A client gave me a call Tuesday afternoon after seeing posts on Facebook about Google+ brand pages. The first thing he said after hello was, “So… Google+. Should I give a shit?”
Slate answers this question much better than I can. (Abridged gist: Google+ is doomed. They made us feel like we were troubling them to use their product. Never a good idea. Sucks to be Google again.)
That’s not what I want to talk about; I’d like to address another problem we’re facing as an industry. The “Oh-Shiny-It’s-GD-Important!” problem.
Within two weeks of Google+’s release, Chris Brogan started writing a book titled “Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything.” It’s due out in a couple of weeks. Robert Scoble supposedly stopped blogging because he was posting so much on Google+. He’s since returned to blogging with some lame excuse about how he’s excited about RSS again.
(Seriously, he’s excited about RSS again? Many people still ask WTF is RSS?, never mind get excited about it!)
I have a few dozen friends who deleted their Facebook accounts the day G+ came out. “It’s over, Google has won!” exclaimed one friend who works as a community manager.
Okay, granted, my friend is an idiot. But are you kidding me with this shit? Louis C.K. puts us in our place here.
Hmm, maybe Louis C.K. should be a social media consultant – seems to know more than a bunch of those currently plying their trade.
“Everything that is available to do isn’t a good idea.”
Social media is a tool; it’s word of mouth empowered by digital technology. Incredibly powerful, but we’re killing its credibility with statements like, “What’s ROI of Social Media? Oh yeah?! What’s the ROI of your mother?”, or telling our clients that it’s time learn a new, new, new, new network.
There are a set of tools we can use. But we don’t have to jump onto every new network that comes out, exclaiming “No No NO! THIS ONE changes everything!”
We’re marketers. We’re hired to sell shit. We’re paid to be interested in people. We sell shit through relationships instead of sales. (Well, we probably use sales too.) Can we act like it for a damned minute?
Imagine your favorite client. Now imagine you starting a new project with them. A great project. Something you’re really excited about. It’s cool enough to write home to mom about.
What happens when the client calls you a month in to the new campaign and says “It’s not working! Change it.”? You tell them to sit tight. You tell them to calm the hell down. You tell them to stay on message. Why?
Because these things take time.
Marketing is a slow process. We get tired of our own message long before the customer does.
Let’s do our industry a favor and calm the hell down, stay on message, and take our own advice. Is there a reason for your client to be on Instagram or Foursquare? For some of them, certainly. Should they be on Facebook and Twitter? Yup. But can anyone explain with any data why they should be on Google+? Because people have data saying they don’t need to be there.
But seriously, am I the only one who thinks we shouldn’t give a shit about Google+? Can someone argue their case in the comments?
Please and thank you.
Update: I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you to this thread of comments on the Danny Brown’s G+ link post. (Yes, I see the irony of linking to a Google+ post in a blogpost about how you shouldn’t give a damn about it. I blame LiveFyre for not integrating G+. Damnit Cotton.)