Three Reasons to Create a Google + Page–Even if You Don’t Want ToNovember 9, 2011 12:28 pm ·
In case that rock you’re living under doesn’t have Internet access, Google + launched brand pages this week, Mark Zuckerberg thought this would be a good time to talk to Charlie Rose, and Google’s Bradley Horowitz had something to say about that. The war of the social networks—and the words—is just beginning between Facebook and Google; but what it really comes down to for users is which site satisfies their personal and professional objectives.
With Facebook closing in on the 1 billion user mark, the site that Zuckerberg says “concentrates on doing one thing (social) well” is and will for the foreseeable future be the go-to-site for connecting people with their friends and family. For businesses, however, the decision between utilizing a Facebook Brand page or a Google +page is less clear.
Right now, it may seem like Google + is just one more social network your company has to manage its presence on, but here’s a few reasons why you might want to invest in your company’s Google + presence—whether you want to or not.
Google + offers a clean slate
Chances are you’ve been encouraging people to “Like” you on Facebook for years now and already have a faithful following on the social networking site; and since Google +’s 40 million registered users pale in comparison to Facebook’s 800 million users, it’s likely that you’ll keep encouraging your customers and brand advocates to engage with you on Facebook. That being said, there’s something appealing about a fresh start. The simplicity of creating a Google + page makes setting one up a quick and easy no-brainer, and the uncluttered layout of Google + pages makes it simple to use—and keeps me wondering what other, more robust (read: cooler) features we’ll see (and want to use) on the site in the future.
Google + makes engagement easy
Experts Exchange has both a Facebook Brand page and a Google + page. As one of the administrators for both pages, it took me less than a minute to spot the Circles feature on Google + and figure out how to use that feature to control who we engage with and how we engage with them. On the other hand, it’s been almost two months since Facebook launched their Smart Lists feature. I’ve read multiple tutorials—including Facebook’s own help page—and still can’t quite figure out how to use Smart Lists.
Privacy options aside, the Circles feature on Google + allows businesses to segment their customers and be strategic about the messages they send them. Want to offer your biggest customers a special holiday discount? Not a problem on Google +! Just put the power customers in their own Circle and send them a private message or even better, start a live video chat (a Hangout) with them.
Google promotes Google + content
Rumor has it that Google favors their own content (or, at least that’s what Yelp and a smattering of politicians say). Whether anything turns up in the anti-trust probe or not, you can bet that Google + pages will soon start to rank high in the SERPS—maybe even higher than your company’s Facebook Brand Page .
In addition, one of the new features Google released along with Google + pages is Google + Direct Connect. Go to Google and type a plus sign in front of a brand name in the search box and Google will take you directly to that company’s Google + page. Want to put that company in one of your Circles? That can be done with the click of a button. (Sidenote: The Direct Connect feature is not live for all businesses yet, so don’t panic if you search for your company and don’t see your Google + page.)
The bottom line
Unlike communications regarding many of its other products, Google spokespeople seem determined to make Google + a success; and by now, we should all know never to underestimate the power of the GOOG. Smaller user base and somewhat banal layout aside, I predict that Google + will only gain momentum in coming months, and your company will be glad to have been an early adopter.