Google+ and Business

So you’ve likely read articles and heard some buzz about Google+ – when it was first released in beta and then to the public, everyone seemed to be talking about circles and getting connected. Well, this hype has settled a bit and while there are some dedicated Google+ users, it is still not making large inroads into the Facebook space.

Recently Google+ has opened itself up for businesses. What this means is that you can create branded pages on Google+ – another way for you to market yourself and focus on some inbound marketing activities. But with everything that is “new” and “better” – there is lots of discussion out there on the WWW about the pros and cons of using Google+ for business.

We thought it would be a good idea to look at the pros and cons and break them down for you. By the end of this blog post you’ll have a wider understanding of Google+ and why you may or may not want to use it for your business. (As always, if you have any questions or would like some additional advice – don’t hesitate to send us an email and we’ll get together and talk!)

The Basics

Officially called Google+ Pages (why not simply call it Google+ Business…), Google is touting this recent offering as a way for people to connect with their favorite brands and businesses. The idea is that you can build relationships with the people behind the brands and businesses that you like, frequent and are interested in. This type of relationship building helps consumers build a connection and relationship with a brand, and then when shopping for a Christmas presents for example, ¬†hopefully this brand will be the first picked up off of the shelf.

The way this all works with Google+ is that people can recommend your company, brand or products with a +1 and even add you to one of their circles for a long-term connection. Then the sharing and communicating starts – perhaps your constomers will ask questions about your recent product developments or even have an idea for a new product. The key in all of this is that you need to communicate and be active on your Google+ Pages.

Pros

Google+ Pages does have a lot of pros and benefits for business and brands. Here is a look at some of the top-rated pros:

  • You can easily promote your business and brand to those who are interested in it. In other words – targeted communication with people who really want to know what is going on or have questions.
  • 40 million people are using Google+ so now you can tap into this market of current and potential clients.
  • A link with Google+ Pages definitely can help your page and website ranking in Google searches.
  • It is now easier for you to take advantage of Google+ Hangouts and really connect with others.
Cons
Just as there pros to Google+ Pages there are also some cons to be considered:
  • You cannot customize your Google+ Pages for your business. This makes it hard to have your page stand-out amongst your competitors.
  • You are limited to one administrator – so one person is essentially responsible for the communication, connections and relationship building.
  • It is not possible at this time to measure the success or failure of your Google+ Pages – so you can’t measure what is working and isn’t working.
  • In order to follow your Google+ business page, you must first be following that person. (In other words people can visit your page and simply click the Like button….)
  • Regardless of the number of followers, +1 and connections you have, you cannot have a vanity URL.
What To Do?
So with this information, what are you supposed to do? Well, first off, take a look at your current social media marketing activities – what are you doing with Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube? Do you feel as though you are using these social networks effectively and purposefully? Take a look at your analytics and statistics for these communication tools and consider the success and failure of your marketing activities.
Essentially, before leaping onto another social networking tool – it is important to ensure that you’re using the other tools the best you can. There is not much point in joining Google+ Pages and not being active on the network. So really take the time to think about what you want from a presence on Google+ and consider the pros and cons of this new tool.
(Yes, we can help you out with all of this!)
Further Reading
Take a look at these articles to get some other viewpoints and perspectives on Google+ for your business:
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Email: info@vinyl21communications.com
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada