Google+, plus, PLUS! What does it mean to YOUR brand?

Google+, plus, PLUS! What does it mean to YOUR brand?

Most of our friends know that at ROBYN, we are focused on honing our marketing skills... And we enjoy sharing what we have learned! To this end, we are thrilled to introduce a side project we've been working on: The 7 Minute Smarketer.

The premise behind the podcast is to sit down with innovative marketers who are experts in different disciplines and give them 7 minutes to make us smarter. The podcasts are hosted on the7 Minute Smarketer website, which you can hear by clicking the button below...




Dan Gordon Smarketer      7 Minute Smarketer



Bobby Lehew:  Hello everyone. This is Bobby Lehew with the 7‑Minute Smarketer and today our guest is Dan Gordon. His passion for business has landed him on American Express Open Forum, Mashable, MSN, and B‑Net. He's president at Samuel Gordon Jewelers and featured speaker at various events around the country. And when I think “leading‑edge marketer,” I think Dan Gordon, whose appetite for risk is huge and who's delivered on some pretty big marketing initiatives. I'm one of many people who think of Dan as a friend. He's truly one of the boldest marketers that I know. Dan, welcome to the show.

Dan Gordon:  Well, thank you for having me and it's great to be here with you. It's been a while to catch up.

Bobby:  It has been a while to catch up. And I'm here with my cohort in crime, Brian Blake ‚ co‑host. You're like a timer operator today, right?

Brian Blake:  Yeah, I'm working the controls over here. Good to be here.

Bobby:  It's a huge sound system we got going.

Dan:  That is a very sophisticated device, and it looks like a countdown.

Bobby:  That's it. So, Dan, you know the rules. Basically, you have seven minutes to make us smarter marketers or you owe us a beer.

Dan:  Wow.

Bobby:  We're in the right place for that.

Dan:  More beers. Bring them now. [laughter]

Bobby:  So today's topic for our marketing professionals and anyone else because we think this is more than just for marketing professionals. This is for anyone that wants to be smarter marketers. And today, everybody's a marketer. I mean, you look at small businesses trying to do anything from running a cell phone repair shop, from a gentleman we were talking to yesterday, to a jewelry shop, to a promotional company, we‚ are all marketers now. But today's topic is Google Plus and I can think of nobody better than Dan Gordon. So Dan, we're going to start the timer and we are going to let you go. Make us smarter.

Dan:  OK. Well, basically for me, for Google Plus, and why I am so infatuated with it is the way that they are initiating it and the strategy that they're taking in order to not create another social network that will compete with Facebook or Twitter so much. That's not what they state their strategy is. They're really genius and they're real clever behind this very long, methodical, drawn‑out process that they use to produce a product that is actually, at this point right now, only it's a field trial, is what they call it. It's only invite‑only, and it's grown to 30 million users in a little over a month. And there's a reason why people are sticking with it. There are a lot of people that are leaving because their friends aren't there yet, but they will be there eventually. You'll have to use the service. And what fascinates me about it, getting to my point, is that it's an extension of search into you.

So instead of saying, “We're going to create the next Facebook. We're going to create the next Twitter,” what we're trying to create is that we have all these properties already on the web. We have the second largest and the first largest search engine: us, Google, and YouTube. People are already there all the time, all day long. We have Gmail. I think that's over 200 million, 300 million users. I don't know the latest numbers. Huge user base there. And then Blogger. And I have no idea what the user base is there, but I know it's huge.

So the way that they've implemented this, and it's a solid product, and they start with the biggest problem in social networking. And that's why they say they created it, is that they created Google Plus to solve a problem with social networking, and that is the platforms don't talk to each other.

Bobby:  Right. Silos. They're totally siloed.

Dan:  Right. We've got silos. We've got a guarded wall with Facebook. Twitter's open, but only third‑party apps can be made on top of it with API. What Google Plus is actually built for Joseph Smarr, who is I think the lead developer, I believe, for the project, I heard a really interesting podcast with him early on and they are making it an extension of all their properties. They’re the largest website in the world: a billion unique monthly visitors. And what they are trying to do is build a network to where other networks can join in and talk to each other. If that's really going to happen, that's a large goal, they actually have the ability to do it in the long term because they've just launched. We've seen the tip of the iceberg.

And one thing that's really interesting with the service itself is that it uses segmentation, or categorization, to where you can input and see what you want to see with your stream with circles, or you can output to a certain group. And that's the flaw and the problem they're trying to solve, at least for the interface of the service itself.

Bobby:  And so you have these subcultures that exist, and in real life we have these various different audiences that we interact with. And for businesspeople, this is what is interesting. My family lives in Facebook. I live in Google. And I know there are a lot of folks that live in Google, obviously, as opposed to living in Facebook. So you don't think this is necessarily Google Plus or Facebook. It's different. It's either an amalgamation of the two or… It's not so much we're opposed to each other and there's not going to be any interactivity between the two.

