October 2, 2014

A Quick Practical Business Guide to Google Plus

What the PlusIs this you? Do you take Google+ as another network you need to manage? Someplace else to post and watch for business social media? As Guy Kawasaki says himself, in the early pages of the book I’m reviewing here:

“I need another social media service like I need more email or my dog to throw up on the carpet.”

Amen to that. I like Twitter best. I’m sort of the introvert version of social media — I like conversations at 140 characters a pop. And online. And via the keyboard. But of course, I’ve been watching Google+, trying to keep up there, because it’s Google, a lot of people I like are there, and I’m in social media for business. Plus already has more than 100 million users, and some business press is predicting more than 400 million by the end of this year.

Which is why I like and recommend What the Plus, a short, practical to-the-point book on Google Plus by Guy Kawasaki. It’s all about tips, shortcuts, and step by step to taking more advantage of Plus, and doing it better. Don’t judge it by my presence on Plus, because I’m writing this fresh after reading the book, before implementing.

I’m not going to take long, though, to implement this books suggestions for modifying my profile, my profile pictures, my posting strategy, and my approach to circles. It’s a lot easier to learn from a well-written and practical book than my trial and error.

It does get very specific. It includes chapters on (among others):

  • how to make a profile
  • how to deal with circles and streams
  • how to share posts
  • how to optimize for social search

Not that it doesn’t have its point behind it. Guy Kawasaki is known as the original and quintessential Apple Evangelist, which makes this quote particularly significant:

“From my perspective, Google + is to Facebook and Twitter what Macintosh is to Windows: Better, but fewer people use it, and the pundits prophesy that it will fail. As a lover of great products, this rankles my soul.”

I liked this comparison too, part of an opening chapter called Why I Love Google+:  Twitter is about perspectives, FaceBook about people, and Google+ about passions:

“Ask yourself if you want to enhance and expand the number of people who share your passions. If the answer is no, stick with Twitter and Facebook until Google + reaches critical mass. Or, you may decide you need multiple services: Twitter for perspectives, Facebook for people, and Google + for passions. That’s OK too.”

It also has a lot of vintage Kawasaki wisdom, applicable to Google Plus and to much of the rest of social media, and life. For example, chapters on:

  • how to achieve trustworthiness
  • how to respond to comments
  • how to deal with Bozos

And a couple of very well placed guest chapters, like How to Thrive in the All-Boys’ Club, guest written by Lynette Young.

I should state my bias: I’ve known Guy Kawasaki since the 1980s. He’s a friend. His Art of the Start book is the first one I recommend to people looking at starting, and I liked his Enchantment so much I bought extra copies for several of my grown children. So I was delighted when he sent me a copy of this book on Plus – Plus was on my mind.

Ironically, although Guy sent me a copy, I ended up buying my own as a Kindle version. Kindle software is so convenient that it was easier to just spend the $2.99 to buy it then to work with the PDF I already had.

Which is another advantage of this book: it’s priced at $2.99 and available electronically in a lot of different convenient places.

And to conclude, this quote, from Chapter 10, How to Get More Followers:

“There are two kinds of people on social networks: those who want more followers and those who are lying.”

It’s hard to argue with that.

11 Comments ▼

Tim Berry


Tim Berry Tim Berry is Founder and Chairman of Palo Alto Software, Founder of Bplans, Co-Founder of Borland International, Stanford MBA, and co-founder of Have Presence. He is the author of several books and thousands of articles on business planning, small business, social media and startup business.

11 Reactions

  1. Thanks for the review, Tim – interesting notion of Google Plus being the Mac role to Twitter and Facebook, but it’s easy to visualizer. There is still a lot Google must do to maintain interest – there were articles earlier claiming “failure”. Hogwash! There’s some features Google has interestingly not emphasized, but should to remind the potential. Books like this will help. Thanks for sharing your reading experience.

  2. I have to tell you that what spoke to me most was your comment about Google+ being to Facebook and Twitter what Mac is to Windows and that fewer people use it. I’m not sure what’s happening to me – maybe it’s my inner introvert. But I yearn for more real conversations on social media channels. And your review has me re-thinking how much attention I give to Google+. Looking forward to seeing you there!

    • Thanks Ivana, that’s two of us now. I’ve been really enjoying it since I discovered social media, which for me began as Twitter in 2008. I was late to the game, and I’m basically an introvert, but I’m also loving it. And looking forward to doing more with Google+. Tim

  3. 400,000 by the end of the year?

  4. I really wish Google Plus allowed API write integration so it’s easier to broadcast your website/blog content into your Google+ business pages without having to manually do it all day long.

  5. Good insight. I have been hesitant to jump on board google+ even though gmail and docs are great. The comparison of it being in a similar role as Mac puts a unique perspective on it.

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