I’m sorry, but the messianic fervor accompanying the launch of Google+ is quite out of hand, and it could cause a lot of folks afraid of being left behind in this social media rapture to waste focus, time, opportunity and money.
It’s absolutely too early for anyone but professional marketers and social media junkies to be seriously noodling with Google +, and it’s borderline reckless to advocate early adoption by lawyers in general. Until the platform is officially launched (remember, it’s currently in private beta) and a clear, real world experience-based Google + use case emerges, most lawyers will be far better served by optimizing their current social media and content marketing programs before betting the farm on a promising but still fluid platform.
Let’s consider a couple of inconvenient truths:
- It’s not “winning” — Just a month after Google mobilized every social media power user they could muster for the Google + launch, traffic is falling off.
- Buzz is picking up, but not the good kind — Commentary from the technorati is bordering on brutal. Any other social startup would be DOA after being on the receiving end of that type and level of shade.
- Even the most prominent social media practitioners are advising observation and limited experimentation. Gini Dietrich put it best:
“Pay attention to Google+. Get in there and try out some things (I’ll send you an invite, if you don’t have one). But it’s waaaaaay too early to say what it’s going to do. And it’s certainly too early to be paying experts to tell you how to use it.
Save your money. The time will come (or not) when you need to learn how to use it for business. If you spend a little time in it now, say an hour or two a week, you won’t have to pay anyone to teach you how to use it.
It’s a tool. Just like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, blogging, and 8Tracks. Wait until it’s been around long enough to understand how it fits a business strategy.”
My addendum to that for lawyers and legal marketers would be to follow insightful and measured user stories from early adopters like Nancy Myrland and Samantha Collier as barometers of if/when it’s the right time to join. And it’s worthwhile noting that being a “fast follower” has a long and illustrious pedigree.
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