Four Reasons Google Has a Chance in Social Media

» Posted by on Jul 5, 2011 in Business Strategy, Facebook, Marketing | 0 comments

By Harry and Miriam McNabb

We at Spalding Barker Strategies are heavy Google users – using gmail, Google Apps for our business, and various and sundry other tools – and we are very aware of Google’s drawbacks.  But when it comes to social media, we think that Google has a real shot at taking on Facebook.  Here’s why:

1)       New and motivated leadership at Google.  Larry Page, Google’s 38 year old founding CEO, is back.  He’s on a mission to convince the market that Google can continue to grow in utility and profitability, and Google+ is the first big project on deck.  It’s a good guess that he will put whatever resources he needs to into the project to make it successful.

2)       Marketshare.  Google, in Microsoft fashion, has a dominant market share position – which translates into tons of money.  The majority of personal computing devices use Google in one form or another so it would seem that you can’t discount market prevalence.  There are plenty of examples of this alone leading to success: Microsoft over Netscape and everyone else comes to mind.  (Or Microsoft over Wordperfect, Microsoft over Lotus… you get the idea.)

3)       They’re not first.  Coming after Facebook, Google has had the chance to learn from Facebook’s (and their own failed first tries at social media, Google Wave and Google Buzz) mistakes.  By introducing drag and drop “circles” of friends, Google+ seems to have made it easier to organize your friends and manage privacy.  In addition, Google leverages some of the products it already has to add utility that Facebook is missing, such as Google “Hangouts” that use video chat, or “Huddles” that enable easy group chats.

4)       They could actually be (gasp!) profitable.  Analyst Ezra Gottheil says he can see a clear path to using Google+  for the enterprise.  (See his comments here.)  With a decent share of the corporate market, Google Apps could lead the way for Google+ and solve social media’s most persistent problem – how to make money.

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