Getting More People to Use Google+ Part III: Utility over Sentiment in Traditional Media Campaigns

The “Sentimental” traditional media campaigns are great, but we need “Utilitarian” messages!

I am a fan of the gorgeous Google+ commercials which feature heart-touching moments between brides-to-be and their friends and fathers and their babies… but what we need is for Google to convey what is useful about Google+, and also – what is different .

Saving all of one’s pictures automatically to a G+ private picture page is great. It is a great add-on to Google+ and it makes for a touching commercial. However, that’s not what Google+ is about… as a matter of fact, if you show G+ commercials to a casual social media user, they aren’t going to be sure what’s going on.

“Oh… I guess I can do video with a bunch of people… I can kinda keep track… of my relationship with that guy I got to know at the cabin..”

I’m being facetious, sort of, but really – beyond some of the innovative ways that people can use the Google+ functionality, those commercials didn’t really teach anyone anything about Google+.

Commercials need to familiarize people with the basics…

This hearkens back to my previous post in the series, Devolve to Evolve, Google needs to say hey… this IS NOT Facebook… this IS NOT Twitter… this is a network of discovery. A network of relationship building… where you aren’t bound by 140 characters, you aren’t bound by the people you’ve known before… you are free to explore, to roam. And here’s how you do it… and then they have to create a mini how-to video in their commercial.

MAN sits at computer, the Google+ interface is on the screen. MAN moves cursor to “Search Google+” and types in “Anniversary Gif –” MAN stops, deletes typing, types “Perfect Anniversary Gift” and then the search occurs and is suddenly populated with posts of people who are talking about the “perfect anniversary gift”, MAN clicks on top result, reads short post and adds that user to his “Gift Ideas” Circle.

Something as simple as that – it even has that romantic and sentimental pause that Google loves. It’s a story, and it’s also a “how to”. It shows how people can find other people, and not necessarily brands, talking about what they’re interested in – talking about it simply because they want to… you can’t do that on Facebook… you can’t really do that on Twitter. It’s a unique experience.

What about using a current Google+ user?

It can’t be a techy story. I’m sorry – tech-heads already know about Google+. It has to be a story of someone who is a casual user, or is some sort of approximation of a casual user. And by approximation, I don’t mean… an actor who is pretending to be a stay-at-home Dad who has time to hang out online; I mean a real person who just happens to have jumped into G+ and learned how to use it “well”..

Where do we find this person?

Just ask Plussers, Google. They’ll answer.

In the end… the geniuses (and I mean this, I’m not being snarky) at Google need to sit down and come up with a way to say… in 1-2 sentences… what makes Google+ different and it has to sound “human”.

Human does not mean bringing a tear to the eye of a new mother, it does not mean stirring up nostalgic emotions… those are great things and all, but by “human” – maybe I mean… something that the average person can latch on to… not a feeling, but a meaning …a use !

People aren’t asking – “is this social network going to have the power to make me cry?”

NO, they are going to say, “is this social network going to make my life easier, or more fun? Is this social network going to help me to connect with people I know better than Facebook or Twitter? Is it going to give me news? Is it going to add value to my time online? Can I share easily? Can I connect? Can I meet new people”

Part I: How Extrovert and Introvert personality type reversal on social media might be skewing perception of platform’s popularity

Part II: Creating Stand-alone G+ elements for websites to increase casual-user familiarity

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