I tend to try not to be a fan-boy of any brand, technology or individual. Unless of course we are speaking about @Starbucks or @Pepsi. All joking aside, I believe that by maintaining unbiased brand opinion in my posts is crucial to providing the best reviews and opinions to you the reader. Easier said than done, right?
I’ll admit that there are morale and belief opinions that creep into my technology preferences. Dislike for an individuals leadership and personality style (Apple) as an example. The arrogance some user groups display to others that don’t purchase the same brand due to cost, preference or lack of knowledge tend to result in my negative view of a brand or product as well. The area of emotion tends to lead my weakness surrounding remaining unbiased in my posts. I will attempt to hold true to this fact in this post, as it no doubt will have the ability to polarize some people.
As I watch the social platform space heat up again with the launch of Google Plus and the continued announcement of new niche networks, I have noticed some fragmentation of the market. I discussed this previously in a post called The Future of Social Media is Not Networks. The post discussed how we have more than enough networks in the marketplace at the moment and what is really needed are tools and platforms that help brands and social agencies better utilize the platforms that exist. Immediately following my posts, out comes Google with their competing social network.
I have refrained from putting my predictions and opinions out there about Google+ for the most part. I even originally titled this Post “Social Media Fragmentation – You Better Focus”. But based on what I feel is happening in the market and how I feel it relates to the successful use of social media marketing, I believe I am just going to tell it like I see it. So without adding paragraphs and a ton of commentary, here is my list of crucial issues in the market as well as the reasons Google will never become a major platform.
1) Too little too late – It is so late in the social media game at this point and two previous failures means the market has mostly shaken out already.
2) The masses – It’s true Google grew really quickly out of the chute, but here is one of biggest issues they face: My daughter, mom, dad and 750 million other Facebook users are never going to switch to Google+. Their friends are on Facebook. Many are just now getting up to speed and engaged in the site with family and friends. They will never switch. Furthermore, many of these “normal” users will never manage more than a single social media location.
This leads to the biggie:
3) Business challenge – Since number two above is a likely scenario, that leaves some 50 million social media marketing and tech geeks that of course will use Google Plus. But will major brands and retailers expend valuable time and resources to build yet another duplicate community which is largely made up of marketers marketing to each other. VERY unlikely. Furthermore, social media marketers and agencies definitely don’t need yet another platform to manage.
Now before you haters start slamming my blog with harassing comments, know this… I WISH Google Plus would and could succeed. But unfortunately, Google has yet again developed too little, too late in a market that has largely solidified. Their second largest mistake was making a third attempt at competing and further fragmenting the industry, rather than developing valuable support tools for social media, where there is still huge need and where Google had a chance to succeed.
I am crossing my fingers for Plus, but as a realist, I worry for them.