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Google+ adding 625,000 users a day : What's it mean for you as an attorney?

Google Plus logoGoogle’s social networking service, Google+, is adding 625,000 new users a day and may total 400 million members by the end of next year, according to independent analysis of its growth.

This per Bloomberg’s Nick Turner (@SFNick) in his report this morning that Google was building a rival to Facebook, which currently has more than 800 million users.

Turner reports the popularity of Google+ is accelerating, with with almost a quarter of its total user base joining in December alone, per Paul B. Allen, the founder of Ancestry.com Inc., who tracks the numbers as Google+’s “unofficial statistician.”

And compared to the time it took Facebook to reach 25 Million unique vistors, Google+’s growth has been meteoric. Perhaps not a surprise when Facebook started out of a college dorm room and Google+ being launched by a multi-billion company with the most web traffic of any site — by far.

Growth of Google+

I don’t see Google+ as replacing Facebook or the race to becoming the leading social network as a zero sum game

I’m with Alexis Madrigal (@alexismadrigal), senior editor at The Atlantic, who wrote today that ‘There Is No Next Facebook: How Multiple Social Networks Will Peacefully Coexist.’

We tend to think of social networks in terms of lifecycles. One rises and flourishes, then it is killed off by an insurgent competitor. We draw neat diagrams showing MySpace started to die as Facebook sprang to life, etc.

But the reality is more complex. The social applications out there now build atop each other and tens of millions of people belong to several networks, even if they don’t really notice. In a given day, I will end up at Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Quora, Skype, Yelp, Pinterest, and Rdio, not to mention email and all the implicit social networks that you can find searching with Google.

My usage is probably a little extreme, but the point is that we don’t belong to just one social net. Just as in real life, we spread ourselves between a variety of locations, finding value and fulfillment in building our own personal social media ecosystem.

As attorneys spend more and more time networking online, you’ll see members of our profession using various social media and networks. Each social network will have its own purpose. How social networks are used will vary from attorney to attorney.

For now, you, as an attorney need not jump all over Google+.

  • Let Google+ build its network and become a place where your target audience of clients, prospective clients, and influencers (bloggers, reporters, association leaders) is coming together.
  • You may find there’s an advantage to be an early adopter of Google+ so as to get the opportunity to meet and connect with innovative business leaders and influencers who may be prone to try Google+.
  • Complete your Google+ profile in a manner that reflects well on you. Your Google+ profile will display in search results of your name. You can display a little of your personality as well as provide links to your blog, website, Twitter account, and the like.
  • When appropriate, add the people to Google+ circles you set up when you see they have added you to their circles, ie, when a fellow lawyer adds you. Think LinkedIn when it began when many accepted requests to connect where appropriate, if for no other reason than to be polite.
  • Once you’ve started adding people to circles (perhaps industry leaders who have large followings), follow your Google+ stream now and again to see what people share and how they interact with each other. You can start to share things you’ve read or a blog post of yours. The key is to be willing to experiment.

Google+ and Facebook are here to stay and coexist. Whether you’re using them to network today, you probably will overtime as the audience you want to network with continues to grow on these social networks.

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