So What’s the Future of Google Plus?

Since day one Google Plus has been under heavy attacks: Many people were fast to predict it to be dead… And who would blame them: Google is notorious for closing up awesome projects and many things (Google dropping Authorship, Vic Gundotra leaving, lots of instances of Google Plus employees calling the project a failure, etc…) seemed to be proving Google Plus is there for not too long… But is it really a failure? Is it really ever going away? With that question I reached out to the actual Google Plus users… Let’s see what they have to say!

What’s your prediction: What will eventually happen to Google Plus and WHEN will it happen (months? a year? 10 years?)

Jon Wade (Blogger)

How often do you use Google Plus? I use it daily. I will miss it if it goes away because Google is the most professional social platform in the tech / Internet. Discussions are far more civilized and mature than elsewhere. But, I don’t think it will go away in a hurry!

What do you think is the future of Google Plus I assume that Google plan to demerge some of their core areas to improve usability and engagement. Few people liked the integration of Youtube and G+ and while many photographers used G+, Picasaweb provided a better platform in many ways. Google will keep Google+, but maybe it will be more geared to networking, hangouts, chat and news sharing. I cannot see it ever going away because Google use it for so many core services now.

Steve “berto” Bertolacci (The Beard of SEO)

How often do you use Google Plus? Yes, I use G+ for both personal and work related things. And yes, I would miss it if it weren’t there. G+ fits a niche that doesn’t exist on most other social sites.

What do you think is the future of Google Plus? My prediction is that G+ will go through another re-branding, but will by and large remain the same. Streams are the new Circles — #amazeballs. One of the needs that G+ fit was the ability to segment a social site based off your own personal interests as you define. So rather than have every connection all jumbled together, you can watch and interact with each Stream individually or as a whole. This need has not really been done better in any  other social site, so there’s still a need to keep supporting it. So in terms of re-branding, I’m betting it will happen this summer if not sooner. The real question is what will happen to Twitter.

Cormac Reynolds

How often do you use Google Plus? I’m a semi-active Google+ user. It’s was a fine platform in a lot of ways but just lacked the x-factor – an identity. It was a sum of a number of other social media site’s parts. When I think of social media sites this is what I associate:

  • Facebook – the big one I use everyday
  • Twitter – the short, trending one for news and up to the second opinions
  • Instagram – the retro, cool picture one
  • Pinterest – the one with lots of wedding dresses and soft furnishings
  • Google+ – the one that’s a bit of all of these that Google (or the SEO communities paranoia) made SEOs obliged to use
I think it speaks volumes why it never took off. Then again the last social network I truly loved was Bebo. So, in a few words, no I don’t really care!
What do you think is the future of Google Plus? I’d say about a year we’ll see a further fragmentation and then a disintegration in the most part. Google may split its stronger/ useful parts into new services or use them in different ways. I did a MBU interview on Google Authorship and its future – general consensus was it’s probably dead too. It was a big part of G+ for a lot of us in this industry I’d imagine. All change so!

Erik Emanuelli (No Passive Income)

How often do you use Google Plus? I’m not a Google+ addicted, as I post updates in my profile just once every week.

Surely I will not miss it if it’s going to be removed. My favorite social media channel for marketing still remains Twitter.
What do you think is the future of Google Plus? When Google Authorship was killed, I found it an injustice to users. After all, it is known that Big G has reached an extreme power and their commercial purpose is known to many. Regarding the Google + social platform, I don’t think is going to close, but surely there will be some major improvements. Whether will be the future of Google+, a lesson learned is not putting all your digital marketing eggs in one basket. Relying “just” on Google (its services or traffic) is a bad move, we should become “independent” and  include “all things about Google” only as a part of our whole business strategy.

Jason Quey (Gamification Marketer)

How often do you use Google Plus? I currently use G+ about once a week, but I see a lot of potential value in it. The two biggest upsides to it is segmenting your users and creating/joining a community that can also let the users know about what’s happening in their inbox.

There’s also some value in having your search results pop up with your name and picture to those you’ve connected with too.
What do you think is the future of Google Plus? Personally, I don’t see Google+ really going away. Although Google has been detaching itself from the project, there is a large enough user base that someone will finally find the right use for it. I’ve noticed a lot of teens have started to gravitate toward using G+ over Facebook, perhaps because they enjoy the exclusivity away from their parents prying eyes, but without the debauchery of SnapChat.

