What we can learn from Google Plus demise
June 2011 - I remember the hype well! Google is coming out with its own social media platform, omg! What will Facebook do now? What is the impact on the marketing world? How successful will it be? Since it was Google that launched it, there was not doubt with most experts, that this will be huge! After all, it is Google!
And Google helped with the hype - an 'invitation-only' phase allowed only 'VIPs' to use the platform - everybody else had to wait..... uh so exciting.... you think?
I think that was already the first misconception. Yes, the online community is always interested in everything new and potentially great but we are not stupid or just commoners that accept to be put in a section where others want us! Like in Google Plus case - "nobody puts baby in the corner" - or tells me where I can hang out or not.
Then limiting the users to 18 years and older - what was that about? It is like opening a McDonald's but only allow 50 years and older in.... wouldn't be a busy McDonalds! Google changed that about 7 months later so teenagers could use it. But again, that might have been an issue with those too. What, you don't want us - well FINE - we don't want you either. Plus who wants to maintain an almost identical platform to Facebook? It takes enough time to keep up with Facebook.
That leads to another issue - Google Plus was exactly like Facebook only not as good! Sorry, I know there can be tons of arguments why it was better but even if it had features that made it better than Facebook, nobody could find them. Even to me, Google Plus was always a bit too complicated, to unappealing to learn, too boring. So I turned back to Facebook where all my friends were. Only for my professional interest I dug through it and trying to convince myself that this is something I need to promote to my clients. I couldn't.
So what can we learn from the 4 years of Google Plus:
1. Be unique in your offerings - don't copy something that works well and just because you are a big wig think consumers will eat it out of your (golden) hands.
2. Don't tell your prospects and clients what to do - they can decide for themselves and they will!
3. Don't be arrogant - you do need your clients.
4. Listen to the market and your clients! Take it in and change what they don't like - otherwise they go somewhere else!
5. Stay humble!
6. Be creative - come up with your own unique product / offering /service! Don't do a me-too!
So long, Google Plus - never liked you! Rest in peace - I am sure you will get a nice archive!