In a manner similar to what Facebook did a couple of years ago, Google announced last week that it is launching Pages for business in its Google+ social network. The question that arises is whether this has any real benefit for business, especially small business.
I addressed this very question in a post at eCommerce site Practical eCommerce and listed what I suggested are three possible benefits:
1. Direct connection to search – Should it come as any surprise that Google would tie its social network to its search engine? From what I understand, it is already giving more weight to social engagement in its search algorithm.
2. Better audience segmentation – Though the use of Circles, Google+ gives businesses a better way to segment audiences, which means messaging can become more relevant and timely.
3. Face-to-face connection with customers/employees/vendors, etc – The live, streaming video component of the platform, Hangouts, enables businesses to create live, virtual face-to-face connections with customers and other. Think of the advantages this holds in terms of providing customer service, hosting focus groups, or, where internal use is concerned, holding staff meetings, especially across disparate locations.
I’m not suggesting that it’s always sunny in Philadelphia. There are a couple of key disadvantages, as well. First, Google+ becomes yet another social network that has to be managed by someone. Second, there is a good likelihood your customer base is not yet on the network. While the SEO benefits that could be accrued may offset those disadvantages to some extent, they exist notwithstanding.
How to Create a Google+ Page
For the adventurous (or the curious) who wish to give Google+ at try, setting up a Page is a simple, five minute process.
Step one – Go to the Google+ Business Page and click the blue “Create Your Google+ Page” button.
Step two – Pick your category and add your information. (You may notice the categories resemble those of Facebook Pages.)
Step three – Add a tagline, upload a profile banner, click the button and that’s pretty much it.
You can add more content to your profile if you prefer. Otherwise, the main activity is posting content to your “wall,” creating Circles and adding people to them. Gradually, over time, you will build a following.
Again,the question remains, is it worth the effort? Only you can make that decision. Let us know what you decide and, if you choose to create a page, include a link with the comment.