Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Google + is Now Open for Business

Google+ is Now Open for Businesses, Brands and Places

On November 7th Google announced Google+ Pages for Businesses, Brands, Places, and any other non-living thing! Pages can be created within five categories:
  • Local Business or Place
  • Product or Brand
  • Company, Institution or Organisation
  • Arts, Entertainment or Sports
  • Other
Local business pages have special options such as including a phone number, address & hours of operation.

To create a Google+ Page, you first have to create a Google+ account and create a page within it. The admin of the Google+ Page is the person that creates the page and having multiple admin is not an option. Unlike Facebook, there are no vanity URLs on Google+ (at this stage)
Businesses can have multiple pages linked to the same Google+ account. With Google+ Pages a brand can do many of the same things that a personal account can do, including: share photos, share videos, share links & conduct Hangouts.

To actually follow a business you must place it in your Circles. However, you can +1 which will add to the number of +1 for the page. Businesses can create badges for people to put on their websites. These badges will link the user to the brand’s Google+1 page. Businesses can also have their pages be found through “Direct Connect” in Google Search. If “Direct Connect” is set up, brands will automatically be added to the user’s Circles. This will happen for any business that Google determines is particularly relevant for a search and if someone searches for the business with a + symbol in front of its name.

Businesses now have another social media outlet through which to interact with their consumers. Google+ provides different unique and new ways to communicate with consumers including the video chat, Hangouts. Circles allows for consumer segmentation which has not been possible through other social media platforms. Google+ has the potential to have a significant impact on SEO as Google’s is likely to place considerable weight on the adoption of Google + within it’s search algorithm.

Starcom recommends that in the short-term, businesses should secure and verify their Google+ Pages. Until Australian usage numbers are released, Starcom do not see the development of a Google+ page as business critical. A well thought out strategy should start to be planned for, including the role of Google+ as a social platform and it’s differentiation from that of Facebook etc. In the long run, as Google+ adoption & usage increases, this could be a key business platform. The unique features of Google+ including Circles and Hangouts should be used to the advantage of advertiser’s and can allow for different and more intimate ways of engaging with consumer’s.

To set up a business page, go to:

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