If you're like me, you spend too many hours online reading about anything and everything you can get your hands on. Personally, I tend to gravitate towards sports and technology websites, but whichever news site or blog your individual interests lead you to, you'll no doubt come across a host of social media share buttons within every article you read.
Despite the fact that social media has taken the Internet by storm over the last couple years, not all social platforms are created equal. For example, anyone who has spent time online could tell you about the overwhelming presence of Facebook. Because Facebook has a user base approaching one billion, if you're not making it easy for users to share your articles on Facebook, you're missing out on a huge opportunity for driving traffic to your site.
Other social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn have also established a strong presence on the web, especially in niche communities. Even newcomer Pinterest, which grew at unprecedented rates in late 2011 and early 2012, has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the social media world.
But where does that leave Google+, which was heralded as the latest and greatest social networking tool before its launch a little over nine months ago? Despite the initial hype, Google+ has thus far failed to match growth rates seen by Pinterest and Twitter and has thus fallen victim to the widespread perception that no one really uses Google+. Evidentially, even the creators Google+ addressed this perception in a blog post a few months ago.
But despite the negative perception and the "crowded" (I'll get to this in a moment) social media webspace, Google+ is, in fact, posting steady growth numbers. Most recently, it posted a healthy 27% increase in visitors from February to March.
As for the idea that the social media world is just too crowded for another Facebook or Twitter-esque giant, look no further than social media's latest flavor of the week: Pinterest. Even though plenty of other platforms existed for sharing images (Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Imgur, for example), Pinterest broke onto the scene late in 2011 and is now the third most popular social network in the United States.
The lesson here is that even though there are plenty of social media sites out there, it's as good a time as ever to grow a new network. With its encouraging March numbers and early signs that Pinterest's explosive growth is stagnating, Google+ isn't out of the race just yet.