Google+ – Opportunity or Threat?

Is it worth getting involved in creating Google+ branded pages, and if so how?   And why?

Getting your brand set up on Google+ is easy as this guide from Google demonstrates. As for vanity URLs a la Facebook, well this handy guide shows you how too.   Both are key considerations for brands.  The fact that Google+ only allows one page administrator might hold back take-up however, especially for larger brands.   Moreover, the multiple features available to brands on Facebook make the prospect of a wholesale change to simpler and, at the moment, less engaging, pages on Google+ a bleak prospect.   But that might change . . .

Limitations first, then the rest . . .

Google+ has its drawbacks.   But this is Google remember, with vast financial and technical resources at its disposal and if, as was signaled at the launch of Google+, this is their new direction there will be more – lots more – in the offing.

  • You can only have one admin on Google+ – multiple admin rights will show up soon however
  • Facebook’s slick interface, vast audience, first mover advantage and familiarity might make it seen it holds the cards BUT Google has can afford to play a long game
  • Google+’s success depends on learning from Facebook and LinkedIn’s mistakes (privacy/news feed) and reinventing its features in such a way that it becomes impossible for brand owners to forget it’s a viable option

 

Direct Connect

Google’s ‘Direct Connect’ feature means consumers need simply to add a ‘+’ to a brand name in the search box on Google so, + brand name for example.

Analytics

Google Analytics’ integration of Google+ data surely cannot be far off – it’s such an obvious opportunity . . .

 

Segmentation

  • Google+ circles of ‘influence’ – whether team members, customers or VIPs means you can target content to segmented sudiences in a way that’s much simpler than anything Facebook or LinkedIn offer . . . which is nice

 

Now imagine if, unlike LikedIn or Facebook, you can incorporate these circles with your CRM . . . truly amazing.   Indeed, might Google CRM be far off, a logical adjunct to Google Analytics and Google+?

Google Analytics’ integration of Google+ data surely cannot be far off – it’s such an obvious opportunity . . .

Customer Service

A ‘hangout’ video conversation with customers is perhaps the closest we get to face to face interactions designed to resolve problems – will Facebook stand still on this one?

 

And finally . . .

Facebook’s branded pages have been around for a while, but in actuality started to really fly in the last 18 months or so.   Early-adopters blazed a path with FBML and inspired others brands to follow.   I can’t imagine Google will seek to stand alone.   Working with a handful of forward-thinking brands to showcase what’s possible on Google+ might be just what they need as they start to (hopefully) roll out intelligent enhancements.

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