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Why I Deleted My Google Plus Page

Yes. I deleted my Google Plus Page.

Or rather, it’s not in use anymore.

Not my personal profile, but the page for our business, B Squared Media.

I can’t sit here and tell you that my “research” is scientific, but I can tell you that I spent a good amount of effort looking at analytics to make this decision.

And in the end, with my most precious and valuable asset being time, I decided having both a personal Google Plus account and a business page just wasn’t worth it.

Here’s why …

Before I go into things, I just want to comment on the whole Copyblogger debacle.

After deleting their Facebook Page, they got thrown into a sh!tstorm of controversy on whether what they did was “right” or “wrong.”

While I tend to agree with several of the thoughts Jon Loomer shared in his article regarding their decision, I ultimately still think it’s THEIR DECISION.

It doesn’t matter if they had sucky management or sucky fans.

Every company and small business — and person, for that matter — has a right to choose where they want to spend their social media time.

Placing the blame on Facebook may have been the wrong way to go about announcing their departure, but at the end of the day, they’re tired of playing “all the Facebook games” … aren’t we all?!

In any case, I hope that I’m not getting myself into a sh!tstorm by sharing my story with you. ((a) not that I have anywhere near the popularity and following that Copyblogger does, and (b) not that Google should in any way be compared to Facebook).

On Guard With Google

I have to admit that from the beginning I was wary of another social platform.

In 2011, while consulting for another company, I distinctly remember saying that I wasn’t rushing out to start using the platform when clients asked how I felt about Google Plus.

Even now, after a couple of years on the platform, I admit it doesn’t get the majority of my time.

Not because it’s the evil stepchild or anything, but because I use another Google product to decide where my time should be spent (based on referral traffic): Google Analytics.

According to my August GA report, 58% of my social traffic came from Twitter.

And so, that’s where I spent my time (and spend my time – Twitter has been coming in first for quite some time now).

Facebook and Google Plus fight for position, grabbing anywhere from 10-25% of my social traffic.

In August, Google happened to provide 21% of my total social traffic …

Google Analytics_Aug top social sources

And if you’re wondering, yes, that’s all organic traffic.

We didn’t run any ads during August.

From a referral standpoint, August looked like this:

Google Analytics_Aug top referrers

Google beat Facebook by 51 referrals.

But(!), my assumption is that much of this traffic was actually coming from my Google Plus PROFILE, not my Google Plus Business Page.

Google Plus Profile VS Google Plus Page

My Google Plus Profile:

  • As of today has 3,572 followers
  • As of today has 222,621 views
  • Gets pretty good engagement (I hardly ever receive “crickets” – or no interaction on a post)

Unlike Copyblogger, I’m readily admitting that I don’t spend enough time on Google Plus to see a huge return on investment.

I post M-F … and there are days I miss.

My Google Plus Business Page:

  • As of today has 335 followers
  • As of today has 51,781 views
  • Gets okay to poor engagement

Again, with the Page there were minimal efforts; we posted M-F pretty regularly.

You can see for yourself that the past 90-days of engagement were pretty dismal:

Google Plus Enagement 90-day report

 

Based on the actions for posts that had branded B Squared content, it was easy to see that much of the referral links from Google Plus were actually coming from my personal profile and not the business page.

I decided that time is my most valuable asset, and that it isn’t worth MY time to have both Pages active.

After posting several messages asking peeps to follow my personal profile, we stopped posting updates, and now only use the page as a placeholder.

What I Could Have Done Differently

There are probably a million and one things I could have done differently.

I came up with five pretty easily:

  1. Posted more branded content on the biz page
  2. Posted more frequently, and on the weekend
  3. Posted less about marketing on my personal page, and left that to the biz page
  4. Started a G+ community affliated with our biz page
  5. Spent more time commenting and interacting as our biz page

But I didn’t, did I?

Nope. I did not.

I took a look a three digital friends who have both a personal and a biz page, and this is what I found:

  1. Oroklini Social Media & Veronica Solorzano Athanasiou
    • Oroklini: 167 followers / 24,762 views
    • Veronica (Amiga!): 417 followers / 34, 839 views
  2. More In Media & Dorien Morin-van Dam
    • More In Media: 520 followers / 70,652 views
    • Dorien: 2,898 followers / 95,549 views
  3. Scalable Social Media & Alisa Meredith
    • Scalable Social Media: 1698 followers / 149,105 views
    • Alisa: 3991 followers / 171,711 views

Again, this is very non-scientific (I just thought of these friends randomly!).

But it seems that there is a much larger follower base for people and not logos or brands.

Each of these ladies is similar to me in that they offer social media or digital marketing services, and they post marketing and branded messages to both their personal profiles AND their biz pages on Google Plus.

Can I make an absolute conclusion that personal profiles perform better than business pages? No.

Why I Deleted My Google Plus Page

Why I Deleted My Google Plus Page

What it all boils down to is this: The analytics told a story and the lack of engagment told a story.

But ultimately it was up to me to decide where I want to spend my time.

And while I don’t want to leave Google Plus altogether, it just doesn’t make sense for me to double my efforts there.

For now, anyway.

What about you? Do you run a personal profile and a biz page on G+ successfully? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
Category: Google Plus, Social Business, Social Media, Social Media Marketing
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12 Comments. Leave new

  • I agree totally Brook, if it’s not working then why keep doing it.

    Time is a very valuable commodity and to spend it on platforms (or parts of platforms) that do not have a good ROI is pointless in my opinion. I have both a personal page and a business page on G+, neither of which is great, but that is 100% my fault (must get around to using them soon!).

    I have been trying to get FB to work for me but am slowly running out of patience and ideas. The “experts” keep saying it is great, and will work for anyone, but that is not the reality I see (unless you have oodles of marketing money).

