Google

Businesses Can Now Create Google+ Pages

By Megan Marrs November 09, 2011 Posted In: Google Comments: 5

 

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.

Google+ Business Page

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?

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Comments

Wednesday November 09, 2011

Jim (not verified) Said:

This is definitely a step in the right direction for Google. One of the big advantages Facebook has (actually Facebook has too many advantages at this point) is that they all of these companies out there promoting their own Facebook pages in their TV/Radio/MagazineNewspaper, etc ads all day long. This is thrown in peoples face all day long and its a subtle part of the reason why Facebook is so dominant. This is further enhanced by the number of companies listed at buyfacebookfansreviews.com that do nothing but this type of promotion. Now that Google has business pages as well, I wonder how long before we start to see that promoted in media like Facebook is. That to me would be a real turning point for Google. But I think that the odds are heavily stacked against them because of how established Facebook is and how much of an uphill road they have to climb. They have to find a way to break out and reach out to a big mainstream audience that doesn't look at Google for social activities. If Google can break through, they'll provide a lot of solid competition for Facebook and help balance the marketplace and avoid making one company the dominant social media company. I know they're throwing a lot of resources at Google+, but even for a big company with Googe's market muscle this is going to be a long hard challenge.

Thursday November 10, 2011

Megan (not verified) Said:

Hi Jim,

I agree, it's amazing how Facebook has been getting a ton of free promotion because of businesses hosting pages on its site. Facebook has dominated for so long, I wouldn't  really think anyone could compete with them - anyone except Google, that is. I think Google really has a shot simply because of their reputation and continuing presence in our online lives. I think Google will only succeed if they can get creative. The ability to integrate search power with social media is where Google really has the chance to stand out. They know that, and I think what they are starting with the Direct Connect is only a glimpse of what Google has up its sleeve.

Saturday November 12, 2011

Direct Mail Marketing (not verified) Said:

Well, looks like Google is finally in a spot to compete with Facebook. Do you think it will catch on, and perhaps even take over Facebook, like Facebook did with Myspace?

Monday November 14, 2011

Megan Marrs Said:

I think it's still hard to say. Facebook has had such a solid monopoly as the dominant social media site, it's hard to imagine anyone usurping them. But Google is giving them a run for their money.

I think if Google was just trying to create a social media site, they wouldn't stand a chance. But what Google is really trying to create is something much bigger - social media integrated with search, and social media as an advertising and consumer purchasing tool. I think it's all about where Google runs with this idea. If they can be successful with this concept of a social-saturated search experience, they'll be set.  

Monday January 30, 2012

Martin Smith (not verified) Said:

I must admit that I have not looked too closely at google+. After reading you post I am convinced that this could become a dominating factor in searches once people recognize the advantage of utilizing the added + in thier searches. I will look at setting up a page now. Thanks for the insightful post.

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