At the moment about 20 million people are on Google Plus, Google’s newly launched social network. Many of those are tech innovators, social media marketing experts and online early adapters.
This is the traditional way of growing a user base. First pioneers and innovators, then early majority, late majorty and finally laggards. This is how Facebook grew for instance.
Google Plus has the opportunity to do this differently. They need to deploy the pincer movement. The pincer movement is a military maneuver, where both flanks of the opponent are simultaneously attacked.
Google can use this strategy by focussing on both pioneers and laggards!
Google Plus: the innovators’ favourite
Innovators love G+ because of it’s rich functionality and especially because of the ‘Circles’ functionality. By adding people to a circle, you can share stuff only with the people in that circle.
As a heavy social media user, I really like this functionality because it makes it easier to share relevant content with the right people.
But ‘Circles’ also makes G+ a very suitable social network for laggards.
Why Google Plus is a great introduction into social media for laggards
I know many people in my personal life who are not in social media. They just don’t have the need to connect with people from their past such as former colleagues, friends from school or even with family members or acquintances.
But they DO like to share. My brother in law for instance frequently sends me an email with a YouTube clip or article he wants to share with me.
He is now on G+. We have a circle together. Just me and him. And we share more than ever.
He told me that he will set up another circle with his brother and with his best friend.
My brother in law is not on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare or Linkedin. Nor will he ever be. But he is on G+.
Who’s the opponent?
Facebook of course. I don’t really believe that G+ is going to kill Facebook. But I don’t think it has to. What G+ needs to do, is get users to use Facebook AS WELL AS Google Plus.
My brother in laws’ brother and best friend were already on Facebook. They are now also on G+. Because of him.
His brother and best friend were respectively early- and late majority. So, the laggard has pulled the early- and late majority into G+.
If I was Google I would start leveraging this opportunity.
In 216 BC Hannibal used this maneuver in the battle of Cannae. It’s viewed by military historians as one of the greatest battlefield maneuvers in history.
Just the thing Google needs to start drawing people from Facebook into G+.