Dan:  Right. We're talking about stacking. And when we talk about stacks, we can talk about Apple. We can talk about Microsoft. Facebook is starting to stack with separate products like the picture messaging, group messaging-type thing. And what's interesting with Google is, it's really fascinating to see this company that has all these amazing products, not to mention the enterprise side of their business with big, big businesses using Docs and presentation and all the different variety of groups of abilities they have. And they're basically making it seamless in Google Plus. It's no doubt in my mind that we'll see all these products rolled into Google Plus.

And the SEO implications of this “+1” button is very real. And you already can start to see what your friends are Plus One‑ing and sharing in search results if you're logged in. And businesses need to be found, so I don't think that people can avoid it. It's a bit early that Business Pages aren't even invented yet.

Bobby:  So you would say for marketers, then, that this is something you'd advise them, get on it, get familiar with it. What else would you advise a marketer? They might be working for a large organization or a small organization. Is it something they just need to be attuned to right now? Because when Business Pages do launch, I think that's going to be crucial.

Dan:  Yeah. See, my whole thing about being involved with something as an early adopter, especially something like this‚ because before it launched, I actually looked at the videos and I saw what the differences were with the circles, and I frankly wanted to use the product, not because it was new, but because I thought it would be useful. But as a result of being in so early, what I've been able to do is submit myself and my business to when Business Pages do launch, that's going to be something that I'm on that list for. So being in there and involved, not letting it take up your whole day or time, but just knowing what's going on because it's not going away. That's for sure.

Bobby:  So I have a completely non‑related question to Google Plus and I saved this. What do you think of Klout? There's this love‑hate with Klout, isn't there?

Dan:  Klout, yeah. Anything game mechanism‑wise catches my attention. I think it's very interesting to try to gauge how much influence people have. On an online forum, it's technically not possible. It technically changes day to day in our real life. I have a lot of klout at home one weekend, and the other weekend I'm sleeping on the couch. [laughter]

Bobby:  There's your Klout score right there, man.

Dan:  Yeah, there you go. Klout score is two today. But it's fun and I keep an eye on it. I don't obsess it.

Bobby:  OK. Well, and so you have been all over the board, Dan, in terms of through the years. You're good at experimenting. Honestly, when I think “leading‑edge marketer,” I think Dan Gordon. And we were talking earlier. You mentioned email. Email is still a crucial anchor for a lot of businesses, right? I think people that think, when we get excited about social, that it's all or nothing. It's not. It's now this very fragmented world that we live in and we're just trying to learn how to embrace these various communication channels. Are you doing anything different with email today than you were a year ago or two years ago?

Dan:  I'm absolutely focusing more on building our email list. It's something I actually was pretty deficient on in the beginning because I got so into the social. We have a mobile app and people can turn on Push notification. We have an email list. These one‑on‑one direct forms of communication, to me, it's getting so noisy and so loud and there's so many people on social that's mainstream that that's more effective. Now, going back to Google Plus real quick, circles take away that noise. I think you have a limit of following 5,000 people, circling 5,000 people, but the bottom line is you put them all into a certain circle that you want to view, particularly based upon an interest or a social circle group.

So you can actually take the noise out of the equation even if you have a ton of connections or people have you in a circle as well. So it's real easy to filter. You've got these filter mechanisms on your comfort level of what you want to input and output and that's a huge difference. That's the point of entry on this network.

Bobby:  That's fantastic. Well, the 7‑Minute Smarketer Dan Gordon, you've definitely made us smarter, as I knew you would.

Dan:  No. You knew all this already, man. Come on. I'm serious.

Bobby:  No, seriously. This is good stuff.

Dan:  Thanks.

Bobby:  It's great to talk about it. And I have one last question. This is when you know you have somebody good that you're talking to, because you can't stop talking. How does a marketer cut through the clutter these days? And that's a broad question because they're in different industries, but what do you recommend they do to cut through the clutter?

Bobby:  Basically, if you're not seeing results, cut it out. I've changed and fine‑tuned my whole digital marketing plan. If things aren't working, when you've cut out the clutter and you focus on one or two or three things that are really doing well, kind of like what you're doing here, the results drive exactly where I'm going now, as opposed to trying to be everywhere and do everything just for the sake of.

Bobby:  Yeah. Awesome. Awesome advice. Dan Gordon. You folks can find Dan at DanGordon.me. That's DanGordon.me and at SamuelGordons.com. Man, thanks so much for your time. It‚Äôs good to visit again.

Dan:  Thanks. Thank you.

Bobby:  All right. Take care. [music]