Google Plus Business Pages – My 5 Plus Points
As Google announced yesterday that they have launched the new Google+ Business Pages, I thought I’d run through the reasons I like the new pages…or should that be why I ‘plus one’ the new pages…
+1 They exist!
The first plus point is simply the fact that business pages are available on Google+ now. If you’re wondering why there is so much fuss at the moment about these business pages, it’s because Google didn’t allow businesses to create profiles, they could only be personal accounts when Plus launched.
+2 Reducing noise
I get the feeling that Google have taken a back seat and listened to user feedback on Facebook and Twitter and tried to take the best of both worlds to create the ideal scenario for businesses on social networks. Facebook users would complain that they ‘liked’ a business page but then ‘unliked’ them after feeling that their news feeds were full of too many posts from that business. A recent study found that 36% of their respondents “unliked a brand because they felt that they heard from them too often.” With Google+ Business Pages, users are able to ‘plus one’ (a sort of alternative to Facebook ‘likes’) a business page without ‘following’ (adding to circles) the page. An effective way to allow business pages build up credibility without users having to make too much of a commitment and getting annoyed.
+3 Less spamming
Following on from the idea that Google have picked the best bits of Twitter and Facebook – it seems that Google want to reduce spamming techniques and create a more credible network. On Twitter, businesses can follow as many users as they like in the hope that those users will follow them back, which is a spamming ‘technique’ used too often. On Facebook, businesses aren’t allowed to ‘add’ or ‘follow’ their fans, meaning they can’t see the status updates of those people. I think Google+ have got it pretty right with their rules – a business can follow a personal user, but only those who have followed their business first. A nice way for users to verify that they’re happy for a business to follow them I feel, and obviously beneficial for the business to be able to see what their fans are talking about.
+4 Easy access
By introducing ‘Direct Connect’ Google will now return a business page in the search results if someone searches for a business name with a + symbol before e.g. “+pepsi”. A neat feature that allows users to jump to business pages without having to go into Google Plus first, and perhaps a more useful purpose of the + sign function in search. However to make sure your page does show in Direct Connect, you have to link your website to your page which is fairly straight forward and Google have provided simple instructions.
+5 Verified pages
Many businesses got caught out with Twitter, in not claiming their username quick enough and losing it. Although Twitter now offer a way to claim your username back, it’s not the smoothest of processes in my opinion. At the moment anyone can make a business page on Google+ but they won’t be able to add icons or badges, or appear in Direct Connect until the page has been linked to the right website. My guess is that the initial users of Google+ are savvy enough to work out whether the business page is real or not, and by the time the less savvy users move over from Facebook (will this really happen?) Google will have proper verification settings in place.
Of course, there are many negative points about the new business pages, but I thought I’d give Google a break, after all, they are saying goodbye to their previous social network… Buzz who?
Are you on Google+? Check out our Creare Communications page and let us know your thoughts on the new business pages.