Business Is About Market Share – Google Plus Brand Pages

In business, especially related to internet sites, social media platforms or even electronics, it is all about market share. This is something very tough for a lot of people to understand, and often breaks into arguments about which product or site is better, more slick or has a better interface.

Make no mistake about it, better doesn’t always win. Market share does. When I heard Monday that Google Plus had launched Brand Pages, I tweeted the following… “If your ship is taking on water, does it matter that you introduce new lounge chairs for the top deck? G+ Brand Pages = So what“.

Rather than getting into a big tirade about the new Google Plus brand pages and how it really doesn’t matter much, I have decided to cover it lightly and get this main market share concept across. I have written extensively about my views on the too little and FAR too late phenomena that is Google and social media. I’m not sure anything in the situation changes at all just because months later they give brands something that is a pittance of what pages in Facebook are. I might add, Facebook pages already have traction and (ahem), market share, or better said, total market dominance.

“But Google plus is better.” – “Circles are so easy.” – “I love the lack of useless noise in Google Plus!” – “The search integration and SEO value of the G+ Brand Pages is incredible.”

Yep, I have heard all this and you may be right, however there is something your emotion and geekery is again forgetting…  Market share.

There is only one question to be asked. Can Google gain a number one, or a least a number two market share of social media users?

If you answered Yes, you may be drinking your koolaid with a chaser of wishful thinking. Many articles have repeatedly reported the decline of growth and more importantly existing user base inactivity within the platform.

Again, if you answered yes, ask yourself this…

Will your parents, non social media marketing friends and average Facebook users REALLY switch to anything, let alone Google Plus?   Their small friend networks, limited pictures, technical savvy and online life all reside on Facebook. They aren’t going to move.

Some of you older readers might remember Sony Beta video format. Way higher quality than VHS tapes. They lost and lost big. Why? Market share.

Is this horse dead yet? I’m done beating it… :-)

P.S. – Here is today’s SocialGraphics Blog’s, social media image for the day. Too funny! Click image to view full size.

Google Plus Cartoon


18 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Google, Google Plus, Social Media

18 responses to “Business Is About Market Share – Google Plus Brand Pages

  1. Pingback: The Social Media Mouse Trap « SocialGraphics

  2. I told my of my tech friends early on that Google + would have a hard time getting market share without a super bowl ad or something insanely seductive that entices the masses. Selling a social network to the public is harder than selling shampoo because it matters more that large proportions of the audience buys your free product rather than lower proportions buying your paid product.

    • Tyler,

      The big problem is that 750 million of the 800+ mill Facebook users are NON geeks. They are average users and will not start over somewhere else, like us social media and tech geeks will/do all the time. Market share obstacle that G+ can’t overcome no matter how cool. They missed the tidal wave.

      • I don’t totally agree that the tech geeks will move over either though. They will try it but won’t actually move over. They will do the one night stand but they aren’t starting a relationship and they definitely aren’t bringing it home to mom and dad. I only use Google + because of the potential for future value for me as a social media marketer if I am wrong and it does gain market share in the future (being as it is still in Beta). However, if I was simply a tech geek and didn’t intend on actually NEEDING to know it, I wouldn’t have ever created a brand page for my business (which I did right after I read this article). :D

  3. Very enlightening. I have the Google+ page but I don’t do all that much with it. It’s simply sort of “there”. I find it enough to try to keep up with twitter, 4 FB pages, wordpress, blogger, LinkdIn, and my shop’s advertising off the internet. Sometimes all the extras that are coming out just seem to keep us all swimming in a cacophony of social media and never knowing which are most effective or marginally effective, and how to effectively leverage the best ones.

    • I certainly understand Marguerite. You are so right at many levels.

      I have found that consistent content designed to provide value to the interests of your target market is the key to effective social media marketing, which is why we developed our Bundle Post technology.

      Being on the platforms that your target audience resides is a must. Since we know who is on G+ is mostly early adopters, geeks and social media professionals, if they are not your market it hardly makes sense. Focus on the platforms that your market uses and ensure to deliver consistent content in order to start conversations and build relationships and you will see excellent results!