    So I may follow your lead and see how expanding my time on my G+ profile works over the long run, certainly can’t see it being worse than what I am experiencing at the moment.

    Please keep us informed on how it goes for you too. 🙂

    Cheers, Ian

    Reply
    • Hi, Ian! Thanks for stopping by.

      Yeah, I wanted to admit fault right off the bat. I don’t spend a lot (or enough) time on G+. So that’s on me. FB is a whole other story! Our page has been doing anywhere from “okay” to good (without running ads). So my next step is to spend a modest budget on ads and see what happens. We have most of our conversations there, get most of our market research there, and have good feedback there so it’s just not something we’re willing to give up right now.

      Let me know what you decide to do and how things go! I’m always interested in other perspectives. 🙂

      Reply
      • What do you think of the $1.00 a day Facebook ad idea Brook? Do you think it is worthwhile and if so, would you target it to Facebook likes or to building your website traffic / marketing funnel sign-ups.

        I am looking into it as a way to get more sign-ups to my list, but wonder about the quality of leads from Facebook in this respect. Also I am undecided if $1.00 a day would give enough reach to be worthwhile, or if a bigger spend is needed.

        Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated 🙂

        Reply
        • Ian, I’m not sold on the concept, but then I haven’t tried it so I really can’t say one way or another! I think it’s worth a shot … and if you do it PLEASE enlighten the rest of us with a blog post on how it all went down. 😉

          We definitely have seen the benefits of small ads (but just not that small).

          Reply
  • Interesting post, Brooke! From a strategy standpoint, I haven’t yet figured out the best way to separate out my G+ personal posts from my biz page either. Twitter gets most of my attention as well. But honestly, I enjoy posting to my G+ personal profile much more than my business page. And I find I prefer to engage more with people than brands on Google+. I still need to ramp up my efforts on Google+, so I’m not quite ready to give up on the biz page.

    However, my LinkedIn business page is another story! It’s like a ghost town and I’m pretty sure I’m done with it. I was wondering the best way to do it; delete it or just not use it anymore. Your post helped me with my decision, so thanks! 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, Michelle! I enjoy G+, too, and it definitely does more to get the conversation going. And yes, I could ramp up my own efforts!

      LinkedIn is a whole other story! Our biz page doesn’t do nearly as well as my profile, but then we have clients who we’ve grown to nearly 10,000 fans. Crazy, right?

      Glad to help out in any way we can! 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Veronica Solorzano Athanasiou
    October 24, 2014 12:58 PM

    Thanks so much for the shout out Brooke. I appreciate you thinking of me when looking at both business page and personal profile on Google plus. 🙂

    It made me check my GAs and most of my traffic is also from Twitter. Pinterest is tied with Facebook in second place. In my case, it’s correlated with how much time I spend on each platform. It also has to do with Social share systems. I always think: Tweet, Pin and share on Facebook first, and then schedule for the (not very active) Google and Linkedin Company/Business pages. At a later time, I’ll visit a blog article for comments or else, and share on my personal Gplus profile and on my personal LinkedIN, directly from the share buttons on my site.

    I think it has to do with the fact that I cannot schedule posts to my personal Gplus on Buffer or HootSuite, so it could be shared there first directly from the article. It also has to do with what you tackled once in a previous article: the Gplus mobile App doesn’t make it easy to switch from profile to business page, so you tend to spend more time or one or the other.

    Very interesting article, thanks again for the mention and for taking the time to look at my Gplus pages, amiga! 🙂

    I agree that every business is free to decide on where to spend their time. I suppose we all have our own subjective preferences for social platforms and it shows when we interact in the how much and how we do it.

    Reply
    • Of course, Amiga! You were one of the 1st people I thought of. Hopefully this post gave your pages a little boost. 😉

      I agree much of the stats correlate to what we do most/where we spend our time. It’s kind of a Catch 22: We spend time on the sites where we get the most referrals, so how can we move the needle on the sites that don’t get as much traffic … by spending more time there … but do we want efforts to go somewhere that doesn’t have the “juice” … AH! It’ll drive you crazy just thinking about it.

      I think the end game for all of us is to make money. So if ANY social site isn’t helping you do that (or meet whatever other biz goals you have laid out), then it’s your absolute right to say “see ya!” and go elsewhere.

      Social is subjective. There’s not a formula. And you can’t do it in 10 minutes a day. Just my .2 cents on it all! 😉

      Thanks for always being such a great supporter!

      Reply
  • I’m so glad I read this – now I don’t feel bad to abandoning my Google Plus business page! I would post to it occasionally but I saw MUCH more engagement on my profile so I decided to go with that. I didn’t delete the ME Marketing page, I just don’t post to it anymore. Google Plus is second behind Twitter as the top 2 social referrers to my site. If you look at everything, through Google organic between the two.

    There are valid reasons for using or not using a Google Plus business page. Most people I follow use their personal profiles. It’s easier to interact and relate because it’s a real person. Just my two cents 🙂

    Reply
    • Ah! Glad to hear that, Mandy! Do you post at all to your G+ biz page? Not sure if you read the comments, but Ray Hiltz suggested I at least post my blog posts on the biz page for indexing. I’ve taken that advice.

      I agree with you on the human element. It’s IS easier! Thanks for letting us share in your wisdom. 🙂

      Reply
  • Local Optimization – Do You Have A Google+ Business Page?
    November 13, 2014 8:12 PM

    […] enhanced your profile? Or, let me know why you are not using your Google+ Business Page. I found a great article on why Brooke Ballard of B Squared Media is not using her business page anymore for more than a […]

    Reply
  • […] Let the data tell you what to do (as we did with our G+ biz page) […]

    Reply

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