Did you watch CNN this morning? It reported Paul Allen’s stats that Google+ growth is exceeding expectations. According to him, Google is now over 62 million users and adding about 625,000 new users every day.
His prediction? Google+ will have over 400 million users by the end of 2012.
400 million users in a year in a half.
Don’t ditch Facebook
Granted, there is a difference between “users” and “active users.” Facebook reports 800 million active users–people who actually use Facebook. And it reports that half of them log in to Facebook every day.
Facebook currently has more active users each day than the projected total users Google+ will have by the end of 2012. So you definitely want to get good at using Facebook. I recommend checking out John Haydon to get really good at using Facebook.
But explore Google+ in 2012
But even with Facebook’s success, when asked a question they can’t answer, people don’t say they’ll “Facebook” it. They still say they’ll “Google” it. And herein lies the secret to Google’s success.
CNN reports that Google has more monthly visitors than Facebook. And Google is advertising Google+ prominently, especially with the omnipresent black bar on many of its products.
The people will try out Google+. And as Google opens up it’s API, more developers will be able to create applications that interface with Google+. (Think Causes in Facebook. Or, unfortunately, Farmville.) These new applications will help “users” become “active users.”
Add to that all the changes Google is making to accomodate Google+ in all its other products, including and especially its search results, it’s important to your nonprofit or business to get familiar with Google+ now. It’s still an early adopter phase which means people are more forgiving when a company or nonprofit makes mistakes.
You don’t want to end 2012 wishing you’d checked out Google+ a year ago.
Some tools to help you get started
I’ve written a lot about Google+ and why I think it’s great for nonprofits. All the posts are available here: Google+ for Nonprofits on FundraisingCoach.com. Here are some of those articles:
- Getting Started on Google+ for Nonprofits
- Google+ for Nonprofits seminar at BlogWorld (this is more of a seminar)
- How to hold a Google+ Hangout and why you should
Here are some quick videos on YouTube about aspects of Google+:
- How to Start a Google+ Hangout (3 minutes)
- Google+ profile picture trick (39 seconds)
- A quick way to find interesting people on Google+ (1 minute 10 seconds)
- How to set up multiple administrators for your Google+ page (43 seconds)
Yes, they will have that many people signed up for Google+, but what I would like to see is how many of them are actually using it. They are automatically signing people up for it when they sign up for a Gmail account or YouTube account – so I think those numbers are very misleading.
If a nonprofit has the resources they should definitely be experimenting with G+ in 2012.
However, here is some understandable push back out there against the idea that every organization needs a page/account on every “next big thing,” and some may not be at all eager to take on another social networking platform. Luckily, your posts on G+ may make it less scary for nonprofits who want to explore how it could work for them.