Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Google+ Launches Pages For Brands

Google+
Google announced on Monday the introduction of Google+ Pages and a collection of other tools to help businesses and brands to grow their audience.

According to Google, these pages are aimed to bring you closer to your audience, allowing you to have real conversations with the right people, connecting you face-to-face with your site's visitors and allowing current fans to recommend new ones. Giving your business a home on Google+ lets you directly interact with your users while giving them more chances to share your content with their friends.

As reported in one of my recent posts, major advertisers already use Facebook and Twitter to reach large audiences on those services. With this announcement and with more than 40 million users so far using Google+, you can now have a presence on the new social network and another platform to promote your products and/or services and to connect with your customers.

Similar to Google+ profile pages, these new pages include Hangouts, a tool that allows you to have high-quality video chats with your customers and Circles which allows you to group followers of your page into smaller audiences, ideal for sharing specific messages with specific groups of people. All pages will have access to analytics tools and support for multiple administrators in the near future.

These pages are not just limited to businesses and brands. If you're a blog owner for example, you can create a page and use it to announce your latest blog posts and to have discussions with your followers. Unlike Facebook pages, the new Google+ pages are simple to create and to setup. Within minutes of pressing the create a page link, your page is up and running and you're ready to start promoting it.

To help your users find your page and start sharing, there are two buttons you can add to your site: the Google+ icon which is available now and the badge, which will be available in the next few days. This badge lets people add your page to their circles without leaving your site and allows them to get updates from your site via Google+. You can get the icon and badge (when available) by visiting the Google+ badge configuration tool.

With the launch of the new brand pages, Google have extended the power of the +1 and brought out a new experimental feature called Google+ Direct Connect which is currently only available to a small group of publishers.

In a statement on their blog post: If you've linked your page to your site and you qualify, when someone searches for your website's name with the "+" sign before it, Direct Connect will send them directly to your page. For example, try searching for "+YouTube" on Google. Users will also be prompted to automatically add pages they find through Direct Connect to their circles.

The extension of the +1 certainly looks an exciting feature as all your +1s (from your page, your website and on search results) will get combined and appear as a single total. These totals will then be visible on your page, your website and on search results and reach all the people who use Google, including the 40 million Google+ users. For the +1 extension to work, you need to link your site to your page using the Google+ badge configuration tool.

Given this new tool, I'm pleased to announce the launch of a new Google+ page for Derek's Home and Business Blog. Similar to my blog's Facebook page, I'll be using this new page to announce my latest blog posts, post any news concerning the blog and for discussions with my followers. Now you can follow my blog on Google+ and well as on Facebook. You can access the new page by visiting: https://plus.google.com/114686242826423169197

I've also updated the blog to include the new Google+ icon that directly links to this new page. You can find the new (red G+) icon at the top of sidebar with the rest of the social icons. Note: With last month's announcement of the shut down of Google Buzz in a few weeks, I've now removed this icon from the blog and replaced it with the new icon.

With the launch of the new brand pages, I feel Google+ can now seriously compete against Facebook and as businesses and brands come to use this new online marketing tool, only time will tell how successful it will become or if it's too little, too late.

What do you think of the new pages? Do you think they will have a bigger marketing impact for your business than Facebook pages? I would love to read your thoughts on this.

Related articles:
Google+ To Accommodate Pseudonyms
The End Draws Near For Google Buzz


Google+
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Until my next post, enjoy the rest of the week!



1 comment:

  1. Recently Google launched their Brand Page, which will help bring more people on Google+. Companies can do live video chats with their customers through the Brand Page. Google is working towards having multiple admins on the Brand Page, somewhat like Facebook, who will maintain and control the page. From a business point of view, Google Plus pages are more effective and can easily promote brands.This is because even people outside of your "circles" can view the Brand Page. The Brand Page also has an upperhand as one has access to Google's other sevices and tools, like search engine, documents, Google Maps, shopping, videos, news, places, etc. With these advantages it certainly looks as though Google Plus is gonna win the race in the coming years.

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