Since G+ pages for business debuted Monday afternoon the tech, marketing and social media communities have been discussing it non-stop; we even updated Monday’s blog post as soon as we heard about the launch and created our own page.
If you haven’t already created your page and are planning on getting started, here are two important things to remember:
- G+ profiles are for people, G+ Pages are for businesses – You cannot make a business page without a personal profile page. That person will be the page admin.
- The +1 feature is not accessible from a G+ page – meaning pages can not like/recommend other products, people or services
G+ does however, contain several Great Features:
- Circles: G+ users can hand pick users and place them in different circles. Circles are lists that allow marketers to direct promotions only to users in these specified lists. One may ask however, could people’s feelings get hurt? If for example, you label a business as merely a customer as opposed to a VIP will they be angered? Or will they work harder towards eligibility to be included in that particular circle? This is something to think about as you name your circles. IntegratePR has used internal codes; colors like forest, teal and taupe.
- Hangout: Since G+ is touted as a way for small businesses to connect with their publics, a hangout provides the ultimate consumer interaction. If a marketer wants to show a product or make a statement that is face-to-face hangout is a way to reach that audience even from remote locations, like a virtual press conference. Up to 10 people can be linked to one hangout, as long as they have a G+ profile.
- +1 – G+ “Plus one’s” are a great way for marketers to utilize their fan base. When consumers search your brand they will see friends of theirs who have given your page a +1; these are personal recommendation of your brand to all of a fan’s friends and contacts.
- Direct Connect: G+ will be greatly utilized as a way to improve search. Google is the top search engine on the Internet and created direct connect as a way for people to use access brands’ G+ pages, faster. By typing the plus sign (+) as well as the name of the business you should be able to get to the page without clicking. Direct Connect is a feature only available to a few users now and will roll out into full circulation in the upcoming months. Use Google’s tips so that your page will gain access to the feature faster.
Should you create a page? As previously mentioned, there are lots of people in the tech, marketing and social media communities who have been talking about G+ pages all week. The network itself boasts 40 million users, however, many of these users are merely people who have been opted in through their Gmail accounts. When G+ debuted late this spring, many people asked what there was to do once they were there.
In the same vein, as the early adaptors of the business pages have sprung up, it seems that there is still a disconnect among how to best utilize these fans. The Angry Birds’ page that was created early by Google to serve as an example boasts 17, 165 followers and 2,631 +1 recommendations. While this is a respectable number for the new community, it is nowhere near the staggering 9,571,767 likes they have on Facebook. This shows that the G+ project may be gaining momentum but is still in its infancy stages.
What does this mean?
Early adaptors are not ahead of the game not solely because they join every new site that pops up but because they help to mold new interfaces by using them. In the beginning of Facebook’s time, strategic marketing minds took the content that they saw being posted and learned to format it into a way for their companies to leverage their brand in an online space that had thousands of views a day. Facebook did not become the marketing tool that it is today overnight; it took years to develop the best ways to utilize the space.
G+ is in a stage of its life where marketers are still able to help influence how to best shape it into a vehicle that will send an efficient message to target audiences. It is at this point of infancy that marketers should focus on becoming comfortable with the space, as opposed to pushing it to their clients, just yet. Remember that G+ is merely another tool to build your brand and tools are merely tactics, not strategies, and it is important to understand how these new tools can benefit your company and help communicate to your target audience before jumping on board.