Norwegian SoMe advisors weren’t doing their job.

“I’m surprised that Norwegian Social Media advisors continue to ignore g+, and even more importantly, they ignore the businesses that are testing g+ potential for marketing and building relations. I’ve reached only one conclusion; they are not doing their jobs”.

Myrstad states that a part of the job description for Social Media advisors is to be ahead of the game when it comes to new trends, and to test out new platforms way ahead of their clients. So when the time comes Social Media advisors can guide their clients on how to make the most out of a new platform.
This I can’t argue with. We need to be up to speed when it comes to new platforms. But g+ isn’t exactly popular in Norway, or is it?
Myrstad asked: « What’s the risk in paying attention to g+? Worst case scenario you learn a few things and gain a couple of new friends?»
This triggered quite a debate amongst Norwegians Social Media advisors. In no time the post had 58 pluses, 38 shares and 108 comments. This shows that a lot of Social Media advisors are lurking in the halls of g+, and now they are commenting with great insight.

A quick summary of the discussion:

  • Norwegian Social Media advisors agree that it’s important to be ahead of trends and try out new platforms before clients do.
  • Even though it’s important to try out new platforms and communication channels, the main focus will be on the platforms which are the most frequented, g+ not included.
  • It’s exciting to see how g+ will affect Google searches.
  • Google+ seems to a bit spamish in its current state.
  • It takes time to learn how to navigate g+, but this is no excuse. Learning a new skill set takes time.
  • Many advisors promise to be more active on g+ from now on.
  • The participants are a bit confused when it comes to what g+ actually is. G+ isn’t Twitter or Facebook, no one quite knows what it is yet.

Marketing on G+

When it comes to marketing, G+ opened for dedicated business pages early in November. We follow them with a keen eye. A good example  is the scandinavian airline SAS, who have 600 people in their circle, and they’re just starting up. Toyota and Mashable are also good examples on good use of the g+ platform.
It’s not the case that Norwegian Social Media Advisors aren’t interested in learning or adapting to new settings. Our main concern is to promote our clients on the platforms where their targeted groups actually are. In the last six months there has to our judgement not been relevant to our clients to use g+ as a place for promotion. But this may of course very quickly change. So we’ll most definitely keep on checking the waters. You are most welcome to add us to your circles. We are Marit Letnes,  Anne Aaby and Trine Knudsen Dabbadie. What about you? Are you promoting g+ as a platform your clients should use?

Visit Renommé’s Blog for more information.

Photo: DigitalOrrey (Flickr license CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
About Renommé: At Renommé we empower our clients to work easier and more profitable by offering a fully integrated communication service. We have the right tools for the job at hand – be it an ad campaign, events, PR, social media, web solutions or participation at exhibitions.