Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Tapping into the Buzz

The arrival of Google’s new online tool Google Buzz is drawing a good deal of attention from technology watchers. Many are asking the same question asked by the blogger in this link: Is Google too late to market with this product? The questions raised by the Internet giant’s latest move are good fodder for discussion among executives. Google has traditionally relied on two components to help increase the use of its various Web tools: the strength of its brand and a zero-cost price tag.

However, Google is attempting to use its name as a battering ram to enter an established market. A mass audience can be a difficult beast to control, and Google may find that people are more comfortable with an established social media service. The blogger above is an example of the problem into which Google may run. He describes Google Buzz as “the same as Twitter — but integrated with your Gmail inbox, and a couple extra built-in features.” While this isn’t 100 percent accurate, it demonstrates the perception that an audience can form about a product. If this message spreads farther afield, Google may discover that the “Twitter clone” tag is impossible to lift, as consumers do little to no research to counter what they’ve been told by friends.

Whether you decide to try out Google Buzz or stick with your existing social media outlets, it’s what your business chooses to do with these sites that matters most. In that regard, I’d suggest taking a look at our summary of Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s book Trust Agents for a better understanding of how to make social media work for you. The authors have some great advice to allow your company to truly connect with customers online.


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