By Marlesse (@marlesse)
Last week, Google announced that it will offer Google+ Pages to brands, businesses and celebrities. Heading up to and following the announcement, speculation surfaced from tech and social media buffs alike as to whether Google+ pages could be the game-changer for the budding social network.
Despite largely positive reviews from users and reviewers alike, Google+ has yet to regain its early momentum (the site went from 0 to 20 million unique visitors in three weeks!) and instead, has seen slumped engagement numbers – the most recent report from Chikita, a data analytics company, shows that since the launch of the network, traffic has fallen 60%. Google+ received even more heat after Michael DeGusta from UnderStatement.com posted the infographic below showing that the majority of Google’s management either don’t have a Google+ account, or have never even posted.
Instead of jumping into the fray, let me lay out an overview of all that Google+ Pages can do for brands and other commercial names. That way, you can decide for yourself whether Google+ will take over the world with a bang, or go out with a whimper.
How to launch a Google+ Page:
Google created an online guide that shows brands how to:
- Launch the page
- Share updates
- Promote the page
- Measure analytics such as traffic and interactions to determine how they affect the brand
My favorite thing about Google+ is the ease with which corporations can engage their followers. I’ve listed a few tools below:
Tailor Messaging through circles:
Because Google recognized that different people are interested in different parts of a business, it incorporated Circles into its social network. This way, brands and friends alike can tailor messages to specific people. Facebook also saw the merits to tailoring messages and quickly launched Friends Lists.
Chevrolet is already making use of Circles on its Google+ test page. The brand sent out an update to its followers asking about their interests so they make sure to keep them looped into their favorite topics. Chevrolet gave its fans the following options to choose from: Outdoors & Recreation, Events & Entertainment, Racing & Performance and Innovations.
Receive Direct Follower Feedback with Hangouts:
With Hangouts, brands can host video chats with up to ten participants. While it seems that this is something that only smaller companies could really take advantage of, the X Games Google+ Page has already held a Winter X Games Hangout with athletes Louie Vito, Mat Hoffman, Sarah Burke, Brian Deegan, Ryan Nyquist and host Brandon Graham. In addition to the athletes, X Games hosted a contest to select a few fans to join the Hangout and ask some of their favorite athletes a few questions. If you want to checkout a video of the hangout, you can go directly to the X Games Google+ page or go view the video on YouTube here. So while this function may seem limited, it doesn’t mean it’s entirely irrelevant to big companies!
Immediate Access to Google+ Brand Pages through Google Search:
Google’s newest feature, Direct Connect, makes it dead simple for users to find and follow brands on Google+ through a normal Google Search. If a user wants to find a brand on Google+, all they have to do is type ‘+’ in Google search, followed by the brand or business they want to follow. So if a user wants to follow Macy’s, they would simply type ‘+Macy’s’ in the Google Search box and it will bring up a direct link to the Macy’s Google+ Page.
And these are just some of the high-level features! Now that Google+ Pages has been launched, do you think more people will engage on Google+, or do you think Facebook is just too big to compete with? Include your thoughts below!