Don’t get me wrong. I like Google+. I really do.

A number of real estate professionals are already using it in hopes of getting ahead of the competition. Everyday, there seems to be new articles stating how amazing Google+ is, how it will annihilate Twitter, take out Facebook, etc. But, as with every social media platform you choose to spend your time on, you need to analyze the return on investment before devoting your time to it. With social media, it’s my belief that the focus should always be to maximize your reach and engagement by using the platforms where your potential clients already are.

Let’s take Twitter back in it’s early days as an example. Twitter launched in 2006 and had a significant number of users back in 2007. While working at Zillow, David and I only had so many hours in the day to keep up with social media as well as get our day jobs done. In 2007, it was not the most efficient use of our time to use Twitter to further the Zillow brand with agents. However, once Twitter got a point where we could reach more people using that platform than blogging and blog commenting (probably sometime in late 2008), we both shifted a significant chunk of our social media time there. Neither of us could justify diving into Twitter until there were more Zillow conversations occurring on Twitter than on blogs. Did we lose out on a year of relationship building with some early adopters? Sure. But were most of those early adopters still blogging? Yes. So, did we totally lose touch with them simply because they were using Twitter a year ahead of us? No.

Don’t get me wrong, there is value to Google+ — and it will likely become one of the largest social platforms on the planet in time. But is the platform the best use of your social media time RIGHT NOW? That’s the question you should be asking yourself.

As for me? Let’s just say I’ll let the early adopters I trust (such as Jeff Turner) evaluate and gauge whether it’s a platform worth spending my time on. If someone like Turner shifts all his social media time to Google+, then I’ll think about doing the same. I’m betting it’ll be at least another 6 months until Google+ reaches a point where it rivals the effectiveness of Twitter or Facebook.

Remember, there are only so many hours in the day to spend utilizing social media and you need to maximize that time if you want to succeed.