By Nick Johnson - November 8th, 2011
So, Google+ have just launched their 'Pages' feature for businesses wanting to leverage the new social network. I've just set up the USM page, and once I'd clicked create I sat back and wond...
So, Google+ have just launched their 'Pages' feature for businesses wanting to leverage the new social network.
I've just set up the USM page, and once I'd clicked create I sat back and wondered whether it was all just a waste of time. What was the point in the (admittedly short) time I spent setting up our page. What unique attributes can my company get from G+ that I can't get from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn?
I've tried to put together a list of positives and negatives (which I would love for you to add to in the comments).
- You fish where the fish are: Google+ is another community, and it's growing fast. We don't know which is going to be the biggest and most used social network over the next few years, but we do know that Google have an awful lot of money and expertise, and are trying their best to make G+ a success. A survey by ComScore estimates that currently 13% of US adults are signed up to the service. That's predicted to grow to 22% by August of next year. You can't afford to ignore that chunk of people, can you?
- SEO Benefits: OK, so at this stage it's unproven, but surely as Google works to integrate G+ into all their other products, G+ pages will get a boost in Google search results? It certainly seems to happen for other Google-owned products, so maybe G+ pages will get a similar boost?
- Social Media impact assessment with Google Analytics: Yes, Facebook has its own analytics offering, but it's not a patch on Google Analytics. With G+ integration (which surely will come pretty soon, right?), you'll be able to get some VERY interesting stats on, dare I say it, social media ROI...
- ANOTHER page to update: You've already got a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a presence on LinkedIn, and probably YouTube, Foursquare, etc etc presences too. That's a lot to manage, and Google have just added another to the list...
- ...and it's no different to Facebook: Take a look at Pepsi's Facebook page and their Google+ page. I don't see much of a difference, do you? Apart from the 6,128,380 more 'likes' on the Facebook version. At this stage, I can't work out what I can do with my G+ page that I can't do with my Facebook page. What's the added functionality (hat tip to James Whatley at 1,000 Heads for this)
- In fact, is it worse? You can +1 a G+ page, and you can also add a brand to your circles. Which should you do? I think I'm right in saying that +1ing will simply show your appreciation of a brand, but won't start a relationship. If you add that brand to your circles, you'll get updates from them in your stream. But do your consumers know that? I'm pretty worried that I'll get a load of people 'liking' my page, and expecting the same response as on Facebook - that they 'subscribe' to USM's content. But they won't. How are we going to make this (pretty confusing) situation clear to our audience?