Google lets business into Google+ with the launch of Pages
In so doing it finally offers a much needed alternative to Facebook where many brands, which many brands are increasingly making the focus of their social media campaigns.
They join a host of US and international brands including the likes of Ford and General Motors, which were among invited by Google to test business pages and are now joined by the likes of Angry Birds, Barcelona Football Club, Dallas Cowboys, Good Morning America, H&M, Macy’s, Pepsi, Save the Children, Toyota and WWE among others.
The launch of pages will almost certainly give a major boost to Google+’s traffic, which is thought to now stand at more than40 million users, as brands start to get active and as a consequence give great publicity to the social network.
Although some are already unhappy ( Google+ brand pages are frankly rubbish) saying that Google needs to add the kind of management tools that are available to Facebook pages. Even simple things like adding admins is not currently available.
Others, however, are urging brands to get in there as fast as possible and beat their competitors to be an early adopter brand.
On her blog Hill & Knowlton’s Candace Kuss lists her top three reasons she thinks brands should be on Google+ with her. Her top reson is the much touted hangouts live video tool you can use for everything from a user focus group to a press briefingl.
With Google+ users add brands to their circles and can recommend them with a +1. This could prove a very powerful metric because of the way it is linked to search via Google’s search algorithm. It is already being estimated that items with a plus one appear considerably higher in organic search.
This is something that Facebook can not offer as its content is not freely searchable on the wider web.
“People search on Google billions of times a day, and very often, they’re looking for businesses and brands. Today’s launch of Google+ Pages can help people transform their queries into meaningful connections, so we’re rolling out two ways to add pages to circles from Google search. The first is by including Google+ pages in search results, and the second is a new feature called Direct Connect.
“Maybe you’re watching a movie trailer, or you just heard that your favorite band is coming to town. In both cases you want to connect with them right now, and Direct Connect makes it easy—even automatic. Just go to Google and search for [+], followed by the page you’re interested in (like +Angry Birds). We’ll take you to their Google+ page, and if you want, we’ll add them to your circles,” according to Google.
It says that Direct Connect already works for a limited number of pages, such as +Google, +Pepsi, and +Toyota, but many more are coming. In the meantime, organizations can learn more about Direct Connect in its Help Center.