We looked in July at Google + just shortly after it launched in the post Google +: The Next Big Thing in Social Media. Since then, Google’s social network had continued its rapid growth, logging impressive stats:
- 40M users after just over 100 days
- Billions of items shared every day
- +1 buttons on over 1M websites
Recently, Google launched Google+ Pages for brands and business to increase the reach of the network and provide new opportunities for marketers. Recently, Google hosted a webinar titled “Learn with Google: Getting Your Business on Google+” which offered several gems of knowledge to help companies make the most of their new brand pages and join the ranks of Macy’s, Pepsi, Android, and Dell (all of which have well-executed Google+ pages).
The main objective of Google+ pages is to help brands to get closer with their customers. The pages allow for real conversations to occur with the right targets via circles (learn more below). Customers on Google+ can be inspired via the brand page to recommend the product or service to others on the network. Google’s webinar featured several ‘pro tips’ to enable advertisers to get the most out of their pages on Google+, including:
1. Slice your image: With the GPlusPic Tool, custom panoramic images for Google+ homepages can be created.
2. Segment your targets: Google+ allows followers to be divided into groups called circles, such as customer, buyers, VIPs, and staff. Targeted messages can then be sent to specific circles. If you run a coffee shop, special early bird coupons could be sent to a circle of customers who frequent the shop before 8am.
3. Hang out with your audience: Hangouts, or multi-user video experiences in Google+, allow brands to build more personal relationships. They can be executed in a variety of creative ways, like interviews, tutorials, or seminars.
4. Rich posts work best: Include images or video in messages to your audience.
Google+ continues to grow, recording its 3rd biggest week since launch two weeks ago following the opening of the service to all users in addition to the announcement of Google+ brand pages. Google is also increasing the integration of the social network with other brand properties, including search. Google created ‘Direct Connect’ which allows users to search with a plus sign before their query to serve Google+ Business pages as search results.
While Google+ pages offer much of the same functionality as Facebook brand pages, they allow for more targeted communications through circles, integrated group video via hangouts, and an overall increased reach. To learn more about brand pages on Google+, check out the Google+ for Business page. We'll have more as Google+ evolves.