Ever since Google+ launched, people have debated whether it can truly compete with rivals Twitter and Facebook. By September of 2011 Google+ quickly grew to about 20 million to 40 million account users (depending on who you ask) and had about 12.3 million U.S. visitors as of last month, according to Compete.com. Now that Google+ pages have opened up to brands including nonprofits, will the social platform's declining traffic (which decreased by 1M visits between September and October) significantly increase and stick?
As of right now, I’m still not a fan of the user experience on Google+. The circles are not intuitive and have been a pain point for many users. Outside of early adopters Google+ still feels like the forgotten social network and is probably one of the last places many people think to post rich media and content. However, if the developers and community managers for Google+ engages the community and really listens to feedback, I believe they can be nimble enough to iterate and truly become a bigger player in the social media space.
In the meantime as nonprofits wait and see how Google+ plays out, should organizations invest time in building a presence on Google+? I think that all organizations should claim and setup their organization’s page on Google+. I also recommend spending some time learning how Google+ works if you haven’t already. This is a good opportunity to share some longer form content that Twitter or Facebook are not typically used for. Google+ also has the unique Hangouts where you can video chat with people. How great would it be to invite 10 of your super activists to do a video hangout with your Executive Director to get their feedback on one of your current campaigns or get advice about future campaigns? Remember, stakeholders like to feel valued too.
Looking for some inspiration on nonprofits or campaigners who are on Google+? Check out some of our favorites. And if you’re looking for a cool Google+ follower widget to add to your website, you can download one here.
- American Red Cross
- Beth Kanter
- National Wildlife Federation
- Mark Horvath, Founder of Invisible People
- Geoff Livingston
Be sure and also check out the great Google+ list over at Nonprofit Tech 2.0.
Is your nonprofit active on Google+? If so, share your Google+ link in the comments box so we can follow you.