Google+ For Business Is An Important New Medium For Online Marketing
This week saw the launch of Google+ for business, marking the second wave of Google’s key social media project
There’s no doubt Google is the leading force in cyber innovations, and its tentacles reach many destinations. Being the most popular search engine, having its own advertisements systems and productivity tools. So when such a big company sets its goal to crack another market – social media – we better pay attention.
When Google launched Google+, still in beta testing mode, people were falling all over themselves to get involved. For a while you could get on board only if you were invited by multiple (not only one!) members.
Businesses paid attention as well and as soon as the program was officially launched some hurried to create their own pages. Mashable.com, for example, a leading technological news site, had over 100,000 ‘friends’ in a matter of days. Until Google shut them down.
In an announcement on July 2011, Google asked businesses not to create new pages. Their main purpose, they said, was to connect people with each other. The business side will come next.
This day arrived on 11/7/11. Goggle+ opened the doors wide to businesses, brands, and organizations. It has been running tests with sports teams (The Dallas Cowboys), brands (Pepsi, Macy’s), car manufacturers (Toyota), entertainment (The Muppets Movie) and news (Anderson Cooper 360), and now they opened it up to all businesses, large and small. This is a new and exciting way to add power to small business advertising.
The obvious comparison is to Facebook, which was very worried in the weeks leading to the unveiling. Facebook is an established network with 800,000,000 worldwide users, but it doesn’t take Google lightly. Google+ reached its 50 million mark in 88 days.
Google+ says they attempts to replicate daily connections in cyber space; with your friends, with your family, with your co-worker, and with the places you frequent and do business. Now the second stage is rolled out, with improvements, no doubt, to follow in the next days and months.
Google+ Pages has some advantages and some disadvantages when compared to Facebook Places.
At Business SEO, we’ll be using both Google+ and Facebook but with quite different strategies. It’s too early to say just what sort of impact Google Plus will have. Businessses should definitely claim their Google+ brand names and establish a presence, even if they aren’t sure they want to do much more at this stage: there is every chance that Google+ will become bigger than Facebook if it can deliver a high quality user experience, overcome privacy concerns (which have plagued both Facebook and Google) and establish the critical mass essential for a social network to go viral.
Disadvantages of Google+ vs. Facebook
Only one person can manage an account. When it comes to big companies, the manager has to share his sign-in with others.
- Doesn’t have the ability to offer coupons or deals straight from the page
- Can’t host contests or sweepstakes
- Google+ is not yet set for e-commerce
Many of those features are available on Facebook.
Advantages of Google+ vs. Facebook
- Google+ offers a brand more than one page. A car manufacturer can have a page for each of its models
- Google will include Google+ pages in the search engine results. Since it is the same company, will Google change the algorithm to accommodate their social network?
- Google has established what it calls ‘Direct Connect’ with its search engine. Typing the sign + and the name of the business will lead the searcher automatically to the business’s page on Google+
- The ability to incorporate Google analytics with Google+ page
Dell’s CEO said back in June, when the site was in tests: “I am thinking about hangouts for business. Would you like to be able to connect with your Dell service and sale teams via video directly…?”
This aspect is yet to be set up and at Google+ they say they are working on improvements and new features. In this fast-evolving world, they will catch up really quick.
Read more about how about online marketing for your business at Business SEO.