Posts Tagged 'facebook page'

Battle of the Brand Pages: Can Google+ Pages Knockout Facebook?

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 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!

Art + Business

Post by Jany Xu

I went to Madrone Lounge last Thursday for the Art+Business event.  Really, I’d been wanting to go, since I first heard of it over a year ago. This was the perfect excuse opportunity. 🙂

Carrie, a friend who works at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, SF, met me for drinks along with some of the board members.  They’re having a party on November 13 celebrating the new Yves Saint Laurent show.  Over drinks, we discussed marketing, specifically social media strategies for promoting the event and the organization.  What struck me is that social marketing allows nonprofits to have a huge reach to their member/volunteer base, to spread knowledge and expertise and to help raise money for their cause, but not many organizations seem to be taking advantage of it.

Here are a few ways that nonprofits can brand themselves online:

  • Create a Facebook page, a MySpace profile or a blog badge:  Allow your members and fans to show their support, while helping you market the organization. We’ve done this in the past with bumper stickers, tote bags and other gifts.  This one’s free and easy to pass on.
  • Make sure you publicize your events through all channels available to you: This means making an event page on Facebook, so it’s easy to export to people’s calendars and it’ll show up on people’s newsfeeds.  Put it on upcoming, local event sites like sfstation, going, yelp, etc.  Let people know what’s happening, and make it easy to share and redistribute that information.
  • Start blogging? Yes, everyone and their mother is blogging, but as a nonprofit, you probably already have a reader base.  Give them a reason to keep giving each year.  You don’t have to post every day.  Instead, just post about a recent event or upcoming events.  If you’re a museum, write a short blurb about an artist opening (with pictures on Flickr or videos on vimeo or YouTube) or how curators set up the newest installation.  I think people get really scared when they hear the word blogging.  Yes, there are lots of blogs that are thoughtful and time-consuming to write.  But yours can focus on snippets of fun information.  Take a couple of shots and slap a few captions on them.  Write a one paragraph intro.  Obviously, feel free to contribute more, but it doesn’t need to be a daunting task.
  • Tap your members: people want to contribute and feel great that they’re helping a cause.  So give them a way to do that.  Write a newsletter and include ways members and interested parties can help.  Ask your local PR/creative agencies to help or an ambitious marketing/PR professional (pick me!) to put together a social media plan and execute.  Whatever the member’s profession, social circle or hobby, make sure you allow them to contribute in the way they want.  For example, I don’t mind folding T-shirts or handing out water at a marathon, but my time is probably better used in helping you redesign the website, design a new logo, put up postings on Facebook or blogging about the organization.

If you dedicate half a day to establish and a few hours a week to keep up with all the things listed above, I firmly believe that you can build a strong following.  You can supporting and tout your current members and find and engage new ones.  Just remember, a genuine interest in making a difference matters, whether it’s online or in your organization.

FYI, if you’re in SF and want to get tickets to the Ives Saint Laurent show, click here.