Monday, Google+ finally opened its doors to businesses with Google+ Pages.
That’s right, businesses now have the option of creating a brand page on Google+. You aren’t limited to one page either—if you have several popular products, you might want to consider making different pages for your business, products, and even events.
Google+ also lets you choose from a few different types of pages that break down into many sub-categories. For example, putting yourself in the “local business” category gives you the option of listing an address and phone number.
What You Can Do With Your Google+ Page
There’s a lot you can do on your Google+ page. There’s the obvious, such as uploading and sharing photos, videos, links, and viewing all your +1s. But there’s plenty more you can do, and a lot of room for creativity.
Hangouts -Google suggests some inventive ways to use the Hangout feature, such as salons hosting how-to sessions, or local bookstores offering author video chats.
Circles -Circles come in handy for businesses, giving you option of segmenting your followers into smaller groups, allowing you to share information with some followers while barring others. For example, you might try creating a “super-fan” circle, and share special discounts and exclusive offers only with the cream of the crop.
In TechCrunch’s discussion about Google+ Pages, they note that:
“If Google provides an efficient and accurate way to sort followers into circles by age, location, and other characteristics, Pages could publish different updates to different demographic subsets of their audience to maximize the relevancy of those updates.”
While this isn’t available yet, it’s certainly a realistic possibility that we can hope to see in the future.
Businesses Being Added to Circles
It should be noted that if someone ‘+1s’ your business, that does not automatically mean they are following you in Google+. Business pages act like regular pages in that a user must add you to a Google+ circle in order to follow your business.
In the screenshot above, you have the option to add Angry Birds to your circles, making you a follower, or +1 them. Currently the +1s shown on a Google+ Page are only the +1s for that particular page, but Google plans on making that number show all +1s across the business’ entire site in the future.
+ Direct Connect
Google has started rolling out a new feature that could mean big things for search—what Google calls Direct Connect. When someone searches for your business with the ‘+’ sign in front of it, they’ll be sent directly to your Google+ Page.
This feature isn’t available to everyone at the moment, but it’ll continue to become more available as Google tries to push this idea. If the ‘+’ really takes off, it will be overlapping the search experience with user engagement in a unique way.
In the New York Times’ coverage of the new Google+ Pages, Google VP of products Bradley Horowtiz imagines a future where the Direct Connect feature gains an increasingly powerful presence:
“Over time, I expect ‘+Pepsi’ to emerge on every can, on TV spots and on the Web site and become a cult phenomenon…Over a couple of quarters, brands will learn to utilize this.”
There’s Google, thinking big. Google also notes that they plan to find ways to link your +Page to your AdWords campaigns, which can only mean bigger things are yet to come.
Check out WordStream's Google+ Page! You can like us or add us to your circles! Spread the WordStream love.
Do you have any suggestions about how to use Google+ Pages? What do you think of the Google+ Direct Connect idea?