Google + which now has over 40 million user accounts have finally opened up the ability for brands to create pages. when Google + was launched back in June 2011, they had a strict policy on brands and user names. They hit the headlines a couple of times for deleting accounts with pseudonyms and other reasons for violating their ‘real name policy’.
Brand pages weren’t allowed to create their spaces on Google + either. Now they can. It’s been hotly anticipated for a while. Google have been giving teasers to online sites that Google was going to create pages for businesses and asked brands not to create profiles too early. Google have obviously learned their lesson from Facebook who had the challenge of migrating more than 400,000 users from Apple’s group to Apples page. Google+ for Business is now a big push to get brands engaging socially using Google.
So what are the benefits of having your own Google + Page as a brand?
Fish where the fish are: Brands want to be g push to get brands involved in the same social space as their customers, so it makes sense for them to gather fans and communicate with their fans on every social platform
Advertising: Having a page on Google + means that you’ll easily be able to connect to services such as AdWords and DoubleClick from your page. All of the search results, from your website, ads and searches will get added up and appear as a single total.
Search: There will be search benefits for advertisers with brand pages. With Google + entries becoming exposed in search results, brands will get extra exposure in search results for their Pages
Analytics: You’ll now be able to get detailed data, click through and page views from Google Analytics giving a much more targeted set of results
Google has positioned Google + around sharing so that adding pages to their mix helps you share with businesses and brands more effectively. Google Direct connect will allow you to connect with Google pages right from the search results page and add them to circles. Bing have had social search additions allowing you to ‘like’ a Facebook page for some time now. There’s more info about the things you can do with Google+ on the Google blog.
If you’re looking for examples of pages so that you can get some inspiration for your own page or to add the page to your circles, you could try Pepsi, Thomson Reuters, Amazon or BBC News. I couldn’t find ANY Microsoft pages on the top one hundred pages at CircleCount Hopefully they’ll put something online soon..
So will the introduction of Google + pages be the death of Facebook and Twitter?
I don’t think so..
Until they gain a heck of a lot more momentum, integrate other, non Google services through something similar to OAuth, and integrate with other applications that Google doesn’t own.
I think we’ll be waiting for quite a while…
Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.