Google just launched its long awaited brand pages for Google+. But for any marketer reading that sentence, the question will no doubt arise: why should I spend time on a Google+ Page alongside presences on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter?
To answer that, you need to remember what G+ represents to Google. I’ll get to that in a minute but first let’s take a look at some of the key features for brands.
1. Use Circles to send different messages to different audiences
Depending how you look at it, the question of “Who is my brand page for”, just got a lot easier or more complicated. Rather than having to create different tabs for different demographics or maybe divide your networks for each, you simply create circles of users and market to them appropriately.
This won’t be without its challenges – for example, how do you know which circles each customer needs to be put in – but it’s a step toward better segmentation of social messaging.
2. Create Hangouts to interact directly with customers, cover events or whatever else you can think of
The use of Hangouts is still evolving but we think there’s plenty of potential here to create great and dynamic brands that your followers will want to be part of. Even from a PR perspective, you have to start asking whether it creates some exciting new opportunities, for example, instead of offering stories under exclusive embargoes, why not offer an exclusive Hangout as a differentiator.
3. +1 integration everywhere
Despite the scepticism out there, Google+ more or less can’t go away unless the whole of Google fails. We were recommending you take your +1s seriously even when it just applied to content but now that your advocates can follow your brand itself, this is even more important. Just try to resist pinging free iPad competitions out there unless you can’t think of anything that will get more interested followers in first.
The real reason to have a Google+ Page:
These three features are great, but will be familiar to anyone who has already had a play with G+. The real answer to why you need to sit up and pay attention is below.
This is not just another social network page to update. If you take a look at the way Google has been integrating author pages and their photos into its search results, you can see that your G+ identity is very quickly becoming an extension of your presence through all Google products. Pair this with their hints about it starting to come into SEO considerations and this is something you’ll want to take seriously.
No matter how much or how little you plan to use your Google+ brand page, it’s a game you’re going to want to be in, in the same way that you want to be on Google itself. And with the heritage of Google Analytics, you can bet you’ll be able to measure its performance directly and in detail.
P.S. Looking for more tips? Check out our recent social media report for the rundown who’s hot or not from the UK’s top 50 tech companies, including tips for how to walk in their footsteps.