Google received some bad news about its social network, Google+, from Gigya - only 2% saw Google+ has the key destination for shared contents. In comparison, Facebook scored 50% and Pinterest scored 16%.
This low percentage score means that its users are not sharing content on Google+. No content on Google+ means there is no reason for its 359 million users to visit Google+.
Google should relook at how it is going to make this social networks popular. My suggestion is that it should start from the merchants' angle rather than from the end-users' point of view.
Why do I say this? From my daily engagement with merchants on the ground, merchants, big or small, are starting Facebook Pages first and web-sites later. Discussions often start with "How many likes can I get" and no longer "How many visitors come to my site?".
|A Cafe Celebrating Likes Than Visitors to the shop...|
If merchants need to advertise on Facebook to get more Likes or increase awareness of the Page, merchants only need to go to http://Facebook.com/ads or just click any of the pop-ups on the Page screen targeted at admins to get advertise on the social platform.
Now, compare this to Google+. To get a vanity URL for the Google+ page, merchants first need to embed the Google+ button on its website and submit a verification form which requires a scan copy of some proof of document. Given that websites are now the number two or three thing to do before setting up a Facebook Page, why would merchants care about setting a Google+ Page?
If merchants need to advertise, they have to go outside of the Google+ Page to the Google Adwords page and find out how to advertise.
Google+ Pages don't even provide analytics for the Google+ Page direct and I am not even sure how you embed a Google Analytics code into a Google+ Page. For Facebook, once you reach 100 likes or more, Insights is provided naturally.
So for Google to make Google+ something that merchants want to use, Google should start making it easier for merchants to do things on Google+ and all within Google+, rather than go to multiple sites.
For a start, why don't Google make it easier for merchants to get vanity url?