Todd Mumford (Founder & CEO of Riverbed Marketing)

How often do you use Google Plus? I see Google+ more as a necessary place that you should have a presence on, so long as it’s live. It’s Google’s owned social entity and this fact should not be ignored. Despite the lack of participants it could still be a disadvantage to not be there. I’ll make sure we have a presence there so long as it’s available, but I would not miss it if it was canned tomorrow.

What do you think is the future of Google Plus? Google + never received the kind of traction, nor attracted the audience it was intended to capture. This was mostly because it wasn’t innovative or disruptive enough and other social media networks like Facebook have a deep and meaningful market share. My feeling is that Google + will be a distant memory, probably by 2016. Social communities are building at the experience level now, independent of specific networks. Facebook is likely the last to market for large scale social startups. The new trend is social experiences, on the toes of the “Internet of Things”. Social networks will ultimately be a thing of the past as “social networks” are absorbed into “social experiences” and baked into the product, service and living level.

David Leonhardt (President, THGM Writers)

How often do you use Google Plus? I love Google Plus and I use it more than any other social network.  I have over 40,000 followers, and I have put a lot of effort into building those connections.  I would miss it terribly if it was closed down.

What do you think is the future of Google Plus? I am not totally sure what the implications of splitting the social network from the photo galleries could be. Perhaps Google wants to do something more with the photo galleries. Google Plus is much bigger than predecessors like Google Buzz, so I am wagering that they won’t close it down.  With Communities, Circles and Hangouts, it is also a richer experience that FaceBook and LinkedIn don’t match.  My money (and time and effort) is on Google Plus remaining for the long haul.

Brian Lang (Small Business Ideas Blog)

How often do you use Google Plus? I’d say I’m a semi-active G+ user. I would miss it if it went away as it does provide another platform to connect with others.

What do you think is the future of Google Plus? I don’t think Google will completely kill of Google Plus. This isn’t the first time Google’s tried to create a social network, so it clearly sees value in that. And they already have a sizable group of active Google Plus users. Instead, I think Google will morph it into something else that aligns with its own goals. I would guess that they would make changes so that they can incorporate ads easier. But more importantly, they will also make changes to try to attract new users. It’s hard to say when these changes will occur, but considering the recent announcement from Bradley Horowitz, I think something will happen sooner rather than later.

Don Sturgill (Writer, Dreamer, Believer)

How often do you use Google Plus?

I had big hopes for Google+… I bought into the hype about it being the hub of Google, the importance of authorship, how any writer not on G+ was headed towards obscurity. We now know it was all hogwash. It’s just like the “Don’t be evil” motto. At one time, it was believable. Before long, it became obvious Google is committed to no one but Google. Another dream burst.
What do you think is the future of Google Plus? The future of G+? It will continue to mean less and less. Devotees will move elsewhere. And — if Google keeps showing its monster face — the whole deck of cards will tumble behind it. This year… Google+ becomes the home of Google fanboys and girls. Everyone else moves to Ann Smarty’s new social media platform: Don’t be evil (really) 🙂 Here’s the rock and hard place: Entreprenuers start off with visions of saving the world. Successful startups end up being either sold off to the highest bidder or taken over by corporate cogs. All you have left is the once-trusted brand name. But the core becomes rotten. Such is life…

Peter Lunn (Digital Marketer, Cracking Media UK)

How often do you use Google Plus? Yes, I am and have been so for the last 18 months. For me Google+ is the closest social networking experience to offline face-to-face networking. There is a depth and breadth to relationships and engagement that I have not seen before on any other social networking platform

What do you think is the future of Google Plus? Despite the continual flow of incorrect and misplaced assumptions by the press on the demise of Google+, I do think Google need to work harder at marketing Google+ and working with the many committed and active users to make it work better for a broader audience. An example is that they re-branded Google Places nearly a year ago to bring Google+ more front and center into Google My Business. But nearly a year on, adoption by business is slow, because most businesses don’t know about it! There’s an initiative for Google My Business in the USA called GYBO, but nowhere else. So in the vacuum of information, the press fills the void with Google+ is dying/dead articles – and people believe them because they don’t know any better. I don’t think we will see decoupling of the products in the way it’s been suggested, but Google will need to do a better job of bringing businesses and people into the “Google+ experience” through marketing the different Google+ products better. When will this be? Of course I don’t know, but I think unless they do so in the next 12-18 months then it may be that Google+ as we know could well be unrecoverable.

