Come August 2019, Google+ for consumers won't be a thing. We all knew this day was coming. As Mike Elgan puts it in his article for FastCompany:
" In truth, it’s likely that Google+ has been a dead social network walking since 2014. Since then, Google has stripped it for parts and terminated some of its best features."
I'm sure most of you would agree that the average person doesn't spend any time on Google+. (We'd love to hear from you if you've ever been an avid user of Google's social networking site.)
So what does it mean for your business Google+ page - which will still be accessible - after August 2019?
Google has been adding new features to Google+ for businesses, but these features are more for managing internal teams at your company and communicating between employees. None of the new features are "outward-facing" in that sense. And there will no longer be any individual people on Google+ who will be able to interact with your business on this platform.
In the software, solutions, and office equipment industries with the way the sales process works, it's critical to be in front of your potential customers on an ongoing basis. In fact, knowing that a sale may happen over the course of a year, rather than in one emotionally-driven decision to purchase, you need to be in front of potential customers multiple times before they reach out to you and buy.
Social networking is an excellent tool for keeping in front of leads and prospects, and, frankly, Google+ has never been the tool to achieve this. And now, with Google+ consumers being dropped from the platform next year, there is no reason or avenue to use Google+ as a social network for engaging with the public.
Your time (or your marketing company's time) would be better spent on LinkedIn staying in front of your business contacts, or Facebook sharing company events and photos, or even Twitter engaging in trending topics.
Any time you would have spent on Google+ would be much better spent maintaining your Google My Business page, which is used in the Maps listings and shows up in local Google searches. Google My Business allows you to post temporary articles, press releases, holiday hours, etc., all of which are helpful for customers and potential customers and are infinitely easier to find and engage with than on Google+.
All in all, we are sad to see another social network go the way of MySpace and bite the dust, but it just means that the market is getting more competitive and companies are striving to put out better products that serve people's needs...and we are all for that!