Google VP Announces News That Google+ Is Splitting Into 2 New Products: Photos & Streams

On June 28, 2011, Google launched their social network product – Google+. The Internet went crazy. Rumors flew around about needing to whip up a Google+ profile for your business because Google would, in turn, rank you higher. That may or may not have happened – but most likely did. Now, March of 2015, Google+ is changing again. And, the Internet, once again, has gone a little crazy. Fun fact: search volume for the keyword “Google+” is up 122%, month over month! So, with that, here’s the scoop:

The announcement

Follow StrataBlue on Google+ today!This week, Google announced that it was revamping its Google+ product, splitting the once all-inclusive social media platform into Hangouts, Streams and Photos. Soon after, many news outlets pounced on this news, proclaiming the end of a maligned platform that never saw as much use as Facebook or Twitter.

The thing is, Google+ isn’t going away. It might be called something else, but for those that still like posting updates and interacting with others socially will still be able to do so through Streams. Google may retool this area, as the concept of Circles and so on was never something that caught on with a majority of users.

Those that use Google Hangouts for chats, conference calls and video interaction will still be able to do so. Hangouts, in particular, is a strong component of the overall experience, as the free features it provides rival the paid experiences of many rivals like Skype, GoToMeeting, Lync, or even FaceTime.

Those that love the Photos feature of Google+ for automatically syncing photos from mobile and desktop, organizing them for you and allowing you to find them easily — that will still work too. I’ve tried a lot of photo backup solutions, and I still gravitate back toward Photos, because it integrates seamlessly with Android phones as if it were a native, offline photos app.

Using Google+ for social posting will still be important…

For those that want to get their message to the widest possible audience, streaming content on Google+ will still be important. Often, a public Google+ update will get a more favorable Google search listing than a comparable public Facebook post (and Twitter is only now going back to being re-indexed by Google). Many apps like Flipboard and HTC’s BlinkFeed still aggregate content from Google+, along with the other social networks, and I don’t expect that to change after the split.

Bottom line: Google+ got a bad rap, but whatever part of the social media network you still liked using will carry over — it’ll just be rebranded and might work a little differently. But, as with everything else Google has done, we will first complain, then adapt, and begin to find effective ways to leverage their changes.

Follow StrataBue on Google+

The digital marketing team at StrataBlue will also adapt and learn about ways to leverage Google’s new version of their social network(s). Feel free to drop us line if you want to talk – click here to fill out an online form now. Or, stay connected with us by following our own Google+ page! Click the image below to connect!

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Content Marketing, Scalable Data and One Night Stands

I’m a big fan of author, entrepreneur and self-proclaimed Digital Marketing Evangelist, Avinash Kaushik . The guy is insightful, witty and consistently shares content that entertains and educates. That’s the type of content I enjoy and like to share on my own social platforms (not to mention actually read beyond about this point in the article). In case you’re not one of Avinash’s 130k Twitter followers or haven’t attended one of his key note addresses, I wanted to share a few of his digital marketing pearls of wisdom that have led to “ah-ha” moments for me (and often, a good laugh)!

1) AK: “The metaphor I use is that the likes or +1’s are like one-night-stands. My metrics show how things went on a second or third date. How many got engaged or married to your brand? In this case, polygamy is OK. One-night-stands might feel good, but when you wake up the next day, you have nothing.”

  • Takeaway: It’s easy to get caught up in the short-term satisfaction of Facebook likes or your number of Twitter followers. While these stats are important, it’s critical to move beyond the superficial and into measurements that provide insight into areas such as conversion rate, applause rate and economic value. Guess what? Mr. Kaushik dives into this in one of his blog posts.

2) AK: “And what’s not dead? Ads that live and breathe these three strategies: entertain, inform, provide utility. The ad from Honda is a great example of Entertain and Inform. It uses immense creativity to deliver a memorable message that you might remember for a little while. Chances are also high you’ll share the ad, and increase its organic reach well beyond what Honda paid for (or could ever have paid for).

  • Take away: From a social media perspective, it’s important to share content that meets the above criteria. Sure, an SMB might not have the budget to produce a video on the same level as Honda’s. Still, before posting anything on Facebook or Twitter, always ask yourself why it’s being shared and what the goal is. If it’s not entertaining, informative or useful (and preferably all three), rethink that piece of content.

3) AK: “My keynote at the eMetrics summit yesterday was a call to arms for less obsession with data, dramatically more obsession with business (influence, experience, value) manifested via using scalable frameworks, drastic simplicity in data outputs (ex: dashboards) and use of super-amazing visualizations. The picture below represents the “notes” that [@NickSeeber] took during the keynote. See what I mean by art? Thanks Nick!”

AK picture

  • Take away: At first glance, I thought this “call to arms” might oppose the point Mr. Kaushik makes in item 1 above. However, upon closer inspection, they’re perfectly aligned. Mr. Kaushik isn’t minimizing the importance of data (he’s a data guy, after all). Rather, he’s advocating for more intelligent use and delivery of the data. When I think of scalable frameworks for example, Marketing Automation comes to mind. These platforms help SMBs track leads throughout the “sales funnel” and customer lifecycle so they can effectively deliver customized content at appropriate times.

What do you think about Avinash’s ideas? Let’s talk in the comments below. In the meantime, I’ll be working to get Avinash to follow me on Twitter. I’m not interested in one night stands though. I’ll offer him informative and useful content and try and take our relationship to the next level!