Greg Coopers (Helping small and medium sized businesses use LinkedIn to grow)

How often do you use Google Plus? I am an active G+ user. I have used G+ to build a strong international network and build my personal brand. I don’t believe that G+ will go away it is part of the fabric of what Google do linking together all the key properties. It may however be re-branded and the Google+ name could disappear.

What do you think is the future of Google Plus? It would make no sense for Google to “desocialise” it’s properties so although Google+ will like other platforms evolve I think it is here to stay in one form or another. In my experience in the UK there is an upsurge of interest in Google+ from the business community who appreciate both the search and local marketing benefits.

Ivan Widjaya

How often do you use Google Plus? I’m basically using G+ for broadcasting my blogs’ recent updates.  So I don’t think I will miss it.  I was one of the first movers and gained some following – easily, so…

There are some benefits of getting into G+, but it’s not as significant as before. IMHO, I think Google made a mistake by adding G+ as a perk for SERPs.  There are marketers who joined G+ for the wrong reason (read: for SEO) The perk has been pulled out, and what’s left now is plenty dead, fake accounts. Not good.
What do you think is the future of Google Plus? I am a follower of Gary Vaynerchuk.  He’s a social media all-around guy, and when he talks about social media, I listen. Carefully. He said that by 2020, there are two major social media sites that will be shutdown: Google+ and Tumblr (I’ve written about this on one of my posts) GV says that the main reason for the extinction is that both are owned by big corporations, and big corp politics don’t suit social media platforms.  So, in my opinion, Google Plus will disappear – just like any other social media platforms before it: Mixx, BusinessWeek’s BX,, and so on. To note why I trust GV: He said it on late 2014, and it’s happening right now. So… I think I will have to agree with GV: Google+ will be gone in 5 years time.

Denisa-Alexandra Cinca (MyBloggingThing)

How often do you use Google Plus? Yes I am an active Google+ user, usually I share my blog posts on my Google+ profile and in a few communities. If it goes away, yes I think I will definitively miss it.

What do you think is the future of Google Plus? I don’t think that Google Plus will ever go away, it’s just my opinion as I don’t see it happening in the near future. I think Google+ will continue to evolve in the future but I’m not sure how things will be in the next years, will just have to wait and see.

Jan Kearney (Local Search Consultant)

How often do you use Google Plus? On a personal level, I’m not the most active G+ user.  Of all the “social” sites it is my favorite and I pop in most days to scan communities and comment.

On a business level, Google Places is now Google My Business and an integral part of G+.  My days are spent grappling the Google and I’m often logged in clients GMB accounts rather than my own! Will I miss it if G+ goes away?  Of course I will, but I don’t think G+ is going anywhere any time soon.
What do you think is the future of Google Plus? I’m in the Google+ is Google camp.  I really don’t think G+ will go away. People have said G+ is dying since 2011, I think it’s because they view it purely as a social platform something like Facebook.  That thinking quickly leads to disappointment because people tend not to live their lives out on G+.  Public feeds aren’t as cluttered with passive aggressive updates, checkins and pointless statuses saying how people feel today.  There’s still cats though… For the average person on the street (like many people I work with) the silence is deafening.  They’ll post a few updates and wander off back to Facebook without exploring the idea of posting to specific circles or joining communities – the more social part of G+ Yet G+ is still working away in the background via the services they use everyday – Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Chrome and more.  Silently collecting data, Google really doesn’t care if you are social or not! No, I don’t think G+ will go away.  No doubt it will continue to evolve and change.  I would expect a re-brand and relaunch of the social aspect of G+ at some point over the next year or so.

Craig Fifield

How often do you use Google Plus? Google+ is the only platform I enjoy and use with any regularity.. so yeah, I’ll be a little pissy if they shutter it.

What do you think is the future of Google Plus?