      Robert

  4. I agree, Robert. Ultimately, people only want to invest their time into one major social network. This is usually Facebook. Twitter can compliment Facebook and LinkedIn is a totally different place. Google+, to me at least, is a big WHY.

  5. AlexG

    Only one question for you mate. If it’s all about market share, how is it the Chrome is #2 and on sight to become #1? Wouldn’t you say that Microsoft Explorer had enough lead?

    • Alex,

      That is hardly an apples to apples comparison. Chrome is a free software application that requires zero to very little movement of ones content, friends, etc. and is solely based on stability of browsing. Everyone online knows how to use a browser. A browser is a browser. All we care about is that it is stable and usable. Switching has little pain. Microsoft did their competition huge favors by not being standards compliant, literally pushing people to something stable.

      I can assure you that if Sony gave their Beta machines away, people would have switched without a doubt. It was a massive improvement. But the costs where higher for an already expensive (at the time) technology. That was the pain of transition that Sony faced. G+’s pain of transition is a persons friends, family, content and user expertise or perceived need to switch. Won’t happen for the remaining 750 million users. The pain or learning requirement is way too high.

      So that’s it Chrome is number two my friend.

      • Alex G

        I agree that a browser is an individual decision and in a social network your don’t want to leave your friends behind. But you are underestimating the power of Google as a network.
        When you have the #1 search engine, the #1 email app, the #1 video sharing, picasa, maps/earth, document sharing, calendar, browser, analytics, you are doing everything with one company. And Google is integrating all the services to become a one-stop shop. Once people start switching it will be a tidal wave.
        My only doubt right now is if Google is going to open for under 18+ or not. Once they do you will have all the teenagers in hangouts, but is that what Google wants? They are not worried about growing slowly, so it could take a while.
        Do you understand that everywhere you go on the internet you will see an invitation to join Google+? I call that market share.

      • Alex,

        The big difference here is that like Google Plus, Chrome is faster, cleaner, and easier to use than its #1 competitor (Facebook for + and IE for Chrome), however, unlike Google + and Facebook, you do not have to have your entire group of friends, family, and professional network on IE or Chrome in order for it to be a similarly enjoyable experience.

        Tyler

  6. Very good question AlexG. The difference being the one is a full social networking platform and the other is just a browser. Does the average user really want to maintain more than one platform? Even just speaking for myself here, Managing your social pages (both personal and business) takes up time, and at present I’ll put more of my time into the ones that I know gets the most exposure (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin). Got to agree with the author though that Google+ does not have all the distractions and annoying features of Facebook. The majority of our markets are however still on Facebook, I know people who select their smartphone based upon Facebook functionality. In South-Africa for instance, we have a social network called Blueworld, the founder, Charl Norman won’t put something out if it’s not something which will immediately obtain market share. His name speaks for itself in this country. Yet the majority of the population still prefer Facebook as their primary platform. On a global scale – we know why we’d prefer Google application, but does the global mark and how long will it take for them to accept this and change over. If it was as easy as installing the Chrome browser and setting it to default, I think Google+ might easily reach number 2 – and become a strong contender for number 1 to follow the range of other Google products

  7. I still think Google can afford to have a long view. This is already far superior to Google Buzz regarding integration with the rest of the platform, so I think they can afford to have it grow slowly.

    Am I on Google+ everyday like I am Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn…nope. Am I paying attention and most likely will build a Brand page out there…eventually ;), yep.

  8. Pingback: Why Google Plus Business Edition won’t impact your social media performance | Atladas Media

  9. So is the trap sprung for a reason?
    Did they lose the plot?

    And I would add as evidence to what you are saying, more relevant to businesses than personal profiles, that the first place I went to share my new G+ page??? well, duh… Facebook. and then I tweeted it. I have seen this pattern repeated by others even with personal profiles: the “use G+, it’s so much [adjective]”

    However, I did create a biz page for my mountain laurel handrails http://awoodrailing.com as soon as I learned that it was open…

  10. Pingback: Why Google Plus Business Edition won't have an impact on your social media performance Atladas Media – Social Media Marketing Services, Social Marketing Agency

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