jim.hamill@energise2-0.com

Google+ Business Pages – everything you need to know

Google+ iconOver the last few months, Google has been upgrading its Google+ social network. The most recent changes now allow businesses, brands and even places to create a presence and begin to engage with other Google+ users (or profiles). In this article, we raise and help you answer a number of important questions looking at the range of recently published articles from experts in this area.

As many of us consider our Social Media Strategies, the recent changes to Google+ raise a number of important questions. We have reviewed, organised and (briefly) summarised almost 50 articles into four question areas – click on the links below to view these articles. We are keen to look at how the business and technology press are helping inform us, as we ask:

  1. Should we invest time in Google+ where is this platform heading? Is G+ here to stay?
  2. What does this platform do? What is the current feature set, how does it compare to Facebook or other platforms?
  3. What is the state-of-play with Google+? What are the current Issues and Benefits? What features are needed or expected in future?
  4. How do we get started? Are there Tips and Guidance available for creating a successful presence? Are there examples of early-adopting companies making good use of this channel?

While there is an area of overlap, we don’t expect you to read all of these articles in detail. We do hope that you find one or two of interest to help answer some of the questions you have.

What do we think? To summarise our views on the value and importance of Google+ at the moment, we would initially highlight to businesses a number of stand-out features:

  • DirectConnect (finding businesses through the +operand in any Google search e.g. +Energise2-0)
  • The deep integration with search where all of the +1s from your website, page and search results get tallied together and contribute to your SEO juice
  • Circles and the obvious benefits for businesses for segmenting and localising content

And remind them, that a number of (expected?) features are not there – at time of writing. Whilst not show-stoppers they do make life considerably more difficult for Page Administrators and Marketers, including the lack of:

  • Multiple Administrators
  • Vanity URLs
  • Follower posts, discussions or mentions appearing on the Google+ Page
  • Custom landing pages, competitions or promotions
  • Analytics or Google Analytics integration

On balance, we would recommend that Google+ is considered as part of the Social Media Landscape for every business i.e. at the very least begin to understand and consider what Google+ could do for your business.

We would strongly recommend that businesses think strategically before jumping in. A few simple questions can help:

  • Do your customers hang-out here?
  • Will this channel help support your underlying business objectives?
  • Is it worth your time and effort right now, relative to other channels and initiatives?

If you are finding it difficult to ask or answer these questions within your business or organisation, we can help.

As always, we look forward to your comments.

Alan, Vincent and Jim

Article Review

(a) Should we invest time in Google+ where is this platform heading? Is G+ here to stay?

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Title / URL Theme Comments
From #BWELA: Why Guy Kawasaki and Chris Brogan are betting big on Google+ Platform Strategy Value
Google+ Didn’t Forget About Twitter Platform Strategy Value and Fit
How Google+ Could One-Up Facebook’s Brand Pages Platform Strategy Value
Is it Time to Make Google+ Your Plus One? 5 Key Problems Solved by Google+ Pages @adtech NY Keynote with Christian Oestlien Platform Strategy Value
Where is Google Going with Google+ Pages? Platform Strategy Value
Facebook vs. Google: The battle for the future of the Web Platform Strategy Google vs Facebook
Should you set up a Google+ page for your brand? Platform Strategy Strategy perspective

(b) What does this platform do? What is the current feature set, how does it compare to Facebook or other platforms?
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Title / URL Theme Comments
Google Plus Rolls Out Brand Pages Features: Overview Overview
Google+ goes corporate – Now open for business (oh and Places, brands and others) Features: Overview Early Overview and good indication of areas where it is lacking
Google+ Pages – How Brands Win in Social Search Features: Overview Overview
Google+ Pages: connect with all the things you care about Features: Overview Overview
Google+: The Good, The Bad and The Giddy  Features: Overview Early Overview
A Look At Google+ Direct Connect For Google+ Pages Features: Detailed Direct Connect and how to set up for your Page
Direct Connect: Google+ Offers Pages with Enhanced Search Feature Features: Detailed Direct Connect in more detail
Google Plus Finds Sweet Spot Between Facebook & Twitter Related Changes Whats hot, app integration and ripples
Google+ Gets What’s Hot, Ripples, Photo Editing, Apps Integration Related Changes Whats hot, app integration and ripples
Google+ Is Available for Google Apps Users Related Changes Google Apps users can set up Profiles
Google Adds +1 Button To Images Related Changes +1 button on images
Google+ Adds More YouTube and Chrome Features Related Changes Google Chrome and YouTube
Google+ Badges Make it Simple for Users to Connect With Brands Related Changes Overview of Google Badges (think Facebook Like / OpenGraph functionality)
How To Connect Your Google+ Page To Your AdWords Campaigns Related Changes Social extensions for Adwords
Google Acquires Katango, The Automatic Friend Sorter Related Changes Google buys company that automates friend sorting into circles
4 Google+ Brand Page Improvements over Facebook  Features: Facebook Compared Practical improvements with Facebook
Google+ Brand Pages vs. Facebook Fan Pages Features: Facebook Compared Differences between Google+ and Facebook Pages as carousel

(c) What is the state-of-play with Google+? What are the current Issues and Benefits? What features are needed or expected in future?
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Title / URL Theme Comments
Google+ Brand Pages Are the “Wild West”– for Now Issues Fake names
Google+ Pages: 10 Things You Need To Know About the Terms of Service Issues Terms of Services
I wish I had never heard of Google+’s brand pages Issues Features needed in Google Plus
Google+ Brand Pages Lacking, But You’ll Make One Anyway Benefits | Issues Value
Google+ Pages: what you need to know Benefits | Issues Value
Here’s why it make sense to use Google Plus Benefits | Issues Value
The opportunities (and pitfalls) of Google+ branded pages Benefits | Issues Value
How Can Google+ Help Businesses? Benefits Value around +1 and Circles
Can Google+ Revolutionize Business? Benefits | SEO Value of Google+ for  SEO
Google+ Just Got More Critical to Search Benefits | SEO Value of Google+ for  SEO
Top 10 Features Users Want From Google+ Brand Pages Features Needed Features needed in Google Plus
Top 6 Mashable Comments This Week Features Needed Features needed in Google Plus

(d) How do we get started? Are there Tips and Guidance available for creating a successful presence? Are there examples of early-adopting companies making good use of this channel?
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Title / URL Theme 2 Comments
How to Make A Google+ Page For Your Business Pages: How to… How to set up a page
How To Set-up Your Company’s Google+ Profile Pages: How to… How to set up a page
HOW TO: Set Up A Google+ Page For Your Brand Or Business Pages: How to… How to set up a page
How to Delete a Google Plus Brand Page Pages: How to… How to delete a Google+ page
10 Google+ Page Tips For Your Business Tips Tips and guidance
Google+ Pages A Must For Businesses, But Come Off As Rushed Tips Detailed Overview and good indication of areas where it is lacking
Max SEO with 8 simple Google+ steps Tips | SEO Value of Google+ for  SEO
Day 1 of Google+ Pages: The Muppets Fall Flat, But Brands Are Trying to Engage Pages: Cases How brands are beginning to use Pages
4 Excellent Examples of Creative Google+ Business Pages Pages: Cases Examples

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