You can also find out much more about Google Plus and how to set up your own map using our guide for Google Maps Marketing. The data that Google gains from having their own social layer is something they’ve wanted for many years in order to keep up with Facebook and the other networks. Google+, although smaller than the other networks, provides that value and it is a well designed platform that people truly enjoy using. G+ may not be the Facebook killer many were predicting, but unless there’s a cost to running it that I don’t see, G+ is here to stay.

How To Use Twitter Chats for Business and Brand-Building

Twitter chats should be more than just social activity and networking. Used in a focused way, Twitter chats for business boosting actually also bolster your brand-building very strongly, if they are used in the right way. The right way usually involves a good deal of preparation.

You need to research the likely target audiences of a Twitter chat by examining the tone and tenor of the hashtag. The hashtag is a clue to the type of information need the audience will have. You also have to be prepared with the right brand voice to use (one of authority and credibility) and make sure you cover all your bases by having something prepared in advance to say about your brand to the audiences of the chat who may be at diverse levels of brand awareness. Finally, its critically important to follow up on a Twitter chat.

When you go through a Twitter chat after the event, you can usually segregate the audiences more clearly according to the stages of their decision-journey they are in with respect to your product. Make sure to send up the right follow up information to the right Tweet-chatter to help him go  one step forward towards your brand on his purchase journey.

Tip: If you are convinced, check out our calendar of marketing Twitter chats to visit weekly. That’s Google Calendar that can be exported to pretty much any calendar app you need!


Twitter Traffic: How to Increase Conversions and Broaden Your Opportunities on Twitter

Twitter can be a robust means of generating new audiences, but these visitors will need a lot of persistent attention to be meaningful to your bottom line ROI. Ensuring you have proper lead nurturing implementations is critical when they hit your website.

Having lead nurturing implementations, alerts to subscribers on new content, and progressive actionable steps to retain contact at every step of the process is key. Focus on retaining your twitter audiences by giving them something actionable to do such as subscribe to a newsletter, or download an ebook.

Remember that most Twitter users are typically in the early discovery stages and will need a lot of coxing to convert. Giving the Twitter visitor a simple conversion path to maintain contact and then providing additional education-rich content will nurture trust and push that contact that much closer to your goal.

Further reading: 12 Ways To Improve Website Traffic, Leads, And Sales

Now, here are some actionable tips, tools and case studies on making the most of Twitter to generate more leads and discover new opportunities!

Firstly, increase the click-through

Gary Dek of StartABlog123:

Ultimately, I don’t think you can really gauge what Tweets turn into leads because conversion is an on-page issue.

However, Tweets with the highest click-through rates that will give your brand the opportunity to convert social media traffic into leads include the following elements: pictures or images attached, 1-2 hashtags of trending or popular industry topics, a link to a valuable free resource, a link near the beginning of the post to catch the user’s attention, and the right timing.

By combining all of these tactics, social media marketers significantly increase the chances of a click-through, and the rest is a matter of conversion optimization.

Use Twitter cards

Twitter cards

Twitter cards allow for the summary of articles, photos, feature post images, apps, media players and product snippets to be added to your Tweets. Twitter users are therefore more aware of what they are clicking and where they will be taken, giving them more confidence to click on the links knowing that it is somewhere they are interested in visiting.

This has been a significant driving force that has helped generate more qualified traffic to your website.

(h/t to Mike Shaw of Tower Marketing @towermarketing)

One of the most interesting Twitter cards to experiment with is Lead Generation Cards.

Jeffrey Romano of WP Lighthouse explains how to make the most of these:

If you have a sizable following on Twitter, using Twitter Lead Generation Cards can be an effective technique to build your email list. If you’re still starting out on Twitter, what you can do is reach out to whoever shares your content and ask them sign-up, regardless of whether they follow you or not. 

In order to make use of Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards you need to be a Twitter Advertiser, i.e. you must have input your credit card information. The second tip is simply to regularly tweet a link to your squeeze page. By tweeting the link once a week you won’t annoy anybody, but you will probably get a few new subscribers, especially if you use hashtags and images when you tweet. 

You can also link to your squeeze page in your author bio, which is actually a part of your profile that many new followers will read. I would strongly suggest that in your squeeze page you offer an irresistible email incentive that visitors will want to sign up for. You can then develop your relationship with your subscribers and turn them into leads. 

