Friday, 11 November 2011

Google+ Roll Out New Brand Pages – Why, and What For?

Written by Katie Taylor - Viapoint Ltd

Google+ has taken it’s first steps into becoming a real Facebook rival – or so it hopes – with its brand Pages launch, allowing brands, products, companies, businesses, places, groups, and everyone else to get a foothold on the burgeoning social media platform. But will brands be taking advantage of the pages? How should they be using them for optimum performance values?

Over the next few days, companies and brands will be able to build and maintain their Google+ Pages and tailor them to fit the needs and expectations of their fans and followers on Google+. How different is this going to be than Facebook? Or more to the point, why will people use these pages rather than the accounts they know and are familiar with on Facebook and Twittter? For one thing, it’s supposed to be quicker, as you don’t actually have to visit a page in order to “like” it. 

Also, Direct Connect – the same feature that allows users to directly add pages to their circles – builds on Google’s search dominance, meaning better quality search optimisation for brands using Google+. Somewhat of a trap it would seem, but if you’re utilising social media as aprt of your marketing campaigns, there’s no reason you’d choose to leave yourselves out of Google+. It might not be totally problem-free at the moment, but purposefully avoiding a platform even as unsure of itself as Google+ is not a good idea.

The most tantalising look at the benefits Google+ Pages could have is outlined by TechCrunch“If Google provides an efficient and accurate way to sort followers into circles by age, location, and other characteristics, Pages could publish different updates to different demographic subsets of their audience to maximize the relevancy of those updates.

For example, if retailer Macy’s could publish updates to a circle of all their followers under the age of 30, it could serve its younger audience updates about more youthful products without annoying its older followers. Similarly, rather than creating separate Google+ Pages for their presences in different cities, brands could publish city-targeted updates about local promotions. Facebook currently only allows Pages to target posts by country and language, preventing age or more granular location targeting.”

Brands circling followers based on customer worth, age, gender, previous interests…it’s a marketing goldmine that as of yet Facebook is nowhere near ready to offer. It’s definitely a a powerful addition that will be worth seriously considering.

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