If Your Small Business depends on Referrals You Will LOSE Money on Google+

by Fred Abramson on July 15, 2011 · 2 comments

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If you spend any time on social media, you probably read about 40 articles about Google+ in the past week. First the anticipation. Then obvious leaks by Google through Techcrunch, Mashable, Lifehaker and the like. Then a few of your your Twitter friends that you don’t know and who do not refer you business start blogging about it. Finally, you score a “valuable” invitation and you think “what should I do with this important new marketing toy? If I don’t get on it, I will never own a new BMW.’

Here’s my advice. If you run a small business or run a law firm, run as fast as you can away from Google+.  Here’s why:

  • Social Media is superficial. By social media, I mean anything but blogging.  With blogging, you can write in depth. With Social Media, you simply share other people’s shit. Frankly, no one cares that you shared the information. It requires about 2% thought to share and if you don’t comment on the link, then you are  a) intellectually lazy or b) not as smart as you think you are.  Google+ is just another way to show that you like to read but have trouble thinking.
  • Learning Curve.  Seriously, you probably are going to have to put in about 30 hours to understand the new medium. The big winners of this are  Google, bloggers like Chris Brogan and cheesy aggregators like Business Insider.   More pageviews for them. Go ahead, click an Adword. Google needs you help. There stock only jumped nearly 13% yesterday. Trust me, you going to spend hours exploring why Brogan and Pogue think of Google+. Thereafter, if you have many contacts, like me, then you are going to spend days grouping your contacts.
  • Takes Time from Rainmaking.  As an attorney, I depend on referrals. I spend 80 percent of my day working on operations, which for me means working on cases. Ten percent is devoted to administrative work. That leaves me the remaining 10 percent of my time to devote to marketing. Look, I am not a marketer, but my biggest return on investment of that time is  by far eating lunch with referral partners (a la Keith Ferrazzi)  and emailing/calling/pinging clients and referral partners to see how they are doing and find ways that I can help. Your time is finite. IMHO, your time is better spent having coffee at Financier on Stone Street with a business owner in NYC (where I live) than hanging out on Google+ and hoping a marketer from Nebraska will refer you a customer.

What do you think of Goggle+? Do you agree or disagree with me?  Do you get a better return on your time investment via offline or online marketing?


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