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Google+, Is it Worth the Effort?

Google+ vs Facebook? I’m currently in the process of creating a Learning Module on social media for Virtual Assistant Survival School, so the infographic to the left immediately grabbed my attention yesterday. On a quick glance, the numbers and statistics might cause you to wonder if hanging out on Google+ is worth your time.

Before you abandon your Circles take a closer look at the numbers and the two social networks.  What at first glance appears to put G+ at a disadvantage may actually show that Google+ is on a course to become bigger than Facebook in less time. Without Farmville.

Looking at the infographic, rather than focusing on the number of registered and active users, focus instead on the launch date. Google+ is barely a year old.  At that age, Facebook was unknown to anyone but college students and certainly didn’t have the mainstream user numbers that Google+ has.

In fact in 2005 the following was written on TechCrunch about the new social network Facebook:

To become a college member of facebook you must have a .edu college/university email address. Most colleges issue these to students.

Facebook supports 882 colleges today – there are about 2,000 in the U.S. if you count community colleges. Their goal is to support all of these over time.

The penetration rate is staggering – about 85% of students in supported colleges have a profile up on FaceBook. That’s 3.85 million members. Chris tells me that 60% log in daily. About 85% log in at least once a week, and 93% log in at least once a month.

So a year after launch Facebook had 3.85 million members, Google+ at the same age has 170 million. If we’re going to base success on numbers some would say G+ has the edge.

It also seems to be attracting younger, tech savvy users, perhaps with more of an affinity for Angry Birds than the aforementioned Farmville. The same younger tech savvy users that companies like Kia are focusing on with their marketing. For someone like me, selling virtual services and online learning programs, those tech savvy users are much less likely to let the fact that I deliver both via the Internet cause any concern.

Another infographic by Chris Brogan shows just how we could be using Google+ to greatly benefit our businesses. Add this information to recent articles about Facebook losing steam and a poll showing a general ineffectiveness of Facebook ads and it may be worth sticking around with Google+ to see what happens next. I believe those of us that stick with Google+ are going to be very glad we did.

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Are you a traditional location-based business? You should be thinking about Winterizing.

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