Let me start this post by making it clear that I am a Twitter advocate. I first used Twitter in early 2009. While I didn’t embrace the platform immediately, it birthed @TweetsFrom1982 in the summer of 2010 and the entire PastKast network. I’ve had an amazing time communicating with other fans of the Milwaukee Brewers with the @BrewCrewLive handle.
I’ll undoubtedly take some grief from Twitter power users for this post. People will suggest that “I don’t get it” or some other nonsense. I get it.
But with each passing day that Google+ is on the scene, I wonder more and more about the future of the 140-character Tweet.
Big companies and brands with a decent social media budget will continue to focus on where their audiences are, no matter the platform. They’ll be on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter and now Google+. They will because there is a benefit to each platform for their brands, and because they can.
But what about the small brands, the non-profits, the private companies with a tight budget and the individuals? Eventually, you spread yourself too thin. Eventually, you have to draw a line in the sand.
I have a feeling that line, more often than not, will be drawn in front of Twitter.
This doesn’t apply to everyone. News organizations benefit significantly from Twitter. They’ll stick around. But if you’re a restaurant or a privately owned retail store, what do you do?
As it is, the majority of brands — particularly small brands — fail when trying to focus on a single platform. Most at least attempt to promote themselves on Facebook. A few dabble on Twitter. The rare small business is on YouTube or Vimeo.
But what do these same companies do once they see Google+ as a place that they “have to be?” If they can’t add without subtracting, what do they remove?
While Google+ is seen as Facebook’s direct competition, brands aren’t stupid. They aren’t leaving Facebook.
I’m generally tough on Google+ because I see it as a Facebook copycat that, while it is unique and better than its competitor in some areas, doesn’t necessarily have much added value. It may be this similarity, though, that will make it popular among brands and why Twitter may suffer.
Like Facebook, Google+ is creating a platform that is for serious business owners. Create a destination with apps, multimedia, data collection and analytics. Twitter? You can Tweet. And create a cool background and profile photo.
This subject is coming up for me as I try to balance my personal efforts between all of the different platforms. Facebook is automatic. I’m now dabbling in YouTube and Vimeo. While I’ll continue to use each channel, I’m getting to the “spreading myself too thin” range with Twitter and Google+. I need to start dedicating more of my time to one of them.
For me, it will be Google+.
Again, don’t take this the wrong way. Twitter has value. But if a small company is going to choose two places to focus their attention — assuming their audience is in all three places — what will it be?
How about you? Do you intend to shift any of your focus to Google+? What will suffer?