The final tip is to have a specific squeeze page that is targeted to people who click-through from Twitter. In this targeted squeeze page you recognize that people have clicked-through from Twitter. You might say something like “Thank you for dropping in from Twitter”. When visitors notice that you ‘know’ they are coming from Twitter, it makes their on-site experience more personal and memorable (since not many people use this technique).

Tweet at the right time


This is something not to go crazy about but definitely to experiment with!

Make sure you target people at the time they are most active. You can use a program called Tweriod to know when your followers are online. You should then schedule your updates to be posted at this time.

Thanks SoBold for the idea!

Further reading: So, What’s The Right Time To Tweet?

Post consistently

Because the life of a tweet is only 20 minutes, posting consistently is critical. Social media leads aren’t “searching” for a solution the way organic traffic is, so there’s a longer buying cycle involved.

Share your latest blog article on Twitter, then when someone clicks through, capture their email address with a great offer.  You can then follow-up with more content and eventually offers that convert to sales.

(The above tip has been provided by Maria Peagler of Social Media Online Classes)

Romance your leads and personally engage with them

Case study: Gary Vaynerchuk closed a 4 million deal by spending a total of 17 minutes on Twitter

Here’s the story and the keynote (h/t to Ivan Widjaya of and Biz Penguin):

(starting from 22:09 to about 26:30)

Here’s how he did it:

  • Step 1: GV typed the name of the CMO of a company that he ‘targets’ on Google search.  Add a word “Twitter” and “Facebook. He found 6 leads, which 2 of them are on Twitter.
  • Step 2: GV follows both on Twitter.
  • Step 3: Build a relationship. GV didn’t pitch right away. Instead, what GV was doing is just watch what both leads are talking about on Twitter. One of the lead was talking about Kolten Wong, a baseball player – he’s really into him.  GV himself is an avid fantasy baseball enthusiasts, so when the season started, GV decided to win Kolten Wong into his fantasy baseball team.  The CMO, who also played fantasy baseball, also drafted him, for some obvious reasons.  The pitch started when the CMO tweeted about Kolten Wong, and GV jumped into the conversation saying that he has Kolten Wong in his fantasy baseball team. And the tweet conversation continues.
  • Step 4: After exchanging tweets for some time, the CMO finally noticed on GV’s Twitter profile and ask GV, “What’s Vaynermedia?” and later asked GV to send him a DM. Then the rest is history.

Lesson learned: Romancing your leads and personally engage with them – and talk about their interests, not about business.  Play the long game, and when the time comes, pitch your business

Connect to people behind the brands directly

This case study from Roxana Nasoi from SERPlified is similar to the one from Gary:

The story: I’m in a group of social media managers and community managers on Facebook. Opposite to the usual FB group, this one is as alive as it can be and it connects people worldwide. Last week, I came in contact with the Community manager of Trello. And oh, I love Trello, I’ve been a fan and a user for about 2 years now. 

How I interacted with them: Brian, the CM of Trello posted a question, he needed help in developing a program, I volunteered to have a Skype chat, in the meantime I finished my reviews of brands I love and use on and Daniel posted my reviews in a Q&A on the G2Crowd blog. I shared with Brian my review of Trello, he loved it, we connected via email, Twitter and Skype. Somehow, his colleagues got hold of the Q&A on G2Crowd, so I ended up with about 10 new followers all in the Trello company and a lot RTs and Favorites. 

To continue the thrill, I mentioned the guys from Glip (they integrated Trello in their platform so it goes hand in hand) and I got another round of new followers and RTs. Overall, that interview got 13 RTs. And I ended up with 42 new followers for last week, half of which came through connecting with these 2 companies. 

Bottom line is: the best way to create a Twitter experience is to interact with people behind brands. Don’t be afraid to connect with your favorite products’ Community Managers or Social Media managers; Review your favorites using review platforms; Mention them on Twitter, to remind them that “Hey, you matter in my life and guess what? Your product helps me in my business”. And they will RT with all their heart.

Not to mention, you’ll get followers from inside the company, which means any issue you might have in the future or any question will be answered: you just managed to turn Twitter into a Social CRM.

What are your tips? Please share them here and I’ll update the article to add your tip or case study!