Thursday, November 24, 2011

Google Management Not Active on “The Future of Their Company”

As a student in the Northwestern Medill IMC marketing program, we discuss the importance of the growing capabilities in social media, yet we also keep a close eye on “High Reliability Organizations” and how they can best utilize the benefits of social media. For instance, social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are continuing to prosper in the business world due to their strong commitment to resilience and innovation. We may ask ourselves how it is that these organizations continue to generate new benefits for their users. For starters, social network companies are entering the minds of their users through the first-hand use of their services.

It was recently discovered that Google’s senior management were not active users on their own social network site, Google +. People immediately spotted the red flag and questioned Google’s confidence in their product. The even bigger concern is that Google views Google + as the future of the company, yet their lack of engagement makes us all question why they decided to enter the social networking sphere and why they believe it can be even remotely fundamental to Google’s future.
However, it is clear that Google + has been growing rapidly and has captured over 40 million users. It would be interesting to see how many users will make the switch to Google +, because brands, consumers, and leisurely users will always migrate to where the audience is. The biggest members of the audience, however, are either not interacting or present at all. Sure, Google + is becoming more and more popular, which means Google seems to be off to a good start. However, management being disconnected from the company’s products bodes poorly for the long term. 

There has already been signs of failure for Google + as a Google engineer publicly stated his doubts on the company being able to leverage Google + as one of their valuable assets. The engineer, Steve Yegge, claims Google is “trying to predict what people want and deliver it for them.”

I am currently reading a book in my Public Relations course through the Northwestern Medill IMC program called Managing the Unexpected-Resilient Performance in the Age of Uncertainty. The authors expand on some of the principles High Reliability Organizations (HRO) should follow in order to remain high-performing entities. Google has failed in being “sensitive to operations”, one of the HRO principles. Being absent from the Google + community means management is not being attentive to the front line, where the real work gets done. Instead of trying to predict the needs of users and potential users, Google management should be heavily active on their site and experience the very services they promote and stand by. Leading by example is Rule #1 for any business, and to do this, Google must begin to show their commitment to social media.  

Margarita Lamas 
Undergraduate Northwestern IMC 
Twitter: @maggielamas1

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic article. Well structure and well done. It reads well and is an interesting topic.

    SO...Why didn't you put some labels into it so social cruisers can find it? I would add labels specific to our alumni [Northwestern, Medill, IMC etc], labels specific to marketing [marketing IMC direct CRM etc] and labels specific to your article [Google +, etc]

    ALSO...Make your twitter tweet more engaging. This is a great topic that could be placed on a lot of sites. Don't underplay your marketing expertise and the great article you created.