By Rex Hammock
On October 8, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, announced it was pulling the plug on Google+. It was at least the company’s fourth attempt at creating a social network that would compete with Facebook.
When Google+ launched in 2011, it was a big deal backed by nearly a billion dollars and all the great minds they could round up.
Although Google launches products daily, most are obscure side projects expected to sink or swim outside the glare of general interest. But Google+ was supposed to be different—it was going to be a David vs. Goliath story, except with two Goliaths.
During the first few weeks after its launch, I received more questions about Google+ than any other topic except the iPhone. In fact, so many people asked me about it, I wrote a 25-page “ebrief” and filled it with several predictions, many of which were correct, while others were clearly my attempt to hedge anything too far out on the edge. (Judge for yourself: Here’s a PDF of “An Early Overview of Google+ as a Content Marketing Platform.”)
A million blog posts and business school case studies will kick around this topic in the coming years, but here are a few of the observations I made seven years ago and still believe.
- Google+ was more obsessed with the competition than with their user.
- Google fell in love with their solution, but they should have fallen in love with their customer’s problem.
- Google doesn’t give up. It’s still developing social-driven concepts—the horizontal niche kind. A couple of experiments to watch for are Neighbourly and Bulletin.
- There’s no reason to cry for Google. The company’s stock price has followed a trajectory since the day they went public.
Takeaway | When it comes to social media, a marketer who understands the dynamics and relationships of a marketplace can be more effective than a marketer who focuses only on the features and functions of software platforms. Google is the company we all turn to for the statistics of the web—for what’s winning and what isn’t—but even it could not succeed with data alone. Building true and long-lasting relationships with customers is not only about software, but it’s also about how to constantly explore ways that you can better serve—and communicate with—your customers.
Image: Getty Images
About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email | This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